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340 Dental Insurance Electronic Payment with Chris Haines : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

340 Dental Insurance Electronic Payment with Chris Haines : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

3/22/2016 12:53:10 PM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 459

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VIDEO - DUwHF #340 - Chris Haines



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AUDIO - DUwHF #340 - Chris Haines

This episode’s discussion:

1.Creating proper insurance revenue cycle management: TIME, TOOLS, and TRACKING.

2. implement a deposit only bank account for the set up and to complete the enrollment process with all partners to achieve better cash flow.

3. The importance of knowing your clearinghouse.

4.Linking payments and ERA response for accurate reconciliation and bookkeeping.

5.Implementing new payment codes into the software system. 

6.Fast and secure direct deposit of your claim payments.

7.Improved payment turn around cycle (within 5-10 days) 

8.Reduced bank fees and fewer lost or stolen checks.

9. Minimize risk of embezzlement.

10.More streamlined electronic process in their front office systems by leaving a paper based payment system to becoming an electronic based payment system for better cash flow.


Drawing on 30 years experience in a private Dental practice, Chris's passion for efficient systems is grounded in personal understanding and professional expertise. Chris is a Dental Insurance Electronic Payment Specialist who engages the Provider, clearinghouse and payer in simplifying the Dental electronic payment  set up and to complete the enrollment process  with all partners, you need to achieve better cash flow. She has implemented the newest methods for proper revenue cycle management: time, tools, and tracking in an organized system to help Dental offices implement a more streamlined electronic process in their front office systems and is passionate in teaching offices how to move the practice into leaving a paper based payment system to becoming an electronic based system for the new era in dental technology. Member of SCN.


www.DentalWebSmart.com 

Howard:

It is a huge honor for me today, to be podcast interviewing Chris Haines, who has been a dental consultant for 30 years. Chris' passion for efficient systems is grounded in personal understanding and professional expertise. Chris is a dental insurance electronic payment specialist, who engages the provider, clearing house, and payer, in simplifying the dental electronic payment set up and to complete the enrollment process with all partners to achieve better cash flow. She has implemented the newest methods for proper revenue cycle management, time tools, tracking, in an organized system to help dental offices implement a more streamline electronic process and their front office systems and is passionate in teaching dental offices how to move the practice into leaving a paper based payment system, to becoming an electronic based system for the new era in dental technology. She's a member of the SC Dental Resource Partners and her website is dentalwebsmart.com, dentalwebsmart.com.

 

 

Chris, thank you so much for joining me today because every dentist wants to get paid from the insurance companies. I remember back in the day, in '87, you could send claims by paper, through the US mail and a lot of times, we weren't getting paid for 30, 60, or 90 days on claims. Now, what percent of the dental insurance claims today are going electronic versus snail mail?

 

Chris:

I would say, probably at least 98% of them are sent electronically, in my experience.

 

Howard:

98%?

 

Chris:

Oh, yeah. Electronic claims has been around for quite a few years now. As far as the electronic payment, I would say that's probably only been around for maybe, about 5 years.

 

Howard:

What's the difference between electronic claims and electronic payment?

 

Chris:

Electronic claims, basically are your claims. Instead of sending them in the mail, which you just referred to, like we used to in the past. We send them electronically. When you send them electronically, they go to your clearing house. They have a process that's called scrubbing the claims. From there, if anything is incorrect, then they send it back to the office electronically to refile it, to adjust it and refile it. Then they go off to the, if everything is okay, they go to the insurance company.

 

Howard:

How long have you, you've been a dental consultant for 30 years, but how long have you been, mostly only focusing on electronic claims and payment and all this?

 

Chris:

About 6 and a half years.

 

Howard:

Why are dentists, dental offices, calling you? What's the typical client? How much do they pay? What I want you to do, is you're talking to thousands of dentists and I want you to paint the problem, where someone might be driving to work today and saying, "Oh my god, I thought that's just the way it was". What problems are dentists having that they call you and how does it work, that you fix that? What are you doing for people?

 

Chris:

Basically, when they call me, it's usually because they're having a problem with their cash flow. Which is a big thing when it comes to insurance. If they don't have someone within the office that actually handles the insurance for them, to stay on top of it, that can get backed up too, which affects your cash flow. When they contact me, they really contact me because they really don't know enough about it, so they contact me and obviously, ask me a lot of questions on how to implement that and what they have to do to achieve that.

