Patients have come to expect their dentist to understand their insurance plan. Therefore, being familiar with our patient’s insurance benefits and giving them a ballpark estimate (with the disclaimer) helps them feel more comfortable making decisions about their dental health and confident in their dental provider. We recommend to our clients to call the insurance company to get a benefit overview before the patient’s first appointment so they can appear knowledgeable and provide the service that the patient expects.
Follow-up is another critical piece of the insurance puzzle. The faster you get paid from the insurance company the sooner you can provide your patients with their final amount due, which can help avoid the frustration of a patient receiving a statement months after a procedure.
To ensure faster payment it is best to return requests for additional information within a week, this will also help claims from falling through the cracks and exceeding any time limits for filing. Once a claim is over 30 days old the insurance company should be contacted. We recommend that the practice protocol is to follow-up on aging claims over 30 days on a weekly basis. While this may seem overwhelming at first, once you are caught up it is relatively simple task that can pay off in dividends.
While dealing with insurance isn’t always a favorite, it is essential that it remains a priority and that the practice enforces protocols that helps the team stay on top of it on an ongoing basis.