Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Protect yourself from an insurance audit with proper documentation

Have any of you been noticing your X-rays being denied more frequently than usual or have you been subject to an insurance audit on excessive X-rays? It is
happening and if you have not seen it yet, you will soon. I want you to be as prepared as possible when the insurance companies come knocking on your door.

When I work with dental teams, I often see the practice using the Continuing Care system in Dentrix as a way of tracking when a patient is due for his or her next series of X-rays. Your recare system is the most powerful system in your practice and it is the lifeblood of your practice. If you let patients fall through the cracks, you are letting thousands of dollars walk out the back door and your patients may suffer from unscheduled treatment. I do not doubt that your team has the best patient care at heart when you use the Continuing Care system in Dentrix as a way of staying focused on staying current on your diagnostics for your patients. However, taking X-rays is not based on the insurance frequency nor your “office policy” on BWX frequency.

Diagnostics is the reason for taking X-rays, not frequency. With this being said, your clinical documentation needs to reflect this in order to defend yourself in the case of an insurance denial or insurance company audit. I recently attended a study club meeting presented by my good friend and colleague, Teresa Duncan.  She stressed two main points in your clinical documentation.

Since I help dental practices all the time with their custom clinical note templates, there are two things you need to include in your template.  This can easily added to your clinical note template with a checkbox prompt so you can choose the variable answer for each patient.
  • X-rays were reviewed by . . .
  • X-rays are needed because of . . .

One office I know has made a new office policy that the doctor comes into the exam before the hygienist or dental assistant starts to take the X-rays so they can be properly diagnosed. I have another office that has changed up its recare appointments so that the X-rays are diagnosed at the current appointment and then scheduled with the next recare visit so they cover all their bases.

Now, I am not suggesting that you stop using the Dentrix Continuing Care system for tracking X-rays. However, I am suggesting that you add the risk assessment and diagnosis in your clinical note to substantiate the taking of the X-rays.

If you would like the full report developed by the ADA and the FDA on this topic, please email me directly and I will send it to you.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Creating rich, meaningful relationships to increase your patient retention

If you have been reading my blog for a while you probably have stumbled across an article or two about Patient Retention and if you have worked with me personally we definitely have discussed ways to improve your patient retention and create more meaningful relationships.  In many of my articles you will find tips on where to document these relationship building tidbits about your patients so you can create a dental experience your patients will rave about online.

I met a company recently that shares my view on creating those meaningful relationships and improving your patient retention.  Social Dental believes that the best practices deserve the best patients. If you share this belief, read on.

By definition, the best patients are engaged. They’re not just “shoppers” who are looking for the lowest price on a one­-time procedure; they’re looking to invest in a long-­term relationship. These “above-­the­-bar” patients keep their appointments. They appreciate the care they receive and they accept and follow through on treatment recommendations. Consequently, these highly engaged patients achieve the best outcomes and the highest levels of patient satisfaction. And engaged patients tend to have friends and family members who are a lot like them. Audience engagement is, of course, the key to a building a successful online presence for your practice. Trust is the currency of the web and being real and authentic online builds trust. Not surprisingly, the most effective way to create engagement is by sharing real photos of real patients. Authentic patient photos (vs. stock photography or manufactured content) open a window into your office culture, helping potential patients feel connected to you before they ever step foot in your office.

Social Dental also makes it easy to quickly request Google Reviews from your patients by getting their attention before the distractions of life take over.

The one thing that makes all of this work is for you and your team to genuinely care about your patients. Otherwise, asking to take a photo with a patient may feel forced and cause your team to feel like they’re imposing. When this happens, the process can feel more like a chore than a celebration and the idea of creating a lasting culture of patient engagement will never take root in your practice.

Developing a culture of appreciation is the most important way to grow your practice—online and offline. Visit www.socialdental.com to schedule a demo and
mention this article and Dayna Johnson and you’ll get a $1000 discount off the set up.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

How can I see which doctor is scheduled to do the exam? Here are 3 ways . . .

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive from multi-doctor practices about the Dentrix appointment book is, “How can we see which doctor is assigned to the patient for the exam?” Since the appointment is set in the provider color (usually the hygienist color), it is difficult to see which patient each doctor needs to see during the day. Another question along these same lines is, “Can I post the exam to the doctor and the cleaning to the hygienist?”
In the past, there was no good answer. 

Now with the release of G6, there is a way to answer both these questions . . . Yeah!

When you schedule a patient for an appointment in G6, you will notice an Addl Provider box in the upper left corner where you can add the specified doctor for this patient’s exam. When you add an additional provider, you will be able to view it in a couple of places depending on your preferences.  

  • If your practice is using Route Slips or Patient Visit Forms, then you will see the additional provider in the Appointment Details section of the form.
  • Back in (I think) Dentrix G3, they added the Hover. When you let your mouse sit over the top of the appointment, it will pop up a window that will give you more information about the patient such as his or her picture, birthdate, insurance info, etc. One of these new pieces of info in the Hover is the Additional Provider.
  • You can add the Additional Provider to the View. From the Appointment Book, click on View from the top toolbar, and select the view you want to edit, then on the right side you will see a bunch of drop-down menus for Appointment Display Info. Here you can select the Additional Provider to show on the appointment book view so you can see visually on every appointment.
When you go to check out the patient and set the procedures complete, you can assign the exam to the additional provider and give that production to the doctor without having to go to the ledger and change it manually. This will save you a ton of time.  

I hope this tip helps you be more efficient and productive in your everyday routine. You use your practice management software every day and it is the little things that make the biggest impact on your day.

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Thriving Dentist with Gary Takacs - podcast

Practice management software is a critical element in every thriving practice. Yet many Dentists and Team Members are only using a small fraction of the capabilities of their practice management software. In this Thriving Dentist Show, Gary interviews his friend Dayna Johnson on specific tips to optimize your dental practice management software. Dayna is an authority on this subject and passionate about helping her colleagues. In this interview, Gary and Dayna discuss; Why many dental offices are still using a paper chart, the four specific benefits of converting to digital records, the three key elements of a successful paperless transition, important security tips, a fool proof back up system and the five most important statistics that every office should monitor with their practice management software.

CLICK HERE to be directed to the podcast

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Everything Dental Blog - June 2016

The Secret Weapon of every dental office is their practice management software. The big secret is how it is used or underutilized. There are many good systems available to the dental community but most dentists only use a fraction of their utilities capabilities. Looking toward the future, dentists must embrace the power and versatility of their practice management suite. The benefits of a robust PMS can help them become more efficient and even more profitable. Whether you are a solo practitioner or a large group, practice efficiency and seamless technology integration is the goal!

If you assess the business acumen of independent solo dental practices across the USA you will find these four business styles. These styles address leadership, management style and degree of confidence. There is a direct correlation between leadership type and operational efficiency as well as PMS competency and offices that track their key production numbers.

CLICK HERE to continue reading my interview with Jack Abrams from The Abrams Report courtesy of the Everything Dental Blog.