When considering investing in an outsourced dental billing company, most practice owners and managers research extensively on the web. If so, you have probably run into some reviews or discussions outlining the challenges and problems that come with using a dental billing company.
The purpose of this article is to honestly address, with full disclosure, four of the most common challenges dental practices typically associate with outsourced dental billing.
At Dental ClaimSupport, we are on a mission to serve dedicated dentists and their teams by ensuring you get paid by eliminating insurance strain. By eliminating the insurance burden from your team, they can focus on what truly matters… your patients.
We’ve had the opportunity to work with hundreds of dentists and their teams in the United States. The results have been incredible, but there is a caveat. We’re not, and outsourced dental billing is not, a perfect fit for everyone.
Not every dentist has received the results that we know the practice has the potential to see. We have posted hundreds of millions of dollars, worked thousands of claims on insurance aging reports, and sent thousands of claims to insurance companies. We have seen it all: the good, the bad, and the ugly. We’ve seen the well-oiled machines all the way to practices that are on the verge of closing their doors.
Whether you are shopping around or have already begun a working relationship, we are sharing this info to prepare you for your outsourced dental billing experience.
Here are the four most common challenges among outsourced dental billing companies:
- Over Promise – Under Deliver
- No accountability/complacency with the dental billing process
- All talk with limited dental billing expertise
- Poor Communication with your dental team
Challenges With Outsourced Dental Billing: Over Promise, Under Deliver
You can search for dental billing companies all day and be inundated with companies promising to double and triple your collections. Don’t fall into this trap.
The reality is that running a practice is hard. That’s true whether you’re the best dentist in the world, have the best team in the world, or the best patients in the world.
Claim submission issues don’t happen overnight. Your aging report doesn’t triple overnight to $150,000 outstanding. Sure, some issues are easily fixed, but some take time. These are things to consider as the owner of a practice.
Ask yourself, where do you want to be? Where does your office need to improve? You can’t see double the patients tomorrow to double your revenue if your schedule is already full. That’s just not the way it works. What can improve are the methods you use to solve each issue at your practice.
What you really need to do is raise your collections and bottom line. You want to get money into your office that’s been lingering with insurance companies for months.
Challenge: Over Promise, Under Deliver– “We’ll double or triple your collections!”
Solution: Engage in a dental billing company that will prioritize your chief concerns and thoughtfully and intentionally lay out a process to fix them, not just put a bandaid on them.
Challenges With Outsourced Dental Billing: No Accountability/complacency with the dental billing process
There’s never a dull moment in your dental office. There is always something that demands attention. In any business, people need to hold each other accountable. This isn’t to say it has to be someone in an in-house leadership role. It’s simply saying that if things need to get done, someone needs to make sure they get done.
Your outsourced dental billing company is, among other things, making sure your claims are sent, payments posted, and insurance aging reports worked.
Be sure your outsourced billing team doesn’t get complacent when it comes to these duties and that they’re continually pointing out any pitfalls they may see in the practice. Any dental team may struggle with these pitfalls such as data entry, insurance verification, or coding. There could also be issues with clinical notes, documentation, or x-rays that hold up claims and decrease collections. If someone sees these issues and doesn’t speak up and make a plan to correct them, the same mistakes will continue to occur and the practice will lose money.
You need an open line of communication. Be certain that the company you work with understands they can address these issues confidently with your team when they see mistakes being made at the admin level.
You are working together for a common goal, to collect what you produce. Make sure you work with a company sharing that goal.
Challenge: No Accountability/Complacency
Solution: Work together with a company that shares your goals. Speak up when needed!
Challenges With Outsourced Dental Billing Problem: All talk with limited dental billing expertise
Many dental billing companies have popped up in the last few years only to disappear months later. Properly vetting a dental billing company, no different than vetting and hiring anyone in-house, will help alleviate some unwanted stress with beginning the new working relationship. Outsourcing is much more commonplace than in years past.
Do your own research and make sure that the company and services offered align with your needs and office culture. Look for reviews on all billing companies. Ask around and hear from colleagues about their own experience with outsourced dental billing companies. If you need references, all good billing companies should be able to provide many.
Anyone can call themself a dental biller. It’s true. Shoot, anyone can call himself a professional golfer too, but are you going to ask to see results?
There are good dental billers out there that say they are good, and there are bad dental billers out there, that guess what, say they are good!
You know what they call the person that finished last in dental school? Doctor…
This is all true, and it should be no different with an outsourced dental billing company. A good billing company will not hesitate to put you in touch with other dentists that they have worked with before.
Challenge: All talk with limited dental billing expertise
Solution: Ask for references and recommendations
Challenges With Outsourced Dental Billing: Poor communication with your dental team
THIS IS HUGE! Plainly put, it can make or break the relationship when working with an outsourced dental billing company.
There’s an old saying, “the phone works both ways…” Yes, it does. So does email and text and other technology that has made outsourcing a viable option today.
Use all types of communication tools, and make sure the billing company you work with does the same. Building intentional relationships is a must when working with anyone, in-house or outsourced.
Emails, text, and written forms of communication can sometimes get lost in translation. Exceptional dental billing companies make it a point to communicate with you the way you prefer. They also know when to pick up the phone or have a video meeting to actually discuss a situation.
Make sure you seek a company that understands communication is a top priority. Over-communicate and build a healthy working relationship.
Challenge: Poor communication with your dental team
Solution: Over communicate to build a healthy working relationship.
What dental billing is best for my office? In-House or Outsourced
Now that you understand the most common challenges your office may face when working with an outsourced dental billing company, explore some more things that outsourced dental billing can do for you.
Having discussed these external challenges, what’s equally important is understanding the benefits of outsourced dental billing so you can where outsourced dental billing may help your practice.