What makes patients return and recommend new patients to your dental practice?
A lot of dentists will have different answers to this question, but to get straight to the point, its patient care. The Journal of Medical Practice Management found that 96% of patient complaints are related to customer service, while only 4% correspond to quality of care.
Outsourcing dental insurance verification, billing, claims and other tasks can free up your time to focus on delivering great patient care.
Let’s face it; tasks such as insurance verification and dental billing take a huge chunk of your in-house team’s time, time that could be used developing meaningful connections with existing and potential patients. However, the dental insurance verification process cannot be ignored because it ensures that practices get paid.
This Ultimate Guide to Outsourcing Dental Insurance Verification and Dental Billing will help you understand what dental office virtual assistants can do for your dental practice.
Insurance virtual assistance are now a growing trend in the dental field and large dental service organisation are making use of dental insurance verification companies.
This guide will help you get started.
What is Dental Outsourcing?
In simple words outsourcing is the process of using a third party company to complete certain tasks.
This is common in industries where there’s either a shortage of labor for particular positions, where the cost of labor is too high or when businesses or dental practices want to save money (savings could be as much as 75% on payroll costs).
As your dental practice grows, so does the need for resources. Specific tasks arise that require human, time or financial resources that might not be available or come at a high cost. This might also not be sustainable for the news practices.
However, outsourcing dental insurance verification and dental billing provides a way for practice owners to find international top talent at a considerably low cost as compared to employing locally.
Outsourcing dental insurance verification and billing, for example, saves you and your staff from the tiresome processes that have to be completed to submit verification requests.
Furthermore, calculations of patient benefits, their entitled claims, co-payments and many more all make up the repetitive often-long dental insurance verification process.
When should you start outsourcing dental insurance verification and billing?
What would be the impact of a 75% saving, in your monthly payroll, on your dental practice?
If your answer is a huge impact, then you might want to continue reading.
Knowing when to outsource dental billing and insurance verification services can set your practice apart from the rest, if you act on it.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can determine if your practice needs to outsource some tasks such as insurance verification and billing to dental outsourcing companies.
Ask yourself this;
- How many insurance verification does my team do daily?
- How many successful claims go through?
- How is this affecting my teams productivity?
- How can I improve the the insurance verification and claims process?
- Do I need help?
These questions are a great starting point and will help you have a clear picture of what is going on and how it can be improved.
You should consider outsourcing dental insurance verification and billing when;
1. When there is an increase in call in volumes.
Dental outsourcing companies are flexible and can quickly add virtual teams to help you practice handle increased call volumes. This means your existing teams workload is reduced, allowing them to focus on other key areas in your practice, such as delivering a great patient experience.
2. When you need to hire new employees.
Growth is inevitable in a progressing practice, however it comes with extra costs. The process of hiring a new employee can cost up to $4000 and that’s before we add monthly salaries and benefits.
Dental outsourcing helps you maintain consistency, enter new markets and increase efficiency without overwhelming you with increased payroll costs.
3. When you want to expand your practice.
Expanding your practice footprint can come at a considerable cost. You will need new offices, furniture, hire employees etc, however outsourcing saves you a ton of money that you could channel to other areas of your new practice.
Dental office virtual assistants do not need new furniture, office space or computers etc, all this is provided to them by the outsourcing company.
What can a dentist outsource?
As highlighted earlier you can outsource almost anything that does not require a person to be physically present.
Here are some of the key tasks that dentists can start outsourcing today;
1. Outsourcing Dental Insurance Verification
Virtual dental insurance verification is when a trained person remotely checks and verifies all patients’ insurance coverage, eligibility and benefits before they are treated.
According to the Dentistry IQ in most dental practices, dental insurance checks equal approximately 50% of the practices’ income.
This can translate to a considerable loss in revenue if not properly handled.
Every time a patient opts to leave payment of a procedure to their health insurance then it is up to you to verify if they a fully and adequately covered.
In order to have no errors and payment on time you have to verify at least three times.
a. When a patient applies
b. On the date of service
c. When they come for a follow up / check-up.
According to TransUnion, approximately 68% of patients failed to fully pay off medical bill balances in 2016, up from 53 percent in 2015, and 49 percent in 2014.
