From time to time, I encounter a dental practice that is still scheduling in a paper calendar and documenting all patient transactions by paper ledger and paper charts. When I encounter this paper atmosphere of documentation, my heart skips a beat and I immediately become excited for them because they have no idea what is coming in terms of workflow efficiency. This office has no idea the time they will save in their daily processes or the enhancements they will naturally implement into their patient care routine by simply employing a few simple changes in documentation.

I had the opportunity to work with an office this past week that operated in a very “paper-forward” environment. It was during some of our very early discussions that we had set out goals for converting their processes. The biggest concern expressed by the doctor and manager was the office’s inefficiency with insurance receivable management. And rightly so, as their current protocol was to print paper claims, photo copy the claims to file in their “unpaid claims” drawer and submit the claim by mail. When the claim payment was received, they would retrieve the claim copy from the unpaid claim drawer and shred. I am pleased to report, the very first task they set out to accomplish was electronic claim submission and tracking.

During our very first revenue cycle management class, the insurance manager spoke up. She explained that she had very deep concerns with changing “her ways” when it came to insurance claim submission and claim tracking. After all, this process had worked for her for over 20 years. I began to demonstrate the electronic claim submission process, showing her just how easy the process was and how much time it would save her. She was somewhat impressed, but not convinced. Shortly after the claim submission demonstration, I gave the insurance manager a preview of the reports she could produce on a daily basis to track her claim submission. She was immediately sold. All of her tracking processes were very time consuming and she would only get around to completing the tasks when she had time, which was maybe once a month or once every other month.

An EASY Report to Ensure Timely Insurance Filing

There is a handful of key reports in Easy Dental that will make or break your success with insurance claim management. One insurance report that is a must-use is the Procedures Not Attached To Insurance report. Simply put, this report provides you with a list of procedures charged to patients that have insurance, but the service was not billed to the insurance plan. In a paper heavy workflow, it could take anywhere from 30 days to 90 days to recognize the missed insurance billing. Are you willing to wait 30 days before a claim is submitted for services you should be paid for today? I am confident you answered “no” to that question, so let’s discuss a report to help you ensure services are billed to insurance in a timely fashion.

Running the Procedures Not Attached To Insurance Report

This is a report that I would run weekly (if not daily).

  1. From the Reports module, access Account Reports.
  2. Select Procedure Not Attached to Insurance.
  3. Select your report filters. You may filter by patient name, provider, and/or procedure date.
    Note: Be careful with procedure date. Backdating this report too far may capture patients who now have insurance, but did not have coverage linked to them in the past. This could cause Easy Dental to falsely report services that were posted when no insurance was linked to the patient.

Reading the Procedure Not Attached to Insurance Report

The report is simple and to the point. It provides just the information you need to determine if the service should have been reported to the insurance carrier.

  • Patient Name
  • Date- the procedure date or the date the service was performed in the office
  • Tooth/Code/Description/Amount – all transaction data pulled from the Account
  • Expires – the last date the insurance plan will accept the claim; AKA Timely Filing Date. This date is set up within the insurance plan coverage table.

With a little coaching and a little time, the insurance manager I worked with this past week will develop an easy routine that will provide her with the efficiency she needs to receive insurance payments in a timely fashion. She will quickly eliminate overdue insurance payments, allowing her more time to focus on other insurance challenges she may be facing.

What do you feel are your biggest insurance challenges within the practice? Do you know your over 90 days insurance aging total? Do you have a high rate of denied insurance claims? Easy Dental provides simple reporting tools to help you evaluate your current processes. Comment here or contact me directly at [email protected] if you feel you may benefit from some simple enhancements to your insurance workflow.

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.