 

 

I have two doctors that I actually do their insurance for them. I have clients that I work remotely for them, handling their insurance. I've been doing that 11 years for him. If that system is pretty efficient, that he has, so I would say 95% of his payments are electronic payments. When you look at your end of day reports, it's going to be mostly electronic payments which basically means, that's already in your bank account.

 

Howard:

I'm afraid when you tell people, when you say people are calling you because their cash flow, explain what you mean by cash flow. What would be normal cash flow? What would be abnormal cash flow?

 

Chris:

Their abnormal cash flow, when they have a lot of outstanding claims and they have it over the 90 day range, that's a very abnormal. I'm talking large amounts of money in their 90 day range. That's poor cash flow.

 

Howard:

What should the over 30, over 60, over 90 day, be? What do you like to see?

 

Chris:

For 90, zero.

 

Howard:

Right.

 

Chris:

Anything over, typically, what I try to do is to achieve it where it is only in your current day range, so it depends on how large the practice is.

 

Howard:

If you did $100,000 a month, if your dental office produced $100,000 bucks a month, what should your over 90, over 60, over 30, be?

 

Chris:

I would say 50.

 

Howard:

$50,000?

 

Chris:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Howard:

For what, over 30 or over 60?

 

Chris:

Over 60.

 

Howard:

Over 90, you said should be zero.

 

Chris:

Yes.

 

Howard:

Over 60, should be 50%?

 

Chris:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Howard:

My homies are driving to work right now. They're listening to you on their car stereo. How would the dentist get to work and find out, how would he get on Dentrix, Eaglesoft, Softdent, whatever, what report should he run specifically, to figure this out?

 

Chris:

It's called an outstanding aging report. I think, typically, in Eaglesoft, that program itself, it's an outstanding insurance aging report.

 

Howard:

You're talking about outstanding, just insurance. Outstanding insurance aging report.

 

Chris:

Correct, sir. Yes.

 

Howard:

If you're driving to work right now, when you get to work, just go up to your front desk, should the dentist be able to know how to run this report himself or herself?

 

Chris:

I would say that generally, that is a very good thing for the dentist to know how to do that, yes. They should always have a pulse of what's going on as his outstanding insurance. Especially if he has someone handling his insurance for him. That really gives him a feel of how well they're handling that position.

 

Howard:

If they're trying to run this report or they're seeing something and they're confused, how do they contact you?

 

Chris:

They can call me. They can reach out to me through my website. They can send me an email through my website.

 

Howard:

Be specific. What number to call? What email?

 

Chris:

They can call me at the number 864-414-1126, and that's my personal phone number. The website, they can reach me through my website, which is dentalwebsmart.com or they can send me a personal email to dentalwebsmart@gmail.com.

 

Howard:

For the low hanging fruit, what are your standard questions? When dentist, what are the standard questions that dentists are having, that have kept you in business doing this full time for a decade?

 

Chris:

Their standard questions, I would say basically, they're very concerned about their cash flow because when they reach out to me, that's at a point where they've actually, probably looked at that report and they realized how much money is on the books. When they call me, they ask me questions as far as, how can we turn this around and how quickly? When you set up for electronic payment, like that, does that turn around versus doing it the, in the past, sending it in the mail. I would say, most offices these days, do not, anybody I've ever run into, everything is electronic. They send their claims electronic.

 

Howard:

Basically, dentists are calling you because their already using electronic claims, but they've got money in their over 90?

 

Chris:

Correct.

 

Howard:

How do you get paid? Do you get a percent of what you collect? Do you bill by the hour? How does that work?

 

Chris:

I had stated before, I have clients that I actually do their insurance for them. I handle their insurance for them, remotely. That's different. I get paid hourly for that. If I go into an office and set them up electronically, to start receiving electronic payment, that is one set fee. For setting them up electronically and training their staff how to implement that payment, once it starts hitting the bank. There's a number, when you have your deposit from your insurance company, electronically put into your bank account, it's got a trace number attached to it. When you get your EOB, your electronic remittance, it's going to have that trace number on there. That's where you connect the dots, so you know that payment goes to that EOB. Does that make sense to you?

