Episode 632: Top Billing Mistakes and How To Avoid  

billing billing tips Jan 24, 2023


Even if you’re savvy with billing, listen to this episode. Josh Smith of Dental Claim Support is back to talk all about the main billing stumbling blocks his company is seeing with dental practices. If you adopt the tips he mentions in this episode, your practice will increase income in an organized manner. With Kiera, Josh talks about: 

  • The number one mistake offices are making with billing

  • What a healthy cadence for AR looks like

  • How setting a schedule will change the game

  • And more

Josh also provides a look into his book, Hanging a Shingle: Complete Guide to Starting a Dental Practice.

Episode resources:

Learn more about Dental ClaimSupport

Read Josh’s book, Hanging a Shingle: Complete Guide to Starting a Dental Practice

Get in touch with Josh directly: [email protected]

Listen to episode 460, Your Billing Playbook

Reach out to Kiera

Subscribe to the Dental A-Team podcast 

Become Dental A-Team Platinum!

Review the podcast on iTunes



0:00:05.6 Kiera Dent: Hey everyone, welcome to the Dental A Team Podcast. I'm your host, Kiera Dent, and I have 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 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.


0:00:51.9 KD: Hello, Dental A Team listeners. This is Kiera, and, you guys, I'm excited to have a guest that we've had before back on the podcast. I like him because he talks about all the things that I don't enjoy, and if you guys know me, it's marketing and billing, and he's on the billing side. So, Josh Smith with Dental ClaimSupport is here today, and they are awesome, guys. I rave about them. I promote them. I have so many clients that actually work with them. It's really fun because I feel like billing is a beast, and it's something that you can actually outsource really, really, really well. So Josh, welcome to the show today. How are you?

0:01:24.3 Josh Smith: Thank you. We are doing very well, Kiera. I appreciate that intro. It's nice to be here again.

0:01:30.1 KD: Yeah, absolutely. So tell us a little bit about what you guys do at Dental ClaimSupport, just so people know, because honestly, right now, I know hiring is a beast, which is why you guys have...

0:01:40.5 JS: Absolutely.

0:01:40.8 KD: Become popular for Dental A Team to recommend. And if you guys know, I don't recommend anybody I haven't vetted, and so if I've got them on the podcast, I wholeheartedly, if I had a practice today, I would be incorporating them into my practice. So, Josh, kinda just tell people so they know if they're looking, they're thinking about maybe outsourcing, what exactly does Dental ClaimSupport get into? What do you guys do? And then, guys, we're gonna be talking about some of the top held secrets and tips of making a practice successful today. Josh just wrote a book, so I'm excited to dive into that and find some of those trends to make you guys successful, but I honestly think outsourcing billing is one of the best things you guys can do. So, Josh, what do you guys do at Dental ClaimSupport.

0:02:19.9 JS: Yeah, so we are an outsource dental billing company. Literally what you just said, but in a nutshell, we're gonna help with the operations of really the claims submission process, and what happens after that when we've got to post payments, we've gotta work insurance agent reports. It's about collecting what you produce, and we're behind the scenes working with your office to do that. There's also insurance verification, there's patient billing. We basically are a revenue cycle management company at this point. We've added other services in order to take care of not just the questions and the needs of what our clients started to ask us in the sales process. We just know that we can help in that facet because then, again, dental offices and dentists can focus more on their patients, and dentists can do what they love, which is fixing smiles, right?

0:03:08.6 KD: Exactly.

0:03:08.8 JS: So, that's in a sense what we do. Again, revenue cycle management, from insurance verification all the way to a patient even knowing you. We're gonna take care of that whole thing for you.

0:03:18.8 KD: That's awesome, and Josh, how did you get into billing 'cause honestly, I hate billing, so I'm always curious like when someone's like, "Hey, I had this great idea. I wanna do billing for hundreds and thousands of offices. Sign me up." How did that even come about for you, 'cause that's never been anything I would even dream up in my wildest dreams? [chuckle]

0:03:35.5 JS: I know. You even put it there. If I would have said it that way, I'd I've been like, "Why do I wanna do this?" I think when I started, it was with a small DSO out of Savannah, Georgia. I had a couple other partners, one being a childhood friend and one being my brother-in-law. One thing we noticed in our...

