Wednesday, June 25, 2014

ePrescribe . . . eKnowledge . . . eAccess . . . EHR

Our dental world is slowly changing from a world of pens and paper to a world of clicking and typing. Until now, the only state to mandate Electronic Health Records (EHRs) is Minnesota. However, many states will be following in its footsteps in the very near future. Having a paperless chart is more than just typing in the clinical notes or painting pictures on the tooth chart. It is about being able to coordinate your patient care with other providers and sharing information within the medical and dental communities. Even though this accessibility of patient information is still evolving, we as dental providers can start using what we have available right now.
Dentrix has partnered with Allscripts® to bring you electronic prescriptions. Being able to partner with your patient’s pharmacist will give you the ability to know potentially dangerous drug-to-drug interactions, drug allergies, dosage errors, and other problems that can occur with written or phoned-in prescriptions. This is what EHR is all about. Providing better patient care is why we do what we do.

If you have read any of my other blogs about going paperless, you know how much I stress efficiency. With ePrescribe, there are many features to create more efficiency.
  • Speed the medication process when you send and track electronic prescriptions with any participating pharmacy
  • Provide a seamless patient experience when you store pharmacy favorites by practice or patient for automatic prescription fulfillment before the patient leaves your office
  • Improve patient safety with automatic drug interaction checking, dosage checks, adverse reaction checks, and duplicate therapy checks
  • Access any information reported through the Surescripts network by other providers
  • Simplify prescription renewals by receiving and managing refill requests from pharmacies online, with accessible patient medication history

ePrescribe is available now in all but four states (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana). There is no download or hardware required. It is a subscription model that is a web-based solution for your practice to send prescriptions electronically to retail and mail order pharmacies directly from Dentrix. The only requirement within Dentrix is that you must enable secure passwords to use it and be using Dentrix G5 or later.

CLICK HERE for more information or if you are using G5 click on the ePrescribe icon on the toolbar.

CLICK HERE if your office needs HIPAA training or a Risk Analysis.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Jump Start your Medical Billing

Last week, I wrote about how to set up medical cross-coding inside your Dentrix software. However, medical billing is not just about setting it up in Dentrix. Today, I am bringing in Christine Taxin, a medical billing and coding expert, to give you some information and resources that will help guide you through some of the insurance rules you need to know.

Dayna: If an office sees Medicare patients, what does the office need to know about the new rules with Medicare and the Affordable Care Act?

Christine: Attached is a Medicare information sheet that every dental office should have if they are billing medical. Medicare has rules, whether you are participating or non-participating, and you need to know what these rules are. For copies of these information sheets, please e-mail me directly at

Dayna: Where can offices find out more information? Where can they obtain the proper paperwork? What about all the other medical insurance rules? Is there anything new the offices should know?

Christine: If you want to start medical billing, you need to sign up for one of the Medicare formats. This allows you to bill secondary. If they have no insurance for any medical treatment besides Medicare, the legal issues are covered. I also added the Electronic Health Record (EHR) information that you can use for other information. For copies of these forms, please e-mail me directly at

Dayna: Under the Affordable Care Act, if the parents have medical coverage, their children (under the age of 19) are covered for a list of dental procedures. How does a dental office bill for these procedures? Do they bill dental or medical?

Christine: You should use the medical claim form. You can use the dental claim form, but it has to be the one with diagnostic codes (DX2012). You also have to mail or send electronically to the medical company. This is only for patients who have private insurance, not the marketplace. That is totally different and a doctor does not have to participate so he or she can refuse to either see a patient or bill for insurance. If you are already in network with an equal dental plan, such as United Health Care, then you are already signed up as an in-network provider.

Dayna: We all know that the 2014 ADA claim form has a place for dental diagnostic codes. How can the dental office learn how to use these codes correctly?

Christine: The DMB workflow sheet is how to set up for medical in-office. If you want to refer out your medical billing, you can do that through Dental Medical Billing, which specializes in dental to medical billing. You can find out more information at or contact Christine at

Note from Dayna: I highly recommend Jump Start Diagnostic Coding, written by Patti DiGangi and Christine Taxin. If you e-mail me for a copy, you can get the book for discounted price of $20. You can also e-mail Christine directly at .

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Help patients say "YES" to treatment

When I was working in the dental practice, my doctor became passionate about treating the whole body and learning about how occlusion affected the rest of the body. With this continuing education, my office took a path of treating patients for head, neck and facial pain, as well as general dentistry. It was fascinating and, not only did I learn a lot about the human body, but also the world of medical billing.

What I loved most was being able to say “YES” to helping patients receive benefits from their medical insurance companies. This helped many patients be able to say “YES” to treatment because the financial burden was being spread out between medical, dental and the patient. Even though I found it very satisfying to help the patients, billing medical can be a little time-consuming and tricky.

If you are willing to jump in and learn something new, here are the steps to a successful implementation to billing medical insurance out of Dentrix.

In Dentrix G6.1 you will notice that the software has been pre-loaded with the ICD10 DX codes that are relevant to dental.  If you are on an earlier version of Dentrix you will no longer be able to bill medical and will need to upgrade your software. 

Now you can start to do the setup in Dentrix. Go to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Procedure Code Setup. Here, you will see six tabs across the top (the first two are for dental billing and the next four are used for medical billing). After you have installed the medical cross coding CD, you will find information downloaded in these last four tabs. If you have not purchased the CD, this is where you will go to add the billing codes. On the ADA-CDT code tab, open one of the dental procedure codes that you will be billing to medical insurance. In the edit window, you must check mark “flag for medical cross coding.”
Next, go to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Medical Cross Coding Setup. This is where you will tell the system which dental codes match up with which medical codes and the diagnosis that would be associated with it. You will need some knowledge of matching up the appropriate dental code with the correct medical code. If you want an info sheet on common cross coding in dentistry, please email me directly at

Now that your medical coding is set up in the Office Manager, you can add the medical insurance to the patient’s family file just like you would a dental plan … but make sure you are entering it under the Medical Insurance tab and you will select the HCFA claim format. You are ready now to send a claim. Double click on the procedure code you have posted on the patient ledger and you will now notice a new medical cross coding section on the procedure code box. You must select the appropriate codes for each box. When you click OK, you will notice there is a blue solid triangle next to the procedure code and this indicates it is cross coded for medical billing. Now click on create insurance claim and it will send out a medical claim first. After the medical insurance pays, Dentrix will automatically prompt you to send a dental claim.

Be patient. Medical reimbursement requires a lot more documentation, re-submissions and follow-up than a dental claim, so be prepared and make sure you keep your patients in the loop on the status. Don’t be afraid to ask your patients for help with follow-up or calling their insurance company (you might need it). With that being said, though, I feel that medical billing can be a huge value-added service for an office and your patients will be so happy you went the extra mile for them.