Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Monday, December 23, 2013
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
- Storms, power outages, and theft can happen at any moment. If you don’t have a disaster plan in place at your office, you are not only dead in the water but you are violating a major part of the HIPAA Security Rule. The HIPAA Security Rule states that we must have a disaster plan documented. In my office, having immediate access to my patient’s information is part of that plan. If our office is closed and I have lost access to my office computers, the most efficient and immediate way for me to contact my patients is through Dentrix Mobile.
- If your office performs surgical procedures, I would highly recommend someone following up with those surgical patients in the early evening. You want to make sure they are following your post-op instruction protocol as written so they do not have any complications to the procedures. You can also see if they are having any reactions to any medications you have prescribed. This is also a great marketing tool. It doesn’t take very long to make this phone call and the rewards can be tremendous. With Dentrix Mobile, you can view your appointment book and have access to patient information so you can easily see the patients who need a follow-up call.
- In every area of the country, you will have patients who will randomly call the on-call phone number seeking out drugs. Your doctor will inevitably get an after-hours phone call from someone making up a story that they were just in and having pain and could the doctor please phone in a prescription for Vicodin to the pharmacy. If the doctor is using Dentrix Mobile, he or she has immediate access to see if the patient is truly a patient of the office, the last appointment date, and the patient’s prescription history. This will save the doctor a trip into the office and the patient will have an answer quickly.
Monday, December 2, 2013
- Fee Schedules . . . The Method of Choice for PPO Plans As I said in my last post, using Dentrix’s Fee Schedules takes a little bit of management but produces huge benefits! I am amazed at how many offices don’t know this Dentrix feature exists for setting up and managing fee schedules. If you are in one of those offices, it’s time to find it and use it – you’ll be so glad you did. Let’s walk through it together so that you can start seeing those benefits sooner than later. Click here to read more . . .
- Fee Schedules or Write Offs . . . That is the Question This is the hot topic in my home state of Washington since our largest dental insurance company recently slashed our filed fees by 15% or more on June 15th. Several offices I work with have called me asking for advice on how to deal with it now that even the non-PPO plans are working under a much lower fee schedule. Before I give my two cents I want you to understand the differences between using a fee schedule and using adjustments. Click here to read more . . .
- The 5 Minute Morning Huddle Does this sound familiar? You walk into the office in the morning, say “good morning” to all your team mates and put your lunch in the fridge. The hygienists are busy sharpening their instruments for a day of root planing and scaling, the doctor is in the lab finishing up that nightguard that is due at 8:00am and the dental assistants are setting up trays for the day making sure all the lab cases are in. Click here to read more . .
- The New Patient Experience . . . the initial telephone call You know that old saying: “You never have a second chance to make a first impression”? Well that old saying still means a lot in this day when exceptional customer service is so hard to find. How your front office team handles the very first phone call from a new patient not only establishes the patient’s perception of how his or her visit will go, it even impacts the likelihood that they will refer their friends and family. Click here to read more . . .
- Become super efficient with templates In my most recent article, “The three core components when transitioning to electronic health records,” I talked a lot about efficiency and consistency. For all the Dentrix users, I want to give you some help when it comes to building templates, which can be a huge time-saver in your office. Here are some of my favorite template tips. Click here to read more . . .
- A Little Known Secret If you are transitioning from paper to paperless, do you find that you are scanning paper all the time? Does the paper pile up in the “to be scanned” box and sit there, just waiting for someone to have free time to take care of it? When I work with offices on their paper storage management, I am surprised by how many offices don’t know about the “Send to Dentrix Document Center” feature. I actually received two e-mails about it this week so I thought I would “shout it out” to all of you. Click here to read more . . .
- The 5 Stats Every Office Should Monitor When I say “monitor,” I don’t mean you write the numbers down on your spreadsheet, stick it in the 3-ring binder, and forget about it. I mean you are writing it down, discussing it with your doctor, talking about it with your team, and coming up with strategies as a team to improve it or high-fiving each other because you are exceeding your expectations. Numbers tell a story. The numbers help you reinvent systems, protocols, and campaigns. Click here to read more . . .
- Don’t Let Unused Insurance Benefits go to Waste September is the perfect time to send out a reminder to your patients who have unused dental insurance benefits. Sending it out now will hopefully get patients to call in sooner instead of waiting until the middle of December when it gets down to crunch time on the calendar. There are two different methods I am going to talk about today: using your Dentrix software to create a mass merge letter and, for those of you using DemandForce, how to merge a list and send out an e-mail campaign. Click here to read more . . .
- At Some Point We Need to Let the Patient Go Recently, I was in an office doing some training on the Practice Advisor Report and we were talking about the “Active Patient” count and how Dentrix comes up with that number. I informed them that, with the Practice Advisor Report, you determine the definition of an “active patient” using the amount of time it has been since the patient was in last for an appointment. This led to a new discussion of what was their protocol for patients who haven’t been in for 18, 24, or even 60 months? We ran a search of patients with a last visit date of more than five years ago and the list had more than 700 patients on it. They were shocked! Click here to read more . . .