0:03:50.0 KD: There it is, guys. Did you hear that? Friend and brother-in-law.

0:03:53.2 JS: Yes!

0:03:53.5 KD: No one else joins billing unless they have a deep-seated love. [chuckle] Just kidding. There are billers, and I love you all, and I know you love your billing. Don't worry, I like treatment planning and building businesses, I get you would not like that. Okay, so brother-in-law and friend, DSO. Keep going.

0:04:08.6 JS: That's right, we've been able to make it work through our 10 years, which we just celebrated as well, and you better believe, we don't always see eye to eye so.


0:04:17.2 JS: But we noticed, we were, I was in a small DSO, about seven or eight offices, and all the billing was done differently in all the offices, so we streamlined a process and we centralized it and basically we became a little outsourced dental billing company, right? And what we realized is, if we did streamline it and we had the office focusing on the patients, we could handle the stuff on the back end. Obviously more and more services we started to offer, and we branched out and we were able to get out into the office and fix problems internally on the front end, but that's how we realized that there was a need, and we just said, "Hey, if this is an office problem in an umbrella of a DSO with seven or eight offices, then it's a problem across the United States. Let's just streamline this with the same process and implement it across the United States." And that's just how we ended up doing it.

0:05:05.7 KD: That's awesome.

0:05:05.9 JS: But yes, can it be boring? Sure, but the reward is off the charts when you're seeing other practices open, you're creating jobs, people are happier, patients are happier. That's one of our core values here as patients, we don't forget about that even though we don't really have personal contact with them. We've all been hurt by an insurance company at one point, so we keep that in the back of our heads whenever we're working for a client.

0:05:27.6 KD: I love that. So I'm gonna ask the question since you see so many claims come through, Josh, what's the number one mistake you see offices make in billing? And I know this is a totally off the fly, but I'm sure you see enough to know. What is the number one mistake the offices make that like hang up their billing or things that you're like, "I wish every office would just do X"? What is it?

0:05:49.2 JS: Data entry. So pay attention to putting in the right information for a patient, which leads to correct insurance verification. You've got to do that and get full breakdowns. And then send claims accurately and timely, every single day. 90% of your claims should pay, if you're really doing that necessary work on the front end don't rush through it. After that, then if claims don't pay follow up on your insurance agent report, it's not fun, but it has to done and again, have your own values. Think about your patients, you don't want them calling wondering why a claim hasn't paid, and then have fun with it, it's not fun talking to insurance companies, it's not fun being on web portals, but if you can treat it as a game, just win the game. It's like chess, just do what you can to have fun with it, and that's what our billers have embraced across the United States, is that kind of mindset, but yeah, if you're an office, just pay attention upfront to what you're doing, it's amazing how many offices we see input the wrong insurance data or the wrong name in this bill, like Josh with an A, and you're like come on don't do that.

0:06:52.4 JS: The claim is not gonna pay. And just pay attention to the little things. Dental billing can be very simple, if you just pay attention and you think about it as an eight-step process, and if there's a kink in that eight-step process, fix it, and it could be data entry, it could be claim submission, it could be posting, payments the right way, but figure out where your kink in your chain is and fix it.

0:07:15.4 KD: I love that. So I am actually curious, when you said followup on your AR, what do you guys recommend for the follow up on AR. I've heard lots of different cadences for it, what do you guys recommend for a healthy AR follow-up because I agree, one, I hate following up on AR, so I agree with you, get that data and clean choose your heart. Would you rather do like clean data entry or would you rather follow these claims forever and have upset patients? For me, I'd rather clean data entry, and I love that it's that simple. I mean billing can be simple, it is hard because of human error because we didn't take the time to enter it correctly, so when we do get into the AR. What's a healthy cadence? To follow up on that.

0:07:52.7 JS: Yes, so there's different ways that people like to work. Say an insurance agent report, which of course is different than a patie



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