COVID-19 has become a phrase we hear every day.
Every part of our practice has been affected in some way, with so many new “normals” to get used to.
No doubt, patient and team safety are at the top of our list.
While we’re getting things under control, there is a specific area of our practice that we need to give a good amount of attention to:
Insurance benefits will be ever-changing as the year unfolds.
As we head back to the office, here are some quick tips for keeping up with insurance during COVID-19.
11 ways to ensure you’re keeping up with insurance during COVID-19
1 – Check insurance benefits on ALL patients.
Speaking with a representative is always good, especially now.
So many patients have been laid off, furloughed, or changed jobs since their last appointment.
Even if they say they’ve gone back to the same job—CHECK THEIR BENEFITS.
You cannot be assured that benefits have been reinstated or are at the same level until they are verified.
Have a thorough Insurance Breakdown Form for each patient.
2 – Review insurance breakdowns with patient
After getting the insurance breakdown, go over it with your patient so they are aware of any changes to their policy.
This will make them feel more comfortable, and they will more than likely appreciate your efforts in making the most of their coverage.
3 – Update benefit records
Go back to your treatment plans for all patients and update their benefits accordingly.
4 – Follow up on outstanding insurance claims
Print your outstanding Insurance Claims Report and follow up on ALL of them.
Insurance companies may be delaying payments, and there are currently denials teledentistry claims.
Don’t let these claims fall through the cracks.
5 – Verify attachments
File claims with all necessary attachments (electronically and on a daily basis.)
6 – Keep up to date on insurance changes
Keep current with all code changes and updates
7 – Manage payments daily
Post payments and insurance write-offs daily. Go over denials as they come in.
8 – Call in-network insurance companies
If you are in-network, it will not hurt to make a call to those insurance companies to go over any changes or issues they are experiencing during this time.
9 – Re-evaluate in-network carriers
Now is a good time to look at the carriers you are in-network with and decide if it is a good fit.
10 – Communicate with patients
Always have an open line of communication with patients if you are having a problem with their insurance claim.
It is better to inform them as soon as you’re aware of any issues.
11 – Seek extra help
Consider designating someone to put extra time into insurance filing and follow up.
Managing insurance changes as you head back to the office
I hope these tips for keeping up with insurance during COVID-19 help your team stay on track.
As practices are re-opening, there will continue to be learning curves and challenges.
Having an individual team member who can focus on insurance as you return to the office and into a daily flow will be important.
If you don’t have someone in this position, I suggest that you have a team meeting and try to figure a way to make it a priority.
Filing insurance claims and the follow-up required can quickly get out of control without constant work.
Keeping on top of this area will prove to be beneficial as well as profitable as we move toward the future.
Meet the Author
Vickie Ward is the Owner of Key Dental Management…Opens in a new window to Key Dental Management homepage…. She is a Fellow of the American Association of Dental Office Managers and serves on the Board for the Wilmington, NC Chapter of AADOM…Opens in a new window to Wilmington, NC chapter of AADOM…. Having worked 20 years in the dental field as Practice Manager and Front OfficeTeam Member, she now serves as a consultant, coach, and fractional team member to dental offices.