7.28.17 Issue #803 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Belle DuCharme, CDPMA
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Placing Priority on Front Desk Business Skills
By Belle DuCharme, CDPMA

Statistically, dental front office personnel are the least certified, licensed or degreed dental employees in a typical general solo or small group dental practice. For years, specialized training for the most critical position in the practice has been limited to an occasional seminar, free webinar, podcast or software training class. Why anyone would consider continual education and training not necessary for this position is beyond comprehension.

Until technology takes us to the day when there are no humans at the desk answering the phone, making appointments, explaining and filing dental insurance, presenting treatment and solving staffing conflicts, I will maintain the same position that I have held for decades: Professional training and coaching are necessary to create an effective front office management team.

Dental consultants understand that analyzing and presenting solutions to the dental practice to improve production and collection must be executed by the dental team to realize practice growth and profit. Getting the doctor or manager to lead the entire team toward moving the practice forward marks the success of a great consultant.

Dental business training is an integral part of a dental consultant’s toolbox, as it is a necessary system to ensure success of the practice. At McKenzie Management, we offer hands-on courses that address the needs of your practice. These courses maximize time and jumpstart the practice in the right direction immediately.

Ongoing practice management training should be required for dental business personnel. To build on existing skills, a suggestion would be to take home-study courses such as those offered by Homestead Schools, Inc. These courses are individual and can be completed in 1-5 hours, offering those with certificates or licenses 2-6 hours of CE after completion of a testing unit in the back of the course. For those unlicensed or certified, the education is invaluable to gain knowledge and improve professional skills. Courses such as Ethics and Jurisprudence, Medication Errors, and Patient Anxiety and Phobia are a few examples of courses that can improve knowledge and thus enhance communication skills with patients and staff. Another great resource is Sally McKenzie’s Webinars, over 30+ dental practice management courses all free.

The American Academy of Dental Office Managers (AADOM) is another terrific source of training and networking among dental business staff who seek more knowledge and growth within the business.

Make time in the day, week or month for continuing education that will improve your practice performance and growth. Keeping abreast of the current trends in dentistry can also act as insurance that your practice is doing things the right way.

Recently, attention has been drawn to dental insurance fraud as a problem in many offices. Untrained dental business personnel are unwittingly committing fraudulent billings that are resulting in dental insurance companies calling more audits and “red flagging” claims to be scrutinized by agents of the insurance companies. There can be severe penalties resulting from the following examples:

Dental Insurance Fraud 

Performing services not clinically necessary or justified (no clinical notes to support)
Waiver of copayment or deductible - results in a change in fees charged by the dentist, inconsistent with what the insurance carrier believes is being charged (charging the insurance company more than the patient)
Unlicensed personnel performing procedures (assistants, hygienists, etc.) - this includes using the NPI of a credentialed dentist because the dentist who performed the services is not credentialed
Unbundling of claims - submitting several procedures separately to receive higher reimbursement
Billing for services not performed or not completed (SCRP, root canal therapy, crowns)
Altering records or claims to enhance getting paid (falsifying records)
Misrepresentation of services (performing a cosmetic service but billing for a covered service)
Misrepresentation of dates of service (changing date to get the claim paid)
Upcoding of dental procedures - submitting a claim for a procedure that is more complex than the one performed
Patients or dental offices that conceal other insurance coverage for higher reimbursement

Want to make sure your staff is trained properly in the systems necessary to manage a profitable and ethical dental practice? Call today and enroll in one of McKenzie Management’s 2-day dental business training courses.

If you would like more information on McKenzie Management’sTraining Programs  to improve the performance of your team, email training@mckenziemgmt.com

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