November 18, 2014
Dental billing can be a daunting, time-consuming task. Some of the common dental procedures have low billing value. If error-free claims are not submitted on time dental practices can start losing revenue. It is thus important for dentists to monitor the practice’s billing procedures. This will help them identify billing errors that not only affect revenue but also create red flag for insurance audits.
Here are six common dental billing errors that can affect the revenue of a dental practice:
Not mentioning correct treatment date in the submitted claim
Failing to show other insurance coverage
Not collecting deductibles or full co-payment routinely
Waiving off co-payments or deductibles
Submission of claims for covered services when a non-covered service was conducted
Not applying the correct code for rendered services
These mistakes result in substantial revenue loss for the practice. It is necessary to ensure that a procedure is billed only if it has been performed. This mistake is caused when billing gets initiated at the beginning of a treatment or during the treatment. If the billing staff is not trained, he / she just bills as per the dental treatment plan assuming that all the procedures were performed even if they were not completed that day.
Finding Ways to Recover Lost Revenue
In case of Medicare the government doesn’t accept “clerical errors” as a defense. Once improper billing procedures have been identified, dentists need to find ways to recover lost revenue.
Monitor Billing Process
They need to get involved in the billing procedure because fraudulent billing practices can prove to be very expensive. By being proactive and monitoring all the billing patterns, any type of billing issue can be prevented.
Dentists should review the third party payer contracts on their own rather than leaving this responsibility on a staff. They should review and / or audit the insurance claims history in a periodic manner to find out any inconsistencies. A patient’s financial chart should also be reviewed to make sure that all treatment has been billed.
Track Insurance Ageing
Special attention should be given to the batch of claims that have not been paid by the insurance company. Loopholes in documentation should be removed because insurance companies deny claims if there are errors in the documentation. If there are suspended claims waiting to be processed, immediate attention should be given to get them cleared.
Educate the Patient about Payments
Informing the patients about the dental practice’s collection policy for deductibles and co-pays is also very important. The front desk staff should be trained to offer this information to every patient at the time of scheduling appointments.
Similar to any other medical specialty, dentists are also held responsible in case of fraudulent billing practices. But considering the increasing paperwork, documentation requirements, coding complexities and compliance to HIPAA and other reforms, many dentists have started to outsource dental billing services to companies like MedicalBillersandCoders.com.
Outsourcing partners for dental billing like MBC have a team of coders who are acquainted with ADCA (American Dental Coders Association). They are well versed in dental coding techniques and the industry requirements that are necessary for dental billing. MBC is the perfect choice for dentists looking for dental billing services in Florida or in Texas. While an expert team handles all dental billing requirements, dentists can use their time to concentrate on quality care provision.