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Worry-free insurance verification

Opencare takes the guesswork and effort out of insurance verification.

As a hard-working dental professional, you want to get paid what you’re worth, right? Unfortunately, many dentists are not collecting as much as they are owed on their dental claims. If you’re one of them, that means you’re missing out on thousands of dollars each month.

So how do you find out if you’re collecting what you should be? More importantly, since it’s likely that you’re not, what needs to change to make that happen? Let’s discuss.

The 99% collection rate benchmark

If you’re not already aware of this, a healthy dental practice should be collecting 99% of production. Because of the monthly fluctuations of insurance receivables and other payment cycles, you shouldn’t measure this over a short-term period. So, look at your collection percentage over a one-year period

If your practice is like most dental offices, you’re probably collecting about 91-92% of your production. You might think that’s pretty good. After all, that percentage will earn you the coveted ‘A’ in school. Anything over 90% is good, right? 

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Well, not when you realize how much money you’re missing out on. For example, if your production is a nice even $100,000 per month, 91% means you’re missing out on $9,000 per month! It gets even worse when you look at the whole year. You’re leaving $108,000 (more than one entire month’s revenue) on the table.

Why aren’t you collecting what you’re owed?

Why is this happening? Who is dropping the ball at your practice?

It’s likely that there isn’t one specific reason. Dental billing and claims can be complicated and keeping track of all the little details is time-consuming. What’s worse, many dental office employees simply don’t have the time to be managing it all. 

You’re running a busy practice and your staff is hard at work with many tasks. The front-desk staff, who are usually responsible for billing and payments, wear a lot of hats. They are responsible for promptly answering the phone every time it rings. Plus, they must greet patients with a bright, warm smile and ensure their visit is pleasant from the moment they walk in the door. 

When there isn’t an immediate need with a patient in front of them, they have to squeeze in verifying insurance, scheduling dentist appointments, calling about outstanding insurance claims, auditing patient accounts, presenting treatment plans, preparing and sending outstanding patient statements – and the list goes on. That’s a lot for anyone to manage!

Ask yourself if any of these things have ever happened in your practice (or worse, happen often).

  • The front desk person was busy with the insurance company on the phone and a patient left without paying their copay
  • Your phone is often tied up with patients calling about their insurance statements or bills, making it hard for other patients to get through to schedule new appointments
  • Said phone calls take far too long because the person at the front desk is trying to figure out and explain the issue with the patient’s statement
  • Your front desk staff get stuck fielding calls from upset patients who didn’t appreciate how their billing was handled
  • Your outstanding patient collectibles are slowly (or not-so-slowly) piling up
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Last but not least, you are seeing less-than-glowing online reviews from patients upset with the financial side of things. We don’t have to tell you how crucial positive reviews are and watching your average go down for billing issues is disheartening, to say the least.

Now, before you go jumping down your employees’ throats about missing this money or unintentionally upsetting patients, remember, they are juggling a lot. There are tools you could be giving them to succeed that they don’t have. 

How to ensure you’re collecting what you’re owed

So, it’s time to get more organized about your financials and up your collection rate for dental claims. How do you do it? The first thing is to set clear payment goals. From there, you need to figure out how to meet them. 

Meet the 99% collection rate

The 99% collection percentage that we already mentioned should be your first goal. But how do you improve your collection rate? Your staff is already working hard to ensure you get paid, you can’t just grouch at them to work harder. 

Collect 99% of your claims

We settle your claims, so you don’t settle for less.

It might seem unrealistic to you to reach this standard, but we can tell you it’s not. It can be a little difficult when you task your front staff people with doing it, but not when you take advantage of a service like ours. 

Here at Opencare, through our revenue cycle management service, we take care of the financial side of things – particularly dealing with insurance companies and explaining patient benefits. We are proud to note that our collection rate is 99% – a standard we stick to. 

Furthermore, by reducing the burden on your front staff, they’ll be able to provide your patients with better customer service. When your patients walk in, they’ll be met with a bright smile and a greeting rather than someone politely gesturing for them to wait while they finish their phone conversation. 

Ensure no more than 20% of your accounts receivable are 60 days or older

It’s good bookkeeping to make sure no more than 20% of your accounts receivable are over 60 days old. By sticking to this, you’re ensuring 4 out of 5 of your patient accounts are paying on time.

However, keep in mind that the aging report in your computer program will probably only track from the date of service, not the date of the last payment. The date of the last payment lets you know if the patient is keeping up with the payment plan you arranged with them.

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Again, a service like Opencare makes it much easier to keep track of these accounts. Your front desk staff doesn’t necessarily have the time to be checking the aging reports, payment histories, and contacting patients who have fallen behind. 

Outsource your claims processing

We are dedicated to helping dentists succeed at providing their patients with a high standard of oral health. With Opencare, patients can find a dentist near them that we’ll select and match to their preferences. This ensures you get a quality lead when we send you a new patient. 

Plus, when you take advantage of our revenue cycle management service, you can take all the headaches out of the financial side of your business. Improve your collection rate and enjoy all the proceeds of your work the easy way.

No more will your front office staff be stressed and pulled in different directions trying to answer customer questions about insurance or talking to insurance companies all day. Instead, they can offer your patients the five-star customer service they deserve. 

Get started today and start enjoying the 99% collection rate you deserve. Now that’s something to smile about.