Why is this happening? Who is dropping the ball at your practice?
It’s likely that there isn’t one specific reason. Dental billing and claims can be complicated and keeping track of all the little details is time-consuming. What’s worse, many dental office employees simply don’t have the time to be managing it all.
You’re running a busy practice and your staff is hard at work with many tasks. The front-desk staff, who are usually responsible for billing and payments, wear a lot of hats. They are responsible for promptly answering the phone every time it rings. Plus, they must greet patients with a bright, warm smile and ensure their visit is pleasant from the moment they walk in the door.
When there isn’t an immediate need with a patient in front of them, they have to squeeze in verifying insurance, scheduling, calling about outstanding insurance claims, auditing patient accounts, presenting treatment plans, preparing and sending outstanding patient statements – and the list goes on. That’s a lot for anyone to manage!
Ask yourself if any of these things have ever happened in your practice (or worse, happen often).
The front desk person was busy with the insurance company on the phone and a patient left without paying their copay
Your phone is often tied up with patients calling about their insurance statements or bills, making it hard for other patients to get through to schedule new appointments
Said phone calls take far too long because the person at the front desk is trying to figure out and explain the issue with the patient’s statement
Your front desk staff get stuck fielding calls from upset patients who didn’t appreciate how their billing was handled
Your outstanding patient collectibles are slowly (or not-so-slowly) piling up
Last but not least, you are seeing less-than-glowing online reviews from patients upset with the financial side of things. We don’t have to tell you how crucial positive reviews are and watching your average go down for billing issues is disheartening, to say the least.
Now, before you go jumping down your employees’ throats about missing this money or unintentionally upsetting patients, remember, they are juggling a lot. There are tools you could be giving them to succeed that they don’t have.