 

Howard:

Yeah. Do you go to the office to train them or do you also train them remotely?

 

Chris:

I can train them remotely, but I can also go to the office to train them.

 

Howard:

What do you think works better?

 

Chris:

It depends on the person, I think, that you're training. Some people feel better to physically have you there at the office for a couple of days. I would say probably being physically at the office training them.

 

Howard:

How many states have you trained dentists in?

 

Chris:

Generally, most of them are in the general area from where I live. I live in South Carolina, so I have clients in close, nearby. I don't have any, say in California or any of those states out that way. It's mostly on the Eastern Seaboard.

 

Howard:

After the Super Bowl, will you see people in Denver? Are you still recovering from that loss?

 

Chris:

Yeah, yeah, really. I'm not quite sure what happened there. I don't know if it was nerves or what it was, but I don't watch football too much, but I did watch some of it.

 

Howard:

I'm glad I'm not a gambling man because I would have bet my car that Carolina would have just won by 2 touchdowns.

 

Chris:

I think so many people around here really felt that too, and I'm not really sure what happened.

 

Howard:

Yeah.

 

Chris:

We all learn things from experience. Maybe next year.

 

Howard:

Right, there you go. When you go into an office and they're already using electronic claims, but they've got money piling up in their over 90, why do you think that usually happens? What do you think is going on?

 

Chris:

Typically, if it's because ... I really feel that if they do not have someone handling their insurance, say you have an office person that is pretty much handling a lot of things. I find that if you have one specific person, the insurance stuff is so complicated today. I think having one person handle the insurance stuff and staying on top of it, really is a big benefit. Now, why it's outstanding is because the offices don't have time, especially if it's only one girl at the front desk, or I should say woman, an office manager.

 

Howard:

You can say girl, this is dentistry uncensored. You can call them girl, girlfriend, woman, whatever you want to call her. My office manager is actually a man.

 

Chris:

Okay, well that's great. Yeah, I've seen that many times.

 

Howard:

With the loss of 50 million manufacturing jobs since 1980, you're seeing men pouring into healthcare. Healthcare is 17% of the economy and every hospital administrator I talk to, that's as old as me, says they've never seen anything like this. In fact, I was talking to one guy the other day, he said that for about a 3 month period, more than half of his applications for openings were men, more than half.

 

Chris:

Wow.

 

Howard:

They're great jobs. You don't have to stand out there in the Arizona sun when it's 117, working on your melanoma, busting concrete.

 

Chris:

Yeah.

 

Howard:

Who wouldn't want to work inside an air conditioned hospital?

 

Chris:

That's right. That's right, wow. That's great though. I think that's great that men have that opportunity to take those jobs.

 

Howard:

Your sense usually, your niche product is that it's a one, it's a smaller office and one person up front is trying to do it all and the one thing you wouldn't want them to get behind on is collecting the money because you've got to pay your bills on time. You've got to pay your rent, mortgage, staff, payroll. You can't pay your staff 90 days late.

 

Chris:

Right.

 

Howard:

Would you say your core competency is in the smaller office?

 

Chris:

You know, it really doesn't matter what size the office is because I have clients where there is more than one doctor in the office. That can be, sometimes, large companies. It really does not matter what software program they use either because once I set them up electronically, it really doesn't matter what the software program is. Basically, what you're actually doing, instead of receiving that check in the mail from the insurance company, you're having it sent to your bank deposit. It should be a deposit only, bank account.

 

 

The reason why I say deposit only, is it just makes it more efficient for the doctor to take a look at that account and see that it's just all electronic payments. It's a lot more efficient way of keeping track of your insurance payments, that come into your office. The front desk doesn't have privileges to that account. What I mean by that is by transferring money, they don't have any privileges to it at all. If the doctor sets it up correctly, the deposit only account, he can also, and I always advise doctors to do this, he can also have it set up so he can automatically have money transferred from that account, when it gets to a certain amount, into his persona account.

 

 

That way, he doesn't even have to go to the bank to deposit checks. He doesn't have to go to the bank or get online to transfer money, to do that. If you set, I'll set it up that way. Everything is really, all done for you. Your money is put in there by the insurance company and then the bank transfers the money to your personal account at certain times of the month, whichever way you set that up.

