Southern Ontario Dental College

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5 Ways to Handle Medical Billing with Your Patients

Posted in Articles, Dentistry.

As a dental assistant, you’re responsible for a lot of things in a dental practice. You may not be directly responsible for billing, but you’re bound to be indirectly involved. That can be challenging as patients can be confused by medical billing.

You want to make sure that the dental practice is paid, and you don’t want to lose a patient over a billing issue.

Read on to learn how you can help your practice handle medical billing issues.

1. Have a System

Medical billing is complicated. There’s a lot of paperwork involved and a lot of different pieces moving around.

You have to make sure that insurance is billed, the practice is paid, and patients pay what they owe. You can’t possibly do this for hundreds of patients unless you have a system in place.

You can convince the dentist that a medical billing software program is necessary. You’d want to have a system that automates as many tasks as possible.

For example, claims processing is often the most time-consuming task. A medical billing system that makes claims processing easier means that you have more time to contribute to the practice.

2. Be Upfront with Patients

Patients aren’t always aware of what their insurance covers and what it doesn’t. They’re also pretty anxious as it is because it’s the dentist.

Just as you’d help a patient deal with dental anxiety, you can help ease their fears around billing.

You want to triple check to make sure that they understand what insurance covers and what doesn’t. Even if you think that’s an accounting issue, you should still be aware of a patient’s situation.

The more proactive you are, the better experience your patients will have, which will lead to higher patient retention rates.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Uncomfortable

Medical billing may not be your responsibility, but conversations about billing are bound to come up. You want to be clear about who is responsible for what and communicate that to patients.

Sometimes, you’re going to have to have uncomfortable conversations with patients. You want to help them understand how they’re billed and why. That will help patients feel more at ease.

4. Communication is Key

You may not be leading the billing efforts at the dental practice, but you need to be able to help manage patients and other members of the staff to ensure that medical billing is handled properly.

You may have to serve as a liaison between the administrative staff and the patient. Your job is to make sure that lines of communication are open.

5. Know Your Patients’ Rights

The Canadian Health System ensures that patients have rights when it comes to oral health care and dental practices have certain rights, too.

The more you know about these rights, the more capable you are to help the dental practice.

Medical Billing Tips to Handle Tricky Situations

Dental assistants are responsible for a lot in a dental practice. Your primary job is to take a lot of important tasks off of the dentists’ shoulders so they can focus on treating patients.

The most important task that you can be responsible for is medical billing. You need to ensure that billing is a steady process because that ensures that there is a consistent cash flow in the business.

The key to medical billing is to have a great system in place and communicate regularly with patients and insurance.

You’ll be an indispensable part of the dental practice, which will boost your career. If you’re ready to start your dental assistant career, take a look at our dental assistant program today.


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