Episode 491: Making Insurance Verification Easy-Peasy

 Question: What is the Dental A-Team’s most important tip for insurance verification?

It’s another Tiff, Brit, and Dana takeover! In this podcast episode, they’re giving tips and tricks for insurance verification. This task is a great one for any newbies in your practice as it teaches a whole lot about dentistry. The trio breaks down the following advice: 

  1. Grouping by insurance company

  2. Focusing online first

  3. Transferring representatives

  4. When to do full versus partial breakdowns

  5. And more!

If you’re looking for even more meat for your insurance verification sub, listen to episode 460, Your Billing Playbook, which features Josh Smith out of Dental ClaimSupport.

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Listen to episode 460, Your Billing Playbook

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0:00:05.6 S1: Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Dental A Team podcast. I'm your host, Kiera Dent, and I had this crazy idea that maybe I could combine a doctor and a team member's perspective, because let's face it, dentistry can be a challenging profession with those two perspectives. I've been a dental assistant, treatment coordinator, scheduler, filler, office manager, regional manager, practice owner, and I have a team of traveling consultants, where we have traveled to over 165 different offices coaching teams. Yep, we don't just understand you, we are you. Our mission is to positively impact the world of dental, and I believe that this podcast is the greatest way I can help elevate teams, grow VIP experiences, reduce stress and create A teams. Welcome to the Dental A Team podcast.


0:00:53.0 S1: Hello, Dental A Team listeners. This is Kiera, and you guys, talk about an amazing day, I hope you're having a fantastic day and I am so excited because you don't just get one consultant or two consultants, but actually three consultants. Today Tiffany, Brittany, and Dana are taking over the podcast, they're gonna be chatting with you on an incredible topic that I just honestly feel that they can do better. So I'm excited for you guys to hear about it, chat with them. It's gonna be a fantastic episode, guys. Tune in, you're in for an incredible treat.

0:01:20.9 S2: Alright. You guys, I'm super excited. It's the beginning of the year right now, and so when this podcast drops we'll still be really close to the beginning of the year, and that means insurance verifications and breakdowns for your patients. I know most insurance companies renew their benefits in January, so that leaves our insurance verification team with a lot of work at the beginning of the year. So, we thought it would be fun today. I have Dana and Brittany here with me. We thought it would be fun today to talk about some tips and tricks that we have on how to make this the easiest possible, so it's insurance verification, easy-peasy style. This is the Dental A Team's jam. We love making things as easy as possible, we love saving those pockets of time, and I think that these tips and tricks that the girls have to offer today are really gonna save some of you ladies out there and gents out there some ample amounts of time.

0:02:14.3 S2: So Brittany, thank you for being here. You were coming off of an insane amount of travel. I honestly was like, I don't know if she's gonna make it to podcast recording today, she might need to sleep, so I'm excited to see your face. Thank you for being here.

0:02:26.4 S3: Yeah, excited to be here. I'm like, "No, I can't miss podcast time, it's happening."

0:02:31.0 S2: I'm excited, I'm proud of you. A good job. And Dana, she's getting ready to pop over to Donuts with Dana on Facebook here in about 22 minutes, so we just have a small amount of time to grab as much knowledge as we can from her. But Dana, thanks for making time for this this morning, I appreciate you.

0:02:46.9 S4: Thanks for having me. I'm super excited to be here.

0:02:48.8 S2: Good, good. I'm excited to see what you do with Donuts with Dana today. I love those things, they're so much fun, when my phone wants to work and I can go live with you.

0:03:00.9 S3: Yeah.

0:03:01.2 S2: It's a travesty.

0:03:02.1 S4: You're welcome. Anytime.

0:03:05.3 S2: Awesome, okay, so I wanna start this out. I think I spent a lot of time in my days in the dental practice doing insurance verification, and I actually, in my practice, I turned it into our training spot, so that we called it third desk, and third desk sat there on insurance verifications all day. First, answer the phones, re-route calls, help fill a hygiene schedule and insurance verifications, and that was where any newbies into the practice, especially anyone without dental knowledge, they were trained there. Training spot because you learn so much about dentistry and treatment planning and codes, and honestly, how to navigate your dental software by having to do those insurance verification. So, we had to get really strategic with it, we had to make it so that it was fun and engaging and didn't take a ridiculous amount of time for someone to do.

