Avoiding Patient Insurance Nightmares and Simplifying Life with Insurance Verification
What is commonly considered one of the biggest headaches for dental practices?
That’s right, even saying the word can spring the start of a small migraine. Despite it being a headache, steps like pre-appointment insurance verification can be taken to limit the common pains caused by insurance.
Tija Hunter, a seasoned consultant, speaker, and author, provides insight on the necessity of proactive insurance verification in ensuring the smooth functioning of dental offices. As she rightly points out, the landscape of insurance is complex, with exclusions, birthday rules, waiting periods, and more. In this article, we delve into the reasons why insurance verification is a game-changer for dental practices and how tools like Weave’s insurance verification can optimize the process, allowing offices to focus more on creating exceptional patient experiences.
The Chaos of Reactive Approach
“I’d rather be proactive rather than reactive,” Hunter emphasizes. Waiting for 30, 60, or 90 days to discover that a patient’s insurance has been terminated can lead to a chaotic situation for both the practice and the patient. Discovering insurance termination after multiple visits means the practice now has the arduous task of collecting payments directly from the patient – not a fun conversation. This not only disrupts the financial flow of the practice but can also create frustration for the patient who may not have been aware of the insurance lapse.
Weave’s Role in Efficiency
To avoid such scenarios, practices need to embrace proactive measures, utilizing tools like Weave’s insurance verification. By incorporating automation and software solutions effectively, practices can significantly reduce the time and effort spent on insurance verification – freeing up time for patient-centric tasks. This is particularly crucial for new team members who may find themselves overwhelmed with the complexities of insurance verification.
Hunter shares a real-life example of a new employee in a dental practice who, due to a lack of familiarity with available tools, found herself struggling with insurance verification.
“I was in a practice and there was a newbie. She was only there about 6 months and she was, you know, kind of having a bad day. She was struggling and when the office manager asked her what was wrong, she said, ‘I just feel like I’m not getting a thing done because I’m trying to verify insurance and you know, I’m, I’m not getting anywhere.’ She wasn’t using the tools that we have available through our patient communication software.”
The importance of incorporating these tools into training programs becomes evident, helping cross train the team and ensuring that team members at all levels are equipped to handle insurance verification efficiently.
Saving Time and Money
Tija Hunter says it simply, insurance verification saves both time and money for dental practices. Waiting until it’s too late to discover insurance issues can lead to a cascade of problems, from delayed payments to frustrated patients. Complete insurance breakdowns, as facilitated by tools like Weave’s insurance verification, provide practices with crucial information about a patient’s insurance history. This includes details such as the date of the last full-mouth X-ray or panoramic image, the last cleaning, the frequency of cleanings, deductibles, and what the deductibles apply to.
The Sad Truth: Patients Rely on Practices
Hunter points out a reality of the industry – patients often do not have a deep understanding of their insurance details. In an era where insurance plans are becoming increasingly complex, patients rely on dental practices to guide them. While it may not be the most ideal situation, practices that take responsibility for gathering accurate insurance information and educating patients on what their insurance can cover, will separate themselves from other offices that take a more passive approach.
Enhancing Patient Experiences
Beyond the administrative benefits, the use of efficient insurance verification tools contributes to the overall patient experience. Practices that can smoothly navigate insurance details create an environment where patients feel taken care of and understood. By minimizing the administrative hurdles, practices can dedicate more time to building strong patient relationships, ultimately leading to a more positive and memorable experience for patients. Put simply, less time spent on the phone with insurance companies or browsing insurance websites means more time you can spend on what matters, like building relationships with patients.
Early verification can help prevent headaches and potential chaos that can ensue when insurance issues are discovered too late. Weave’s insurance verification tools offer a solution to streamline this process, sometimes saving up to 20+ hours a week, allowing dental offices to focus on what truly matters – providing exceptional patient experiences. And in the end, that is what really makes offices stand out with their patients.
At Weave, we provide an all-in-one solution that allows you to automate dental insurance verification alongside other important processes like review management, patient scheduling, reminders, and more.
Get a demo of Weave’s services today to see how we can simplify everyday office tasks.
About the Author
Ryan White, Sr. Vertical Marketing Manager at Weave
Ryan White has been in the dental industry for over 10 years and is passionate about helping dental offices and office managers simplify their daily tasks while improving patient engagement. Prior to Weave, Ryan worked with whitening and dental product manufacturers Opalescence and Ultradent Products. In his free time, Ryan enjoys spending time with his wife and two young kids, hiking in the desert of Utah and continuing his never-ending quest to find the best burrito and street tacos in America.