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How to streamline dental practice insurance to increase collection


by Jacob Corlyon

Taking control of your practice’s accounts receivable (AR) cycle means mastering your insurance billing process. Setting standard operations in place can minimize errors and increase your payouts, while also improving the administrative experience for your staff. Here’s how:

Create Standard Internal Processes

Establish a standard internal process for submitting and managing insurance claim requests. This process should begin with a daily review of all outstanding claims, and the steps taken so far to recover them.

  • If claims have reached 15 days without payment, reach out to the insurance company to confirm receipt of the claim. If the claim has been received, the insurance company should be able to provide an estimated payment date, which staff can make a note of. If the insurance company contends that the claim has not been received, staff should resubmit the claim.
  • If claims have reached 30 days without payment, check first to ensure that the 15-day process has been completed by staff. If it has, follow up with the insurance company again, keeping a record of all communications and assertions.
  • If claims have reached 60 days without payment, and 15- and 30-day protocols have been followed and documented, consider a block resubmission of all claims to the insurance company. This should not only signal to your staff to restart this cycle from the beginning, but will also often trigger the insurance agency to identify and communicate the reason these payments have not been made.

Strive for Simplicity and Efficiency

Enacting and formalizing these internal processes will illuminate obvious gaps or lapses in the AR process. Work with your staff to use these learnings as tools for improving and customizing your process to fit the unique needs of your practice. By collaborating to build a system with top-to-bottom buy-in, you will not only give your staff the tools to minimize errors, you will empower them to find solutions and increase your bottom line at a sustainable and much faster pace. 

Even with the most diligent insurance remittal plans in place, dental practices often face hurdles collecting their AR from other sources, including patients. If that sounds like a familiar problem, you may consider engaging an industry-leading collection partner to help.

Jacob Corlyon is Co-Founder and CEO of CCMR3, which provides a suite of collection services for the dental industry. Mr. Corlyon also serves as President of the New York State Collectors Association.

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