0:03:54.5 S2: So, I think I nailed it pretty good. But I know these ladies have some tips and tricks to add in there too. My biggest tip I wanna share first off, and we're not gonna give you the whole shipping 'cause we're not gonna make this super long, we're just gonna strategically give you a few things here and there that are gonna help. My biggest thing is, our advice is to go through your schedule ahead of time. I always want my insurance verification team to be at least two days ahead of the schedule, hygiene first and then doctor schedule. Go through the schedule ahead of time. I used to have them print out a picture of the schedule, print out the schedule and write physically on the schedule while they're filling out their forms, the insurance information. So they'll go through column by column, hygiene by hygiene or maybe hour by hour with the rows. However they want to do it, they're gonna look for what insurance company is that patient under in the system, and do they need a full breakdown or a partial breakdown, so they'll write F or half, they'll write DD for Delta Dental, UHC for UnitedHealthcare. Whatever it is, they'll write it on the sheet, and then they'll also fill out either a full sheet or a half sheet so that they can group those together later and call on the insurances one time.

0:05:06.6 S2: I've walked into so many offices and watch these beautiful women spending so much time calling one insurance at a time, they'll say, "Okay, 9:00 AM is Delta Dental, let me get on a hold on the phone with Delta Dental. Okay, 10:00 AM Cigna, great. 11:00 AM, ding! And I gotta call Delta back." They're calling Delta back instead of going through the whole day and grouping them together by company. So, have them print it though, have them go through it, but then Brittany, after we've done that, we've grouped them together, we've called on them. What do you suggest from there?

0:05:40.2 S3: One other tip, I know some of the softwares, Open Dental is one, you can even make a view to where the insurance company will show up so you can easily see which patients that day have the same insurance to help you go through. Another little fun fact, when you call insurance, 'cause some of them will limit how many questions or how much information you can get, just ask to transfer, do not hang up and call back in, just ask a transfer to the next representative, and it also save you some time. I'm with Tiff, a couple days ahead, if you got some extra time, you can even work a little bit further ahead in the schedule to make sure those insurance plans are verified. I think an important first step is to make sure that you have your online portal set up for all of your insurance companies, 'cause that's also gonna help you. I would much rather go online, get that information quick before I have to actually call an insurance company, so that's my last resource.

0:06:38.5 S2: Yeah, for sure. And then that makes me think too, when you do that, you can gather all you can offline and then highlight on your sheet anything you couldn't get offline, so then when you do call, you know exactly what questions you need to ask.

0:06:52.3 S3: Exactly, exactly.

0:06:53.5 S2: I love it, I love it. So we've got the information, we've got a couple of tips there for you. Make sure you're only doing the full breakdowns once a year. So Dana has some really great tips on how to know if you're needing a full breakdown or a partial breakdown, and what that even means. Dana, what do you have for us, adding on top of what we've got?

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0:08:12.0 S3: Yeah, sure. Obviously, as like Tiff said, January is a big month for insurance verification, and that is because that's our one time annually to update all of our policies. The other time we want a full breakdown is obviously when we have any new patient come in to the office because we haven't gotten their benefits yet, or if a patient has a change in insurance. But I will say even if they've had a change in insurance or they're a new patient, if we've already verified that group number, they're probably pretty good to go. I would say too, when you're doing your stuff in January, put everything together like they said, and make your calls, but also once you have updated a group number, that group number has been updated for every patient on that policy. Then it's making really good notes to know which group numbers have been updated so that we don't continue to repeat work we've already done.

0:09:05.5 S2: I love that. Yeah, for sure. So taking that information then off your sheet, transferring it to the group information, that's really key right there, especially for your Open Dental users, because there's the dental insurance information and then there's the subscriber information. If you put that information under subscriber, it will only be on that patient family file. If you put it under the insurance information, it goes for the whole group. One thing I think to pull for sure from what Dana said, one of the top points there is that it's by group, not patient eligibility, and maximum and deductible use like eligibility for frequencies, eligibility on the insurance, those are by patient, but everything else, your frequency limitations, your percentages, all of those are by group. Like Dana was saying, if you put in a dateline, transfer those notes into that insurance note, you only have to do it the one time. Right, Dana?

