Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Checking insurance benefits will suck the life out of you unless you change your system

Dental insurance benefits are the thorn in our side every day. Checking benefits, eligibility and maximums for our patients is a great benefit … and it also sucks the life out of us to the point where we don’t have time for other things during
the day. There needs to be a balance between it being a customer service task and a hand-holding task. The insurance benefits belong to the patient. They do not belong to the practice and we need to put the verbal skills in place to help our patients understand this.

One thing I have been doing with my practices is teaching them to transfer that ownership back to the patient in a way that is beneficial to the patient and not too time-consuming for the practice. The easiest, most efficient way I have found is using the eCentral Insurance Eligibility feature inside of your Dentrix software. Have you seen the “E” all over inside of your Dentrix software and wondered what it does? CLICK HERE to learn how eCentral Insurance Manager works.  Let me share with you some of my tips in using this amazing tool.

What has worked really well for many offices is to print a copy of the electronic benefits for the patient and then send a copy to the patient’s Document Center for your reference. Now, how you hand off the information to the patient makes a big impact on how much you will be babysitting in the future. So here are some of my best tips . . .
  • When you print out the eligibility benefits from eCentral for the patient, I would highlight a few key pieces of information (insurance company phone number, maximum and coverage percentages).
  • Hand the patient the printed copy of his or her benefits and say something like, “I took the liberty of checking on your dental benefits for you and here is what we received from your plan. Notice I have highlighted some of the important things about your plan. One thing I want to point out is that if there is a procedure you need that is not on this print out, then we don’t know how much your insurance company will pay so we estimate zero.”
  • Let patients know if they would like more details about their plan, you highlighted the insurance company’s phone number for them.


Using eCentral Insurance Eligibility not only as a tool for your practice efficiency but also using it as a resource for your patient will help you to strengthen your relationships with your patients and they will trust you more. Trust will help build your practice and grow your referrals.

6 comments:

  1. That would be great except you can't add it to the patients doc center on G6. I have also found that in some cases the benefit information is not correct.

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    1. We can only give an estimate based on the information that is given to us by the insurance companies. The information that is provided in the eCentral Insurance Eligibility comes directly from the insurance plan so it is the best we can get. Remember it is not up to you to know all the details about the insurance benefits, they belong to the patient and that is what I am trying to convey here. I would like the office to transfer that ownership to the patient and stop spending so much time checking on benefits.

      Also, the saving to Document Center in G6 is probably an eCentral issue and not a Dentrix G6 issue but I would have to check with support.

      Thank you,
      Dayna

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    2. How do you check secondary insurance eligibility using eCentral?

      Thank you!

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    3. You can only check primary benefits as far as I am aware of. They may have updated the software so make sure to check with support.
      Thank you,
      Dayna

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  2. I am switching to Dentrix. I am not converting. My insurance database is blank in the new system. Should I have someone "cherry-pick," our existing plans, groups and fee schedules and start entering them? How would you do it?

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    Replies
    1. Welcome to Dentrix, glad to have you on board. Hopefully you have a trainer coming in to help you with the setup and I can definitely help as well. I would start by entering in your fee schedules, this way you can link the fee schedule up to any new plans that you are entering in. My recommendation would be to enter the insurance information as your patients come in. If you are using the Dentrix eCentral Insurance Eligibility feature this will give you a lot of information the day before so you can be prepared when the patient walks in. Otherwise, check the insurance company website the day before with the information from your old system. You may be fipping back and forth between your old system for a while.

      Let me know how else I can help, either with training or questions. You can email me directly at dayna@raedentalmanagement.com or sign up for my monthly newsletter by texting SUPERUSER to 22828.

      Thank you,

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