This number is expected to climb to 95% by 2020.
Dental office virtual assistants can help your practice reduce denials from insurance applications and avoid delayed payments affecting your accounts receivables.
This will also free up your existing front office team to cater to patients walking into your practice.
2. Hygiene Re-care
Hygiene re-care is a great way to ensure a steady cash flow. Outsourced virtual dental teams can help reduce attrition rates, allowing your business to have constant inflow of patients.
Some of the ways that trained virtual dental teams can help your practice reduce attrition rates are;
- Rescheduling patients for their next hygiene appointment.
- Contacting patients that do not show up for appointment.
3. Unscheduled Treatment Plans
Outsourcing a dental virtual assistant to organize your scheduling cannot be emphasized enough. Emergencies are common in the dental field but the financial strain they leave cannot be ignored.
According to Dental Practice Solution most dental practices begin work with over $100 000 in outstanding patient treatment.
4. Reactivation of Patients
People tend to overlook the need to return to the dentist. However, gentle reminders can generate a lot of returning patients if done the right way. As part of delivering the best patient experience, reactivation of patients needs to be done by trained personnel.
The result is patients that feel well cared for and who would gladly return to your practice.
Outsourcing ensures that you have a patient retention and actually increase the number of patients that come to your practice.
5. Appointment Confirmation
With the busy schedule that your patients have, it is very possible to mix up or even miss appointments.
Practices that use dental outsourcing companies benefit from well-organized appointment scheduling and confirmation system. Allowing them to plan knowing that the status of their patients eligibility.
6. Bookkeeping and Collection
One of the most important services that your practice can outsource is bookkeeping and collections.
Outsourcing trained bookkeepers at affordable monthly fees can go a long way and keeping digital records of payments can result in a less clutter in your practice and faster retrieval.
7. Virtual Personal Assistant
As your dental practice grows, you will need help with your own daily schedule. This is where virtual assistants come into play.
Outsourced virtual assistants help with:
a. Email management and client correspondence.
b. Scheduling appointments and meetings, both for yourself and your patient.
c. Immediate and basic bookkeeping, administration and invoicing for your practice.
d. Keeping client records up to date and available.
e. Establishing a working database of your patients and developing marketing and sales communication with this information.
Patient care is handled via online platforms as well as traditional calls to ensure that the most efficient means of communication is used.
Outsourced virtual assistants usually possess excellent communication and organization skills.
8. Dental marketing
Online presence is now a must for any practice. Almost everything is now being handled online. This means that the entire image of your practice is dependent on the way people view your profile online.
Studies show that 2 out of 3 people go online to get opinions on what to consume.
This is most evident when people are researching solutions online. Without an online marketing strategy, your practice risks failing to generate or keeping patient interest.
Even worse, you will fail to thrive in the ever-competitive and dynamic medical field.
Investing in online presence gives your dental practice;
- Better visibility.
- More targeted marketing.
- Better client relations and patient retention.
- Less expenditure on marketing and brand development.
- Better reach to would be a patient.
9. Outsourced IT support for dentists
Get more time to focus on giving quality dental care and helping your patients. Outsourcing an I.T professional lets you lighten the load of being dentist, business owner and I.T specialist.
Keeping up with modern technology while focusing on your practice is not easy but you can manage it if you allow a professional to help.
Having an in-house I.T team in your practice can weigh on you financially. Outsourcing I.T services will give you access to skilled, experienced personnel with the latest technology and support at a flat low rate.
I.T related issues take up a large chunk of your time. Outsourced I.T partners are responsible for making sure your tech system is kept running smoothly and at its very best.
Software updates, security and network solutions keep your practice running efficiently enhancing the quality of care you can give your patients.
Watch as Dr Nikki Green explains how she has been using a virtual assistant for her dental practice.
What are Advantages of Outsourcing Dental Insurance verification?
Every practice has two elements; the medical element which you are an expert of, then there is the business element.
It would be almost impossible to be beside your patients and returning calls all at once. But it is possible to have all the services you need from patient care to accounting on one site.
Here are the advantages of dental outsourcing:
Reducing operating costs
When you outsource you get skilled expertise at a fraction of having an actual team present in your practice. Save on employee benefits, training costs, and equipment.
