Are you looking to find a medical billing service for your dental office? Read on to learn how to do it.
With nearly 200,000 dentists working in dentistry, they’ve got your teeth and overall dental health covered. But what about your medical billing?
Dental offices need medical billing as much as any other healthcare provider. Medical billing services can help your office speak to insurance companies, ensure your patients get the best care and help you get paid in on time.
Because most individuals use dental insurance, this makes dental billing a bit more complicated. You don’t operate as a salon, for example, which can have clients pay a fixed fee upon leaving.
So how do you choose the best medical billing service? How do you assemble one? Read on to answer these two questions.
Should We Have a Medical Billing Staff or Outsource?
The question of outsourcing is a big one and one you’ll need to answer fairly quickly after starting your business. Or, you can decide to switch over after several years, but you’ll need to stick to it. Switching is a big decision and not one you should take lightly.
If you decide to have an in-house medical billing staff, you’ll need to have certain professionals on your team. This means you’ll need to budget for their salary.
Additionally, you need to hire those who have proper training. Your office will need a certified medical coder on staff. This may mean hiring and creating a whole new position. Or, it can mean asking a member of your team to take on an additional role.
Your staff will be responsible for ensuring all of your claims are created and followed up on. Your team will also need to manage claim rejections in addition to following up on claims that are taking too long.
Having your staff do your billing can be more cost-efficient. But it can also result in your staff wearing down if you can’t afford to hire an entire billing department. If your employees are doing too many jobs, this can cause irritation and confusion.
If your staff’s attention is on the medical billing side of things, they may not have time for the other aspects of your job.
However, medical billing service or company is often more expensive. It also means trusting someone outside of your company with sensitive data and information.
Your staff will also need to communicate with the outsourced company regularly to ensure ease of claims and that they are processed promptly.
What Does a Dental Medical Billing Company Do?
If you’ve never contracted with a separate medical billing service, the concept may seem foreign to you.
You may not be aware that most doctors and dentists hand over their patient information to a third party. While this might make you uncomfortable, the fact that you are handing over sensitive information means you must find a medical billing company you trust.
We already know a medical billing company handles the bills. But what other functions does it do?
A medical billing company is responsible for creating claims and submitting them to the insurance providers. They are responsible for following up on those claims should they not hear from them promptly. They must process payments made by insurance companies.
Additionally, they will invoice your patients and often follow up on any late or unpaid bills from their side. If your patient does not pay on time, they will refer them to a collection agency.
They may also offer bonus services. These can be medical coding, credentialing, transcription, appointment scheduling and verifying that a patient’s insurance is accepted.
Some medical billing services will follow up on denied claims, while others will leave that to your office staff. Generally, this is something you should know before hiring a service.
You should also know if they will refer patients to collections or follow up with patients who do not pay their bills. Although most service providers offer this, some leave this up to your office’s staff.
Additionally, your provider must comply with the Health Insurance Accountability and Portability Act (HIPAA). They must keep the patient’s data and information completely confidential. Their level of HIPAA must be to the same level your office complies with it.
How Much Do Medical Billing Services Cost for Dentists?
The cost is often dependent on the volume of patients you see. If you’re a smaller mom-and-pop dentist and only see 60 patients a month, you won’t pay as much as a bigger outfit that sees 4,000 patients a month.
Often, the medical billing service gets a cut of your company’s claims earnings turned over to them. This can be anywhere from 3% to 9% of your earnings. They stay in business by operating as a billing service for multiple dental offices.
You will find some services that are fee-based. This means they will charge you a fixed rate per each claim they submit on your behalf. While this can be more cost effective, some complain that there isn’t the incentive for the service to follow up on denied claims. This is because they simply charge for each claim submitted, regardless of the outcome.
What About Medical Billing Company’s Data Storage?
Most companies have data storage that your office can access at any time. This means you can see what is going on with patient claims and know that they haven’t disappeared into the ether.
However, you need to be positive that the storage the medical billing service uses is totally HIPAA compliant. This means that a data breach is unlikely. Or, if there is one, your patients’ data is not compromised.
How Do I Know Which Medical Billing Service to Choose?
There is a myriad of medical billing services you can choose for any of your dental offices. But you should consider the above points.
Before hiring a service, you should also take their reputation, specialization and years they have been in service into consideration. This will help you choose the best service for your office.
For more information on selecting the right medical billing service, visit our website.
Author: Mike Cynar
Mike Cynar brings buyers and sellers together by producing reviews and creating non biased webpages allowing users to share their experiences on various products and services. He and his staff write informative articles related to the medical field, legal, and other small business industries.