 

Howard:

What percent of the dental insurance companies offer direct deposit?

 

Chris:

I would, percentage wise, I would say, cause there is a lot of smaller insurance companies out there, that don't offer it. I would say like, 95%. Okay, so you're talking about all of your bigger insurance companies. Like Cigna, Aetna, Metlife, Delta Dentals, all of your Delta Dentals. Especially with Delta Dentals. Guardian, Principle. I mean these are all of your major insurance companies that you receive payment from. In the state here, of South Carolina, we have Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, and we have Companion. Blue Cross of South Carolina is a very large insurance company, which is mostly in most offices in this state. That's probably a big portion of their payments.

 

 

To receive payment electronically is pretty nice because you're looking at that money, average payment, electronically from insurance companies, you're looking between 5 to 7 days, getting that money in your bank account. That's a big difference from what you were referring to when we first started our conversation. You mentioned something about how many weeks, in the past we would have to wait for that check to come in the mail. That's a long time frame really, and that's how it's evolved to this point.

 

 

Stop and think about that, 5 to 7 days to receive your payment versus what? 3 to 4 weeks, waiting for something to come in the mail. That's pretty efficient. That plays the factor, that's why I keep mentioning cash flow. Stop and think about that. If you're getting payment in 5 to 7 days versus weeks, your cash flow is going to turn over sooner.

 

Howard:

Half of my friends, if I ask them, who do you use for your insurance, your electronic claims, your clearing house? They have no idea. Do they need to know who their clearing house is? Should they have thoughts on their clearing house? What are your thoughts on the actual exact clearing house?

 

Chris:

I'm glad you asked me that question because one thing that I've learned in this adventure of my business that I have, is how important your clearing house is to you. Stop and think about it. You're sending your claims electronically. Where do they go when you send them? They go to your clearing house. Every practice should know who their clearing house is. There is a lot of them that really don't know who their clearing house is. The importance of knowing their clearing house today, I would say, of all the benefits that clearing houses, they actually are starting to get away from being called clearing houses, to being called claims management companies.

 

 

These days, pick up your phone to a lot of these clearing houses out there and call them. A lot of them have programs now, what I mean by a program, it's actually a program that integrates with your software program. They have an icon on your desktop of your computer and you work within that program all day long. It's a wealth of information. It's got, you can find out eligibility through there. You can receive your electronic remittance advise, which stands, it's the same thing as an electronic EOB. If you get that ERA in that program, you know right there, because its going to show you that you've received an electronic payment from that insurance company.

 

 

Within that program, you can also attach x-rays to your claims before sending them out, which is a nice service right there. When you have your electronic claims, and you are attaching your x-rays right from get go, and you are also writing your narratives in there before you even submit them by the end of the day, it is just more efficient that way because the insurance company is getting everything they need, right there, the first time you send your claim out. They've got the x-ray and they've got the narrative.

 

Howard:

Can you be specific on the clearing house claims management companies, which ones you like, which ones you would avoid? Are there ones that are the gold standard? Are there ones that cause you a lot of headaches?

 

Chris:

I know that there are some smaller ones out there. I don't know every single clearing house that's out there. There are a couple that I know of that I've run across. There's One Mind Health. I don't really know too much about that company, but this company that I'm going to mention to you, it's called Extradent.

 

Howard:

Extradent.

 

Chris:

Yeah. Extradent. That company there, I've had quite a bit of experience with. Their program is basically, what I was just explaining to you about all the different features that were involved in the clearing houses. That company right there, is the one that offers all of these. I have worked with that clearing house for about two and a half years now. I find their program to be very efficient. You can pick up your phone and literally call Extradent for support. Now, in the past, you wouldn't be able to have done that, to call you clearing house because first of all, you wouldn't have even known what the phone number was to your clearing house. There's is many different clearing houses out there. Emdeon is another one.

 

Howard:

Emdeon?

 

Chris:

Emdeon, I believe is how it's spelled. What software program do you use, Howard, at your office?

 

Howard:

I don't want to say because then they'll all figure out I'm 53. I use Softdent. That was the big dog back in 1987.

