As dental cover becomes more available in recent times, it’s more important than ever to find faster ways to receive payments from dental insurance.
The idea of fee-for-service dental practices is long outdated since almost 90% of all dental practices are now joined with one or more insurance plans.
Though dentists are paid at a lower rate than the more traditional way of dentistry of pay-as-you-go, there are many ways in which you can maximize your insurance payments to receive them seamlessly without any postponement.
Dealing with insurance companies can be pretty frustrating sometimes, in this blog post will allow you to learn more about how to speed up the process and how Dental Support Specialties can ensure that you receive your money when it’s due.
What happens if I don’t get my insurance payments?
Patients typically fail to use hundreds of thousands of dollars from insurance benefits each year, which is essentially money that could be going towards your practice!
Many patients are unaware that their benefits will waste at the end of the year, making it essential to keep your patients informed about what their dental insurance entitles them to.
Besides, at the beginning of the year, there is also money available to use from their dental insurance plans, thus making it essential for dental practices to stay proactive and deal with their dental insurance payments.
This and much more are just one of the few ways dental practices can make sure they take advantage of dental insurance plans and ensure that they are paid on time. There are a few challenges, but this is why Dental Support Specialties is here to help.
How does verifying dental insurance work?
As a dental practice, it’s essential to give the patients the best care imaginable, including how their dental insurance is handled.
Understanding and assuring the best methods in securing dental insurance verification is essential for the success of dental practices.
That’s why it’s helpful to be familiar with the process, so your patients are saved from any confusion that might occur.
When a new patient comes in, they need to understand the four basic types of insurance payments:
- Deductible: the fixed amount paid by the patient each year before the insurance provider covers the rest
- Co-pay: a fixed amount for dental service, paid to the dental practice before the insurance covers the rest depending on the outcome of the service, typically charged after the deductible is met.
- Co-insurance: percentage of costs that the patient pays for the dental service
- Out of pocket maximum: the maximum amount of money a patient will pay for their dental service in a plan year
There are many factors to consider when processing dental insurance verifications, and if anything is missed out, it may cost the dental practice an unwanted stoppage in cash flow.
Here are some things to consider when going over verifying dental insurance:
- The dates for which the coverage is effective
- The codes specific to the procedure to be performed
- The waiting period is sometimes required for specific procedures to ensure they are covered
- The type of plan and the fee schedules
- Maximums and deductibles
- Required documentation
- Information regarding claim submissions such as phone number, address, payer ID, and fax number
- Coverage percentage by category
- Coverage for tooth implant
- Coverage for tooth grafting
- Coverage for crowns, cleanings, and build-ups
- Frequencies for panoramic and full mouth x-rays
- Missing tooth clause
- Last date of service
This may seem like a lot to cover, which may be why dental practices need to consider contacting an insurance coordinator rather than handling the tasks themselves, which can cause unnecessary stress and complex time management for employees and dentists.
What is so crucial about verifying dental insurance?
According to reports in recent years, two-thirds of all Americans have dental insurance, meaning around 170 million.
As this number will continue to increase, so will the challenges in verifying dental insurance.
Failing to check over your patient’s insurance benefits will make you unaware if there is a deductible applicable to their first visit, which can cause a loss in profits over time for your dental practice.
In addition to proper verification, you also have to take care of:
- Account reviews
Each of these steps is required for just one patient.
Not to mention, answering benefit questions from patients, submitting claims, and processing insurance payments can take around two or three hours each day.
It’s no surprise that there’s a likely chance that your employees and coworkers will become flustered and overworked by all the work required from processing and verifying dental insurance claims.
What are ways to speed up insurance payments?
The best way to speed up the insurance payments of your practice is to have a trained professional doing it for you and fully dedicated to the task.
With an insurance coordinator, patients will be completely informed of their bills, explicitly concerning what they will owe after the insurance covers their fees.
Preventing patients from being surprised with looming fees is a crucial method to maintain customer satisfaction. Unexpected deductibles, copays, and fees are not something that will keep patients happy and in business.
A costly error that can appear quite often in dental practices is inaccurate patient information. Patients typically change their insurance policies based on their health insurance benefits or which provider they choose to go with, with insurance providers changing their coverage plans each year.
Therefore it’s essential to seek out assistance to ensure that you and your team are up to date on patient benefits and whether or not coverage has been changed.
Providing the best dental care for patients is the main priority of your dental office, meaning you and your colleagues will find it difficult to set aside time talking to insurance companies.
That’s precisely why it’s essential to find a faster way to submit your insurance claims and complete regular follow-ups so your practice can maintain a steady cash flow with timely insurance payments.
The bottom line is greatly affected by the insurance aging report; thus, establishing continuously updated insurance collections and sustaining stable numbers in the report will be crucial for the success of any dental practice.
Dental Support Specialties have systems in place to certify that you will collect insurance payments right on time as owed.