Holes in your Doctor’s Schedule? What do you do when, during a patient’s continuing care appointment, the doctor diagnoses a tooth that needs a crown and the patient leaves without scheduling it? Have you ever wondered how much unscheduled treatment you have on your books, and how your team is following up on it? Looking for some new ways to reach out to your patients? Click here to read more . . .
Monday, November 25, 2013
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Unscheduled Treatment . . . the urgency is now!
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Thursday, October 17, 2013
- Create and send the pre-estimate claim form from the patient’s ledger. From the ledger, click on the Treatment Plan page by selecting Options > Treatment Plan. You can define the color of this page so it’s not confused with the actual ledger page. To change the color of this page, go to File > Ledger Colors Setup > then choose your personal color scheme. Once you are on the Treatment Plan page, if the patient has treatment planned procedures on this page, you can simply select the line items and click on the insurance icon to batch the pre-estimate. If there are no treatment planned procedures you can add them from this page by clicking on Transaction > Enter Procedure. Now you can attach any electronic X-ray or image and also document the clinical narrative in the Remarks for Unusual Service box and this pre-estimate is ready to go out with your next batch of eClaims.
- Just like you would follow up on unpaid insurance claims, I would suggest checking on unprocessed pre-estimates exactly the same way. Go to your Office Manager > Reports > Ledger > Pre-Treatment Estimate Aging Report. Filling your doctor’s schedule might depend on making sure these pre-estimates are being received in a timely manner. (insert image)
- When the Pre-Treatment EOB is sent to your office showing the itemized approval of the procedures, you will want to enter the pre-estimate just like you would a payment on an actual claim. Go to the Ledger > Options > Treatment Plan to switch to the Treatment Plan page (or you can click on the TX icon on the toolbar). Double-click on the claim form and click on Enter Estimate. Now you can itemize each procedure and what the insurance company is going to pay on each line item and document the reference number for this pre-estimate. It is important to receive your pre-estimates just like an actual claim because it will give you a more accurate out-of-pocket for your patient. Remember, it clears it off the aging report and closes it on the ledger.
- If you have finished this last step, the patient has completed the treatment, and you are now creating an actual insurance claim, it will automatically insert the Pre-Treatment Estimate reference number onto the actual claim so you don’t have to look it up. Pretty slick, huh?
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
- If the patient has dual insurance and the primary pays in full, make sure you create the secondary and then pay it off with a $0 payment immediately. This will ensure that the secondary claim doesn’t sit on your Insurance Aging Report as an open claim.
- When you need to check on a past due claim, make sure you are documenting all information or phone conversations in the claim status note box. These notes will print on your Insurance Aging Report for easy follow-up. (image here)
- If an insurance payment was sent to the patient, make sure you apply a $0 payment on the claim to close it out and make a note in the claim status notes box.
- If you are using the eCentral Insurance Eligibility feature, you also have access to electronic claim status and the archive of your transmission reports. When you have a DCN (Document Control Number) from the insurance company that they have received the claim, copy and paste this number in the claim status notes. This way, when you are calling on a past due claim, you have that DCN ready and this could prevent you from having to resubmit the claim.
Holes in your doctors schedule?
Resubmitting a partial EOB . . . no problem!
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
- Code what you do – Even if you know the insurance company is going to downgrade to a lower procedure code, make sure you are billing the insurance company the procedure that you provide to the patient. Your clinical notes and the billing should match.
- Biopsy – Bill out the biopsy procedure at the time you receive the report back from the lab, not at the time you take the biopsy.
- Crowns prep or seat date? – If you are in-network, you must go by their rules. If you are out of network, you can bill by your rules. Double-check with your insurance contracts. If you can bill at the prep date, then do it. I have always billed crowns out at the prep date (we are out of network for all insurance companies) because this is when we incur the majority of our costs and this is also when I want the patient to pay.
- Bill D1110 based on dentition not age – We all know that insurance companies will not pay for an adult prophy until the age of 14, but what if your 11-year-old patient has full dentition? According to Dr. Blair, you would bill out the adult prophy and let the insurance company downgrade it.
- D0180 … not just for the periodontist – Many general dentists do not use this code because they believe it can only be used at a specialist office, but this is not so. Your office can use this code for any patient who has risk factors (smoker, diabetic, etc.) and possibly get paid a higher fee. You must also justify using this code with a perio chart.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
While I was in Orlando, I had the chance to catch up with Dr. Charles Blair, who is an expert in coding for the dental practice. We chatted about the recent coding changes and what dental practices can expect in 2014. We also talked about ways that dental practices can do some simple things to avoid some very common errors. Click below to watch my video interview with Dr. Blair.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
|Dr. Don Lewis, Jr. DDS, CFE|
Donald P. Lewis, Jr., DDS, CFE is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (AAOMS) and is currently in private practice as a leading oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Cleveland, Ohio.