Billing insurance is no simple task. There are many pieces to assemble when it comes the puzzling world of insurance:  eligibility, maximum, deductible, coinsurance, contract year, coordination of benefits, downgrades, frequencies, limitations, exclusions … the list seems to go on forever. Then, just when you feel like you have insurance benefits under control, you find that you must focus on collecting from the insurance company. The endless requests for additional information, not to mention the mind-numbing conversations with the insurance phone representatives, can certainly take a toll on an insurance billing team.

One Simple Setting

Instead of diving right into the unrelenting world of insurance, I would like to focus on a simple setting that can relieve your team of a very important setup item. A setup item so important that, if left incomplete, you may not directly receive reimbursement from the insurance company for the services you performed. Let’s say your office is like many others, and you are accepting insurance payments directly from the insurance company. In order for the insurance company to release a patient’s benefit payment directly to your office, you are required to obtain the patient’s consent.

  • The consent to Release Of (the patient’s) Information to the insurance company states that the patient agrees for you to release their personal treatment and demographic details (where necessary) to aid in the collection of fee amounts to cover services rendered.
  • Additionally, the consent to Assignment of Benefits is an authorization given by the patient for the insurance company to release benefits directly to the dentist, instead of sending the monies to the patient directly.

The figure below represents the authorization and consent given by the patient, as it is shown on the ADA claim form submitted to an insurance company.

***Disclosure:  Before moving forward with making any alternations to your current practices, it is advised to seek out a review of your insurance contracts and obligations set forth by your individual state laws and dental governing boards.***

Many dentists choose to incorporate these written consents into their patient information forms, more commonly referred to as new patient paperwork. Since the agreements exist in writing between the dentist and the patient, the dentist may elect to notify the insurance company of such agreement by marking the Release of Information and Assignment of Benefits boxes on the claim form as shown in the figure above.

Easy Dental has the capability of automating the process of notifying the insurance company on the dental insurance claims, making the claim submission process that much easier. By selecting to Default the Signature on File, you are advising the insurance company that your patient provided written consent to the Release of Information and Assignment of Benefits clauses.

To set these preferences:

  1. Access the Reports screen in Easy Dental.
  2. Click to open the Maintenance menu.
  3. Select Preferences.

Checking the boxes for Release of Information and Assignment of Benefits will automatically select those boxes for all new insurance plans attached to patients in the future. It is important to know that selecting these boxes will not change any current selections attached to patient insurance plans.

Preferences window displayed here reflects the current version of Easy Dental 12.

David Broom is Senior Director of Product and Business Development. David has a master’s degree in Information Technology (IT) from the University of Texas in Dallas and has more than 35 years of experience from many global companies such as Hitachi Vantara, Methode Electronics, and Keane, Inc. In his current role, he is responsible for all aspects of the product management and field service teams at Henry Schein TechCentral, which identifies the ideal advanced technologies to meet the unique needs of the dental market and ensure that dental offices are using the right IT to be more efficient and effective.