Dental outsourcing gives you a team on a remote platform, which means you can manage and control tasks and progress that you want. All this is done on a single flat rate.
Shift focus to where it’s most needed.
As the workload is spread out to your outsourcing partner it gives you and your team the much-needed time to focus on the tasks that take your practice further.
Focus on improving customer service turnover time and quality of dental service given. Also as you outsource you are able to invest in new innovative technologies that will be trending in the dental world.
Choose from a pool of world-class capabilities.
Outsourcing takes advantage of expertise that are all over the globe. When you choose to outsource you get access to some of the best-skilled personnel that is well trained to become part of your practice. This ensures that the quality of work in your practice is maintained or is actually improved by this addition.
Free resources for other purposes
We mentioned that the major reason why most practices outsource is the saving you stand to make. These savings mean you now have more to invest in other areas of your practice were here might be a need. As an example, you can invest in newer up-to-date equipment and increase the efficiency of your practice.
What should to consider when choosing dental outsourcing providers
Just as you would want to be a reputable practice that is the same with the service providers you seek out for your practice. When choosing your outsourcing partner you must:
Do thorough research and view reviews.
Anyone can claim to be the best at what they do. Having several people vouch for them is not as simple. When you partner with a reputable company you are assured of a good company image and guaranteed service.
Know what you need to outsource
Outsourcing companies vary in service and expertise. It is good to know exactly why you need outsourcing and what you need help with. This ensures that you partner with a company that has the same vision as you do.
- Is your brand represented the way you want it to?
Having a good reputation is all well and good but your outsourcing partner must be able to match the image and personality of your practice in order for it to be right for you.
The right outsourcing company will know how to deliver the right message to the right target audience and have your brand be well represented to current and potential patients.
- They Can Help You Scale
As your practice grows, your IT needs are going to expand. Make sure that any IT services company you are considering can help you easily scale up your IT resources both in terms of hardware and software.
Whether it’s setting up additional storage for your practice’s file system or installing an upgrade of your practice management system, they should be able to fully support your needs not just now, but in the future.
Why Africa can is the best outsourcing destination
The foremost reason to outsource in Africa is that there are no language problems, depending on the country you choose to outsource from. English is widely spoken in the continent.
If you choose to outsource from Zimbabwe, for example, there is actually no difference in tone, pronunciation and accent. The vocabulary and language structure remains the same as that of the United States and the United Kingdom.
Leaving no language barrier and business communication will run smoothly.
Africa remains one of the worlds most untapped human resource pool in the world. There is a large number of educated people that are skilled but unemployed.
This makes it a good source for skilled personnel at an affordable wage bracket.
With some of the fastest rising economies, Africa is an attractive outsourcing destination. Focus Economics states that 6 out of the 15 fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa.
This results in improving infrastructure and growing investment from international companies closing the gap between Africa and the rest of the world.
The improvement of ICT infrastructure and adoption of new automation technology increases the efficiency of the continents workforce. Regional government’s investment and incentives are also contributing to place African countries under the outsourcing spotlight.
Outsourcing in Africa does not only directly benefit your business. It will also encourage better employment in the continent as a whole.
Zimbabwe has a pool of over 30 000 potential employees that are churned out annually from its various tertiary institutions making it a good outsourcing pool.
Africa also has a high numbers of young professionals.
- Get a younger demographic of skilled professionals.
- High population of educated individuals looking for work placements.
- Higher literacy rates almost all outsourcing personnel have a degree or higher.
- Have educated, literate and skilled individuals handling all your outsourced tasks.
Qualified Dental Virtual Teams
We believe that growing a business requires hiring people that are motivated and skilled enough to help you build and maintain this growth. However, hiring virtual employees is a more affordable and smart way to achieve business growth. Managing your dental virtual team is easy because your team works according to your schedule and time zone. As a result, you are able to scale efficiently.
Recruiting qualified dental virtual employees enables business owners to focus time and resources on other key business development areas. Therefore, we offer a wide range of customizable services, that include virtual customer service, graphic design, insurance verification, digital marketing, bookkeeping and accounting to mention but a few.