By Robert McDermott, President and CEO, iCoreConnect
From the Fall 2022 Journal of the Colorado Dental Association
While it may be cliche, the adage “time is money” is one of the reasons why so many dental practices are looking at ways to increase efficiency. Often, workflow friction costs dentists and dental organizations money as office staff are tied up with administrative tasks that, simply put, eat into their ability to perform other tasks—the kind of tasks that generate revenue. Insurance verification, for example, is one task that, while vital, can be remarkably time consuming.
What if there was an easy way to get that time back? To free up staff, improve patient care and drive revenue? Automated insurance verification does just that—consider if it’s a good fit for your practice.
What is Insurance Verification?
Insurance verification is a vital step in patient and practice administration. Prior to treating a patient, medical and dental offices must first verify with insurance companies that the treatment or procedure is covered by the patient’s policy. Additionally, this process allows office staff to be open and transparent about any costs the patient may be responsible for. Finally, it’s the first step in ensuring your practice is reimbursed by the insurance company for treatment.
Insurance Verification Challenges
For many dental practices and organizations, much of the insurance verification process is still manual. As a result, it’s incredibly time consuming and can be prone to human error.
For example, many patients fill out insurance forms prior to their first visit, and when those processes aren’t digital, handwriting and legibility issues can result in incorrect information. Additionally, data entry can cause errors as well, resulting in a denial requiring additional time to resolve issues.
Another insurance verification challenge is that insurance policies change all the time. What was covered last year may not be covered this year.
Finally, the biggest challenge many dental practices face with insurance verification is how it ties up vital resources. Manual insurance verifications force staff to make multiple phone calls to insurance companies with long hold times and back and forth communication via email and/or fax. Many dental organizations are also still trying to recover from staffing shortages. Having administrative staff spend hours communicating back and forth with insurance companies or tracking down verification errors is wasted time that could be spent on many other tasks.
Insurance Verification Contributes to Administrative Costs
If we look at the insurance verification process more closely, we can start to see the ways that traditional insurance verification methods consume valuable resources.
First, the best outcome for your practice and your patient is to complete verification prior to the patient’s appointment. To do that, patient’s need to fill out forms in advance. The digital information then needs to be entered into the patient’s records.
Next, your team must communicate with the insurance company. The administrative team must work to connect with the insurance provider to verify coverage for the anticipated procedure or treatment. Should additional treatments or procedures be needed, this may require additional calls from your administrative staff to the insurance provider.
Assuming all things go well, 20-30 hours a week can be spent on insurance verification and that’s nearly a full-time job. Imagine what your team could do, when it comes to patient care and practice management, with an extra 20-30 hours each week!
Automated Insurance Verification Reduces Administrative Costs
One of the easiest ways you can get those hours back, free up your administrative team, reduce errors, and reduce costs is by investing in automated insurance verification software. Automated insurance verification software reduces the potential for errors and, with the right software solution, the amount of time your team spends on the process.
When looking for an automated insurance verification solution, be sure that these six core functions are available, so ROI is realized:
- Provides benefits information for every patient on your schedule—no more verifying one patient at time
- Connects to thousands of insurance providers ensuring policy and benefits information are up to date
- Identifies reporting errors so you can correct them and automatically reruns the report saving time in troubleshooting and reporting
- Shows remaining coverage amounts for patients, ensuring they get the treatment they need and deserve
- Generates lists of unscheduled treatments, allowing you to schedule with patients before they leave the office
- Saves your team time and your practice money, all while helping you keep a steady revenue stream
Nearly every dental practice is looking for ways to better utilize human resources, reduce costs, streamline services, and improve efficiency. Much like every other industry, the digital transformation and automation of time consuming and repetitive tasks promises to change the way you run your dental practice.
CDA Enterprises endorses iCoreConnect’s iCoreVerify. iCoreVerify completes automated insurance verifications up to seven days in advance for every patient on the schedule. Book a demo at icoreconnect.com/CO9 or call 888-810-7706. CDA members receive substantial discounts on iCoreVerify by iCoreConnect.