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dental hygienists can promote medical billing

How dental hygienists can tap into the power of medical billing

Oct. 18, 2023
Dental hygienists are the perfect team members to promote medical billing. Patients will accept more treatment and love fewer out-of-pocket costs.

Are you tired of seeing patients wince, not from the procedures you present, but from the hefty price tag? Or perhaps you're fed up with the constant juggle between providing quality care and maintaining profitability. After all, dental benefit plans pay minimally, if at all, and they come with many limitations, exclusions, restrictions.

How often does a patient not visit the dental hygienist because they’ve maxed out their dental benefits, leaving the expensive dental work they just invested in vulnerable to failure? And how about the limited frequency allowed for panorex use or for an FMX—every three to five years? With oral cancers on the rise, this is insane.

If you're nodding in agreement as you read this, it's time for a paradigm shift. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again—we’ve been brainwashed by this thing called dental benefits. We’ve allowed it to dictate our fees and when we charge, and with a maximum that’s a joke, we’ve also unknowingly brainwashed our patients. It's time to consider implementing medical billing in your dental practice.

Want to read more about medical billing?

Medical billing for dental emergencies

How billing to medical can protect your practice from inflation and decreased dental reimbursements

Dental hygienists are unsung heroes

Let's give a standing ovation to dental hygienists, the unsung heroes of dental practices. We all know them as the friendly faces that greet us, the skilled hands that provide customized and professional oral care, and the empathetic ears that listen to our oral health concerns and the latest news about our families.

But what if they could play an even more significant role in moving the dental practice and the profession forward? Did you know you can bill medical for exams, panorex, CT scans, fluoride varnish, silver diamine fluoride, advanced oral cancer screenings, TMJ orthotics, frenectomies, wisdom teeth extractions, bone grafting, implants, biopsies, and much more? In fact, you can bill both dental and medical and be reimbursed up to your full fee.

Decreasing out-of-pocket costs and increasing case acceptance

Dental costs can be like a troublesome toothache—always there and sometimes unbearable. By implementing medical billing, dental hygienists can help alleviate this pain. Medical insurance typically covers procedures that dental insurance does not, or something may be covered by both medical and dental, meaning less out-of-pocket costs for patients. This would be like numbing gel for their wallets!

Imagine a world in which patients don't have to decline necessary treatments due to the cost. With medical billing, this could be a reality. Dental hygienists, who often have the most patient trust and interaction, are perfectly positioned to educate patients about the benefits of medical billing. This increased understanding could lead to higher case acceptance rates. It's like providing floss to combat the plaque of financial worries.

Profitability for the practice

Let's face it; any practice must be profitable to continue providing quality care, team raises, bonuses, and benefits. But this doesn't mean you have to brace yourself for patient backlash over costs. Medical billing can help increase profitability while keeping patient care your top priority. It's like finding a golden cavity in a mouth full of teeth!

While dental hygienists may not wear capes, implementing medical billing in the practice could make you superheroes. You can help decrease out-of-pocket costs for patients, increase case acceptance rates, and contribute to the profitability of the practice. So, why not help transform the practice? After all, you already have the superpower of making patients feel comfortable while you're poking around in their mouths!

Let's say goodbye to the old ways and hello to a practice that's a little bit cheekier, a lot more profitable, and a whole lot better for patients. Now, that's something to smile about!

Author’s note: Remember, this isn't a comprehensive guide to implementing medical billing in your dental office. It's a peek at the potential benefits and a call to action for dental hygienists. If you're interested in exploring more, reach out to an expert or speak with others who have successfully done it. Dental hygienists can help effectively implement this process from the clinical side, or if you’re looking for a career alternative, dental hygienists are a perfect fit to learning this process and contributing from an administrative perspective.