Monday, May 25, 2015

Put the pen down and put away the white out

What do you do if a patient tells you about his or her secondary coverage after you have already sent out the primary or after you have already received payment from the primary? How do you create a claim to send when you don’t have the “Create Secondary” tab highlighted to generate a secondary claim? I have had several answers.
  • “I delete the claim and recreate it so I can send it to the secondary.”
  • “I print a copy of the primary and use white out to write over the primary information and then send it in the mail.”
  • “I print a blank ADA claim form and write all the information by hand so I can send it in the mail.”

All of these solutions are very creative and will probably get you paid … but what if you could create the secondary in Dentrix with the click of a button? The solution is simple (as long as the claim is not in history).
  1. Add the secondary insurance on the patient’s Family File.
  2. Go to the patient’s ledger and open up the claim by double clicking on it.
  3. Double click in the top box of the claim where it has the carrier and subscriber information. This will open a new window.
  4. At the bottom of this window, you will have a box to check “Update Secondary Insurance.” Put a check mark here and you will now be able to click on the tab to Create Secondary Claim.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Engage patients with technology

In my March newsletter *, I talked about implementing electronic forms and patient engagement. With dental practices moving towards a digital environment, we have to look at ways to engage our patients in a digital world, create better patient experiences, and connect with them using new technology. There are many ways we can enhance our patient experience even for our older patients. In the most recent Pew Research study * on “Older Adults and Technology Use,” it finds that (for the first time) six out of 10 seniors are using the internet and 77% have a cell phone. If your office is equipped with computers in the treatment rooms, there are some things you can do in your practice right now to step up your level of patient engagement.
  • Forget about handing the patient a clipboard with a paper form when you can sit the patient down in your treatment room, pull the computer monitor right up to the patient, and say, “Here is the information we had documented from last visit. Does this all look accurate?” Patient forms, health history, and consent forms should be a conversation between the clinician and the patient, not a form you scan into the computer.
  • Have personal information about your patient right at your fingertips. Even though I help dental offices go paperless, I do like Route Slips or some kind of communication form for the team. On the Dentrix Route Slip or Patient Visit Form, you can enter personal information (vacations, hobbies, pets, etc.) in the Patient Note box and it will print on these forms. If you have to bury your face in the computer to find information, you will break that relationship with your patient.
  • Set up a way to communicate with your patients, family members, caregivers, referring doctors, and physicians via e-mail or the Internet. You can write language into your HIPAA manual and include it in your HIPAA Privacy Rule regarding how your office communicates electronically with other parties. Put security measures in place so you can take advantage of online communication.
  • Send the patient treatment plan estimate to the Document Center so it can be sent electronically to a parent, caregiver, or to the patient. Many patients now are asking, “Can you just e-mail that to me?”

The future of the dental practice is “information now.” This concept of “information now” does not have to be technology first and patient second. The two can coexist.
* Please email me at if you would like a copy of the full study or would like to sign up for my newsletter.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Someone deleted the entire Batch Processor . . . how do I find all those claims?

Do you ever wonder if all your claims are being sent out? Has the batch been completely deleted and you are worried there were insurance claims on there? Do you want to know what reports to look at to manage your claims? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions . . . read on. 

Recently I wrote about the “Create Batch of Primary Dental Ins Claims,” but there are a couple of other tools at your fingertips to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. If you want to read this article, CLICK HERE to be directed to it.
  • Insurance Claims to Process – This report gives you a list of patient names for claims that still need to be batched, printed or sent electronically. If the claim has a status of “created, eValidated, eWarning or eRejected,” the patient’s name will show up on this report.
  • Procedures Not Attached to Insurance – This report is similar to the “Create Batch of Primary Dental Ins Claims,” but it will only give you a list of patients, the procedures and date of service. You would then need to either go to each patient’s ledger and batch up the claim individually or run the “Create Batch of Primary Dental Ins Claims” to batch them all up at once.
  • Insurance Aging Report – This report should be managed on a weekly basis. However, if you think there are claims that have been batched up and accidently deleted off the batch processor before they got sent out, this is the only way to find them. When you run this report, make sure you click to view status notes. If the claim has only been batched, it has not been sent out and therefore not being paid. For more information on this report, CLICK HERE.

Lately, I have been noticing the insurance accounts receivable on the insurance side going up in a lot of practices. I don’t want this to happen to you. Look at your reports and get your claims out in a timely manner.