We need to focus on educating the patient and putting the patient’s health first
Your Team must understand that you are not an Insurance driven practice. You are a Patient focused practice. Let’s get your team involved in educating your patients. The number one responsibility of your team should be patient needs.
This is what we hear in dental offices:
Patient calls “No, we don’t take that insurance” Front desk “Your insurance won’t cover that” and from the operatory “Let’s check your insurance to see if that’s covered”
We know it’s important to review benefits with patients but educating the patient on the need for treatment and the benefits for treatment should come first. You and your team drive the insurance conversations. Give your team great verbal skills, a refresh.
New Patient calls the office: Hi, I’m looking for a new dentist. Do you take Delta?
Team member: Hello, thank you for choosing to call our office. What is your name? Hi Kim, let me tell you a little bit about us and then I can answer any questions you may have. Dr. Smith has been in practice for 30 years. We understand the dental office is not the most enjoyable place to visit but we do our best to make you feel relaxed and comfortable. We are an insurance friendly office and our goal is to maximize your benefits while in our office. Most important question for you is how can we help you with your dental needs?
Delta Question: We don’t have a contract with Delta but that doesn’t mean you can’t come to our office. Be honest. Your contract with Delta will pay for cleanings, exams and x-rays. Fillings and crowns may have 10-25% out of pocket but we can check your dental benefits for you and we offer options outside of your benefit coverage. Our commitment is making sure you are healthy and can afford treatment.
New Patient calls the office: Hi, I need a crown, but I don’t have dental Insurance.
Team Member: You called the right place, thank you for choosing our office. Let me tell you a little bit about us and then I can answer your questions…
If you don’t have insurance, we offer payment options. Our commitment is making sure you are healthy and can afford treatment.
Remember these patients call because they were referred to you or they chose you for their dental care. Get your team effective and efficient when they get that opportunity to speak to your patients.
Why don’t we talk to patients about diagnosis?
Talk to your patients about the benefits of treatment and the results of holding off on treatment. Why do you need a crown? What benefits do you get from the crown? If you wait, could the tooth fracture?
Your Team should be passionate about helping patients, educating the patients, “What happens in your mouth affects every place in your body!”
The doctor and hygienist should educate the patient regarding the diagnosis and recommendations. Don’t just write the diagnosis in your notes, educate your patients.
Get the whole team involved!
Assistant: Once you get this crown done your going to feel so much better.
Front desk: Wow, the crown is going to look beautiful.
Treatment Coordinator: Getting the 2-surface filling done now could save you money in the future due to the decay…
Your staff represents your vision for your practice every time they have a conversation with a patient.
We need to change the way we think about Dental Insurance. Insurance companies refer to coverage as Dental benefits and so should we in the office. We should be positive with our patients regarding dental insurance.
Insurance companies tend to reimburse at a higher rate when you are not in network.
Dental Diagnostic codes will be used in the ADA claim forms in the future
Insurance Contracts Read Your Contract!
- Is your contract auto renewable or do you need to revisit once a year?
- Are you signed up?
- Non-covered services – collect from patient or write off?
Do not sign contract, negotiate this write off
- Negotiate contract fees before you sign and submit
Do an Insurance Analysis every 12 months
- Gross production – write offs
- New patients from In-network insurance companies
- How many of those new patients are active?
Educate your staff and patients regarding why you are not in-network with all Insurance companies
Example, if you were contracted with the dental insurance company, you would have to downgrade to metals with silver/mercury. They look bad and leak. The advantage to being an independent provider is so you can continue to use the best materials that last a long time for your patients.