If your office accepts insurance (i.e., a PPO,) your fee schedule is a critical part of your cash flow and dental practice revenue cycle management. Since your metrics (e.g., productions, collections, etc.) should be based on the insurance fee, not your full fee, a change in the fee schedule could impact how much money lands in your bank account and have a domino effect on the health of your business.
As such, you need to make sure your fee schedule is updated regularly to reflect changes made by the insurance company, as well as increases in operating costs, such as rent, employee salaries, etc.
How To Update Your Dental Fee Schedule For Better Revenue Cycle Management
Updating your fee schedule isn’t just about crunching some numbers. You need to consider how the changes need to be reflected in your workflows and how they impact the patient experience. Here’s what you should pay attention to when updating your fee schedule:
Break Down Billing Codes Accurately
Due to the complex nature of some dental procedures and the billing process, treatments are separated into many different tasks -- each with its own billing code.
It’s important to ensure that each procedure is broken down accurately so you can submit claims without errors. Otherwise, the claims could be rejected, increasing the time that it takes for you to get paid. Not to mention, if you omit a few codes in your claims, you may not get reimbursed for the entire procedure!
Ensure Accurate Estimates of Prepayment Amounts
Offering a prepayment option [ LINK TO BLOG 3 ] is a great way to improve your cash flow. However, if your fee schedule isn’t updated regularly, your prepayment estimate may not align with the cost of the treatment.
If the prepayment is too low, you won’t be collecting enough to create healthy cash flow. If the amount is too high, it could lead to patient frustration and erode the trust they have in your practice. Therefore, you should verify the prepayment amount for each procedure every time you update your fee schedule.
Prioritize Patient Communications
Consumers demand pricing transparency. Patients often get frustrated and feel blindsided if the information they get from their dentists is different from what the insurance companies tell them.
Build rapport with your patients to build trust and provide them with updates when you change your fee schedule. tab32’s users have been using our patient engagement module to effectively keep their patients in the loop via text and emails.
You can also have patients fill out online forms to update their insurance information prior to their visits via our dental EHR module so you can notify them about changes in their coverage or your fee schedule that could impact their financial responsibilities.
Create Templates and Automate Billing
Looking up billing codes manually is a time-consuming and labor-intensive task that’s prone to human error. Not to mention, it’s not uncommon to have outdated versions of codes and fees circulating in the office. If your employees use the wrong information, a lot of time can be wasted.
To minimize errors, create a list of commonly-performed procedures along with all the billing codes of the sub-tasks. tab32’s EHR module allows you to set up “explosion codes” templates so you can easily add the billing codes to a patient’s chart during treatment and avoid spending hours matching up codes later on.
Updating your fee schedule regularly can help you better manage cash flow by dialing in your metrics around productions and collections [ LINK TO BLOG 1 ]. To manage the many moving parts involved, use a dental management software with robust dental EHR, patient communication, billing features, and analytics functionalities so you can manage your revenue cycle cost-effectively.
Request a demo to see how tab32 can help you improve your dental practice revenue.
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