On average, dental offices forfeit 9% of their annual revenue due to uncollected insurance benefits (eAssist). That’s roughly $135k per year for the average practice. So, suppose you’re trying to find ways to free up your time and increase your cash flow. You’ll want to start with establishing good habits for staying on top of your insurance receivables.

Ask yourself:

  • How often do you provide treatment and not collect payment?
  • How much time does creating and sending billing statements cost you or your team?
  • How many insurance bills remain unpaid after 30, 60, or 90 days or longer?

In her webinar, “How to Improve Your Insurance Collections,” Katie Nielsen shows you how using Dentrix Ascend can save you time, increase your cash flow, and help you manage your A/R.

1. Submit Claims with Proper Documentation

About 35% of claim errors are a result of incorrect information (DentistryToday). So, make sure that your insurance coordinator is being precise when building a claim. Being precise helps you prevent rejected and unpaid claims. Double-check birth dates, subscriber IDs, imaging, and documentation that could trigger the rejection of a claim. Watch Sending Insurance Claims for a 1-minute snapshot of sending insurance claims.

2. Zero Out Unattached Procedures Daily

While other offices often forget to attach procedures to claims until they run their billing statements, Dentrix Ascend makes it so this will never be an issue for your office. The Unattached Procedures widget on the Overview page shows you all the procedures that haven’t been billed to insurance yet and their associated costs. Click the widget to open the Unattached Procedures page, where you can get to work attaching those procedures.  Before you go home, make sure the Unattached Procedures are down to zero.

Remember that for a procedure to appear in this widget, 1) the patient must have insurance, 2) it must be a billable procedure, and 3) it has not been attached to a claim. Read this blog tip for more on how to process unattached procedures. 

3. Zero Out Unsent Claims Daily

After zeroing out your unattached procedures, you’ll want to look at the Unsent Claims widget on your Overview page. This widget shows you how many insurance claims need to be sent and their associated costs. You can send claims throughout the day as patients check out or send them all in bulk at the end of the day. Click the widget to open the Unsent Claims page. From there, you can get to work zeroing out your unsent claims. Zeroing out your unsent claims moves you one step closer to collecting insurance payments. This blog tip will help you with submitting unsent insurance claims.

4. Review Unresolved Claims

In the upper-right corner of your Overview page, there’s a widget labeled Unresolved Claims. This box summarizes how many unpaid insurance claims are more than 45 days old and the total charges for those claims. Invest time every week to resolve these claims and get them resubmitted. This 3-minute video helps you with processing unresolved claims.  

5. Use the A/R Overview

The Insurance A/R Overview graph on the Overview page gives you a clear picture of the percent of your claims that are over 30 days old. Work hard to stay on top of your accounts receivable. Generally, you’re doing well if you can keep this line below 25%. Clicking the graph sends you to the Outstanding Claims page, where you can get to work. This blog tip will help you with running an outstanding claims report.

6. Review Outstanding Claims

The Outstanding Claims page is an aging report for your insurance accounts receivable. It shows you all the outstanding claims and the information that you need to follow up with the insurance carrier directly. You can see the Aged Totals at the bottom of the page and get a clear picture of the total amount, age, and percentage to be collected. Read this Help article on viewing the Outstanding Claims Report.

7. Use the Insurance A/R Problematic Payers Graph

Another graph that you have on your Overview page is the Insurance A/R Problematic Payers graph. This shows you the five slowest insurance payers and the percent of their outstanding claims that are over 30 days old. This graph is a useful indicator of which insurance carriers you’ll be spending most of your time collecting from and may help you decide if there’s a carrier that you need to stop accepting. Read this Help article to review everything on the Overview page, including the A/R Problematic Payers graph.

Katie Nielsen has been a Dentrix Ascend Trainer for six years, and before that, she was a Dentrix trainer for 18 years. She received the Dentrix Ascend “Trainer of the Year” award in 2016 and the Dentrix Ascend “Spirit Award” in 2018. Throughout 2020, her webinars and one-on-one trainings have helped hundreds of offices use Dentrix Ascend better to improve their cash-flow and patient relationships.