With the start of a new year, how to handle dental insurance may be a top priority for your team. Specifically, how should you handle insurance verification since it can be very time-consuming? As you can imagine, this subject can result in different answers, depending on who you ask. My goal in this article is to present a few items to think about so you can decide on the best answer for your practice.
As anyone who has done this task will tell you, it takes a lot of time depending on what information needs to be received from the insurance company. Some are very specific regarding the information they need, and others just want to know very basic things. Insurance companies will give you a patient breakdown on their website, a fax, or over the phone. This is where it can become very time-consuming since there is no standard that all insurance companies follow.
How often should you verify insurance?
I think it is best to always make sure a patient is eligible to receive insurance benefits. That is a quick check each visit. Patients change jobs and benefits may not be as consistent as they have been in the past. I am often asked about how to handle larger employer plans and if that needs to be checked each visit. You can save some time if you have a recent breakdown on each group and plan number. Remember that each employer may have several different options for their employees, so you will always need to know of any changes that occur to those benefits.
Is there a competitive advantage?
I think having this information and being able to help your patients navigate and fully use their benefits is a competitive advantage. By having this information available, you are building that relationship of trust between the doctor, practice, and patient. You are the expert when it comes to dental insurance and how to help further the relationship with your patients.
This is one area where you can be patient-focused instead of insurance-driven. Having those conversations correctly is key. Using the benefits their employers have given them will help you partner with your patients and further help to build loyalty to the practice. We know patients have no idea what their policies cover and having those conversations is such a great opportunity to educate your patients as well. Spending this time with your patients will also have the added benefit of increasing your case acceptance. I have seen offices truly partner with employers in their area by helping them understand the benefits before a package is chosen. This helps everyone involved.
Can I outsource insurance verification?
If this task is too time-consuming for a team member in your practice, yes, there are many companies that can perform this task for you.
I present all of these options to you so you can choose the best one for you and your practice. I believe the practices that place the relationship with their patients as a priority will continue to distinguish themselves from other practices that do not. I also share a few thoughts in the video below.
Lynne Leggett is the founder and CEO of Victory Dental Management and the author of You Can't Coach Quit: How to Create a Winning Dental Practice for Your Success. She has more than 25 years of business experience in several industries, including dentistry, medical, pharmacy, sales, transportation, logistics, and project management. Learn more about her and her services, including some free offerings, on the Victory Dental Management website.
The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.