By Krysten Garduno
From the Fall 2020 Journal of the Colorado Dental Association
With Halloween coming, let’s talk about a word that’s not so scary: outsourcing. In an effort to reduce overhead and direct labor costs, business owners are depending on professional help outside of their businesses. Although this may seem alarming for some, outsourcing is really in the entrepreneur’s favor.
Outsourcing industries have become fiercely competitive. This means more options for customizable quotes, higher security, and an elite level of service. For business owners to confidently outsource, the expert level of knowledge and client experience must be top notch to keep up with the ever-changing world of instant gratification.
The dental revenue cycle is no different than the most outsourced tasks like accounting, recruiting, or even payroll services. Like-minded owners choose to partner with companies that can shoulder the burden so doctors can focus on the practice, not the business. The movement to virtual dental billing has been growing steadily for several years and has proven to provide a level of service that most dental offices struggle to achieve within the practice.
When a practice owner makes the decision to partner with a virtual dental billing company, the perks are endless. One of the biggest benefits of joining forces is reducing the cost to your practice of employee turnover. Sure, outsourcing companies can make a bad hire from time to time; but the financial and emotional burden is no longer the responsibility of the dental practice. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employee turnover can reach up to 30% in loss of the employee’s first-year earnings. In addition to not having to be accountable for turnover, the practice is no longer responsible for payroll taxes, vacation, holiday, or benefit packages for the billing expert.
The most valuable piece of outsourcing your dental billing services is the level of knowledge you gain by hiring a professional biller. In today’s competitive market, high-performing billers must have industry expertise and pursue continuing education to stay on the cutting edge of dental insurance terminology, coding, and claim processing. Specialists at this level have tunnel vision on your revenue cycle because they do not deal with common in-practice distractions such as phone calls from patients, treatment plan acceptance, or filling the schedule.
Having one area of expertise also provides professional billers with a deeper understanding of narratives and coding. When the annual ADA codes are changed, partnering with a virtual dental billing company will give you access to a professional who can discuss the changes and review the claims you are sending out to ensure clean claim submission.
Most business owners are entrepreneurs with big dreams, but they are also realists—making it important to discuss the bumps in the road that virtual billing companies can cause for your practice. Choosing to create a healthier AR with outsourcing will require a grace period for systems to run smoothly. There are always internal preferences of a practice that need to be learned and it’s important to have a constant flow of communication. Some red flags that may be important to you and your practice to watch for are: outsourced employees working from home (although during this COVID time, some considerations should be made), current client online reviews, security and HIPAA regulations, and/or the level of expert experience your partner will have. These are all great questions to ask when interviewing a company that you are looking to partner with for revenue cycle management.
By releasing the burden of employee turnover, increasing your office collections, and having a professional resource whose sole purpose is managing the efficiency of your dental revenue cycle, you’ll find more time for what truly matters: patient care.
Krysten Garduno is the dental billing manager at Avitus Dental Management Solutions. You can contact her at email@example.com or 303-557-7774.