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3 Pitfalls of Improper Dental Billing and Coding

Ask a dentist what is the most confusing part of dentistry, and you won’t hear about complex surgical extractions or innovative periodontal treatment. You’ll hear, “Dental billing and insurance!” Billing and coding can be incredibly complex, and, unfortunately, mistakes in this area can have serious repercussions for your practice

At Dental Practice Enhancement, we offer remote administrative services specifically for dental offices. We understand the complexities of dental billing, and we stay up-to-date regarding all the latest changes to coding and insurance. With our remote billing services, we can take the pressure off of your team so that they can focus on providing a great patient experience. We also offer administrative and financial training.

To learn whether remote dental billing might be a good fit for your practice, contact us today.

1. You Set Yourself Up for Legal Action

The most alarming consequence of a dental billing mistake is that you could find yourself facing a charge of fraud. Insurance billing mistakes are frighteningly easy. And, unfortunately, courts don’t care whether your error was intentional or accidental. Examples of fraudulent claims include:

  • Listing someone other than the treating dentist as the provider on a claim
  • “Down-coding,” i.e., listing a lesser service than what was actually performed
  • “Up-coding,” i.e., listing a more complex procedure than what was actually performed
  • Failure to bundle claims, submitting claims for individual procedures, instead of one large treatment

If found guilty of fraud, dentists can face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, loss of their practices, and even imprisonment

2. You Wind Up with Dissatisfied Patients

Simple mistakes, like leaving a patient’s name off of an insurance claim, listing the wrong policy number, or using the wrong diagnosis code can lead to a claim denial. Even if the matter is eventually resolved and the claim paid out, you will likely have done irreparable damage to your patient-doctor trust.

3. You Create a Headache for Yourself 

Ineffective dental billing not only creates a problem for your patients; it can become a major hassle for your office. When claims aren’t submitted in a timely fashion, the paperwork starts to stack up – fast! Now your administrative team is struggling to catch up on old paperwork and keep up with current patient needs. 

Worse, different insurance providers have varying windows of time in which claims can be submitted. Though some may give you up to a year, others limit it to 90 days. That’s a significant amount of time, and you don’t want to get it mixed up!

How to Avoid Dental Billing Errors 

So how do you avoid these potentially catastrophic mistakes? One of the easiest ways is to outsource your dental billing. The remote administrators at Dental Practice Enhancement can deal with both ends of the process – the insurance company and the patient, making follow-up calls and sending emails as needed. 

Prefer to keep everything in house? We also offer financial administrative training. We can guide your front-office team in establishing policies to make your dental billing process efficient, effective, and error-free.

Contact Dental Practice Enhancement to Learn about Remote Dental Billing

To find out if a remote billing service is right for you or to learn more about our training, contact our administrative experts.

Complete our online contact form or call (833) DPE- FOR – U.

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