0:10:02.5 S4: Yes. And then after that, you're just getting half breakdowns or eligibility for each patient under that group.

0:10:10.4 S2: Yup, I love that. Okay, sweet. Anything you ladies can think of that we miss? We wanna make it easy-peasy, and I think that we've got some solid, what? Like, three or four tips here that make literally transform what a lot of people are doing.

0:10:24.2 S3: Yeah, and I think one helpful thing when we had Josh Smith with Dental ClaimSupport on our podcast, something that hit me to help give me some guidance was how many breakdowns or how many insurance verifications and breakdowns we should be able to do within a certain amount of time. And so, if you've got someone dedicated to it, he was saying about 45 to 50 people within two hours, you should be able to go through and do those verifications and the breakdowns that are needed for some patients, 'cause not everybody's gonna need it. So I thought that was a super helpful tip. Yes, we live in a dental world, we multi-task a lot, but if someone's able to dedicate some time for a lot of doctors at the full schedule, 45 to 50 patients takes about two hours to get that done.

0:11:08.5 S2: Yep. Beautiful. Thank you. Okay, so we're grouping the day by insurance company, we're going online first, getting everything that we can off of our online tool kits, all of the insurances have an online tool kit, some of them are much better than others. That's fine. Highlight what you can't get online, and then get on the phone one time. Brittany gave you a huge tip, huge representative tip. A lot of us would be like, "Oh, dang! That's all you can do. Okay, I'll call back." Nope, just ask to be transferred to a different representative, they'll put you on hold for a second, you'll get back in the queue, but you don't have to go through all of the prompts beforehand to get to the representative, so just ask to be transferred. Then we want a full break down one time per year per group number, and then partial breakdown; so just eligibility frequencies, what are they eligible to have completed, what is their maximum and deductible remaining for the year at their hygiene visits. Oh, yeah, notes. Make those notes, put those notes in the insurance portion with a dateline. If you don't put the date in there, you don't know when you did it and you're gonna redo, waste of time.

0:12:16.8 S2: Look up our Josh Smith Dental ClaimSupport podcast. I don't know the number off the top of my head. I'm sure they'll probably put it in the description for us 'cause we're talking about it, but he's fantastic, he was just on a couple of weeks ago, super easy to find. That's another great resource to listen to. He gives some great tips and tricks on how to do insurance and verifications.

0:12:37.3 S3: Number 460, Tiff. They can look it up.

0:12:40.6 S2: Oh, Brittany with the details. You know what she did, you guys? She went to our website, the Dental A Team, she clicked Podcast and she searched on the search bar.

0:12:47.5 S3: Exactly.

0:12:48.5 S2: It works really easily. She is our detailed. I'm the like, "No, you'll be fine. Go find it. It's fine." So there you go, guys. Alright, ladies, anything else you can think of that we wanna add in here? They've got some great tips. What are some action items we can pull from these? What else do we have for them?

0:13:06.5 S3: Yeah, I think that just action items, if you're not doing insurance verifications yet, keeping up on those, get started with it, it really does help to save you a lot of time when it comes to treatment planning or incorrect treatment plans, going to collect that money later, which we don't want to have happen. So I think if you haven't done it, no worries, just get started with it, your life is gonna start to be a lot easier when you do. And then I think just finding the ease, find the ease and the tips that we gave you to make that a doable project for you.

0:13:37.7 S2: For sure, for sure. I have an action item for you as well. I want you, whoever is listening, doctors, office managers, team members, I don't care who it is, go create a new system if this isn't how you're doing it now. If you heard some time-saving tips and tricks today, I want you to implement them on Monday. Okay? Or Tuesday, or Wednesday, or whatever tomorrow is. I want you tomorrow, right now is Monday, that's why I said that. It may not be next week. So, I want you to go implement those items and get them working for your practice. Thank you guys so much for listening. We love bringing you tips and tricks. I love being on here with my favorite two hygienists in the whole wide world, hygienist turned dental consultants. But I always, always have hygiene in my heart for them. Thank you, ladies for being here with me.

0:14:26.7 S3: Thanks. Thanks for listening, guys.

0:14:32.2 S1: And that wraps it up for another episode of the Dental A Team podcast. Thank you so much for listening and we'll talk to you next time.



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