The foundation of a solid financial system is built by addressing situations that you encounter daily.
Systems, systems, systems! You hear about systems all the time, but what happens if your system is based on a changing premise? That is what today’s insurance and financial coordinators are faced with. Once you decide how you will handle primary and secondary insurance in your office, you are faced with new contract templates that don’t follow previous guidelines. The way you handled timely filing deadlines must now be adjusted since they’ve begun to constrict time periods.
Your focus should be on setting up systems that could (and should!) be re-evaluated for factors such as network changes, economic stressors, and staffing changes. What questions interrupt your conversations with patients? Have you had to:
- Stop the conversation to check with the doctor?
- Scroll back through the Ledger to see what insurance you filed last time?
- Do some quick thinking because a patient complained of receiving less of a courtesy than their neighbor/friend/co-worker?
- Call the insurance company to find out which fee schedule to use?
If you’ve done any of this, you’re not alone. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Think of all the different situations that could interrupt your financial or treatment presentation. Then come up with guidelines on how to handle these situations.
As you craft your own financial guidelines, ask yourself basic questions like “which third party finance companies do we use?” Then ask yourself more complicated questions like “how do we handle finances when a custody decree is in place?” These are the situations that are best to address before you are on the spot. The goal is to have no more headaches!
To receive a copy of a template to help you craft your financial guidelines, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Dentrix BDC.”
Visit www.dentrix.com/products/eservices/ecentral/insurance-manager to get ideas about how to incorporate the Insurance Manager into your financial processes.
Read “12 Rules for the Insurance Game” for other guidelines you can follow to manage insurance in your practice.
By Teresa Duncan, MS, FAADOM
With over 20 years of healthcare experience, Teresa addresses topics such as Insurance Coding, Office Manager Training and Revenue Growth and Protection. Her memberships include the National Speakers Association and the Academy of Dental Management Consultants. She was recently named one of the Top 25 Women in Dentistry. Teresa received her Master’s Degree in Healthcare Management.
Published as part of a collection of key takeaways from the 2017 Business of Dentistry Conference, along with:
- Creating the Ideal Service Culture in Your Practice
- Managing Employee Performance in a More Effective and Contemporary Way
- Insider Perspectives: State of the Dental Industry
- Dental Marketing Made Easy: Using Social Media to Get the Best Patients
- The Magic of Effective Communication
Originally published in Dentrix Magazine, Winter 2017