 

Chris:

We've been in dentistry a long time, you and I, and I have worked with that program before. I'm originally from New York, so in New York, that was the software program up there, that a lot of doctors use, so yes, I have a lot of experience with Softdent also. Again, like I said ...

 

Howard:

Doesn't Softdent have it's own electronic claims?

 

Chris:

Yeah, you can send your claims electronically through Softdent, but you're not going to receive electronic payment through Softdent. That's where a lot of doctors get confused. You can send your claims electronically from your software program, but the trick is when you want to register for electronic payment, you want to be working ... That's why I started this because the more research that I did, because I was implementing it into where I worked already. I found out that there were a lot of offices out there that really didn't even know that much about electronic payment at that point.

 

Howard:

Let's go through this. Softdent, Dentrix, Eaglesoft, the software is set up to send electronic claims, but these individual dentists have to find their own clearing house, claims management company or is Softdent, Dentrix, and Eaglesoft going to point you one way?

 

Chris:

I see where you're going with that. What you're doing when you want to receive electronic payment, you can send your claims electronically from your software program. To receive payment electronically, you have to actually register with each individual insurance company to receive electronic payment. This is why I started this business is because it really is quite complicated. The reason why I say that is because every single insurance company has their own forms, specific forms. They're not all the same. It's not a general form for every insurance company. You're filling out forms and you're putting the practice information on there. You're putting all of the bank information on there and then they're also, at that point, on that form they are going to ask you, who your clearing house is, so that they know. Having to set it up individually with each insurance company is where your payments come in.

 

 

The trick is, once you've set it up electronically, is to have a system where you know how to receive the electronic EOB so you know whose paid you from the money that goes in the bank. That's where these clearing houses, claims management services come into play, these days. They will notify you within that program that you've been paid electronically.

 

Howard:

If someone is listening to you right now, they can just send you an email, dentalwebsmart@gmail.com and they'll tell you what they're using and then you can tell them what your thoughts are on that?

 

Chris:

Correct.

 

Howard:

The red flag, the take home assignment for the listener today, the big red flag would be if you have outstanding insurance report over 90?

 

Chris:

Oh yeah. Oh yes.

 

Howard:

If you have any, and over 60 should be half a months production or less, so if over 60, you still have money outstanding, half a months production or more, or anything in the over 90, then there is probably some inefficiency in their clearing house, electronic claims process management?

 

Chris:

Correct. Anything over 60. Especially if it's large numbers. I just had a doctor contact me recently, from North Carolina. He had more money outstanding in the 90 day then he did in the current day range.

 

Howard:

What's the current day range, 0 to 30, you mean?

 

Chris:

Correct. That would be current. 0 to 30.

 

Howard:

If they're not receiving electronic payments with this direct deposit, then how would they be receiving it from their electronic claims? A check in the mail, right?

 

Chris:

Correct.

 

Howard:

Do you think it's more efficient to go from receiving a check in the mail to having a direct deposit?

 

Chris:

Absolutely. I've been doing it for six years.

 

Howard:

What's that?

 

Chris:

I said, I've been doing it for six years.

 

Howard:

What percent of dentists would you guess, are you in North Carolina or South Carolina?

 

Chris:

South Carolina.

 

Howard:

Whose the better, smarter people? South Carolinians or North Carolinians?

 

Chris:

Ooh.

 

Howard:

Are you a golfer? If you're a golfer, you'd say Myrtle Beach. You'd say South Carolina. I can tell you're not a golfer.

 

Chris:

I'm not a golfer. I probably would say, South Carolina. Yes, because I find that a lot of the doctors in South Carolina are more open to it. I find a lot of doctors very leery about the electronic stuff because they don't enough about it.

 

Howard:

Okay, but what percent, because you know Carolina's the most, you know North and South Carolina the most, what percent of dentists, using electronic claims management are also, just getting a check sent back in the mail, snail mail, versus signed up for electronic deposit? What percent do you think are getting electronic deposit?

 

Chris:

Oh dear. I would say maybe, 45%.

 

Howard:

45%.

 

Chris:

Yeah.

 

Howard:

Right now, you're talking to dentists that say, okay, right now I'm on Dentrix, Eaglesoft, Opendentalsoft, I do all the electronic claims. I attach my digital x-rays, but they send me a check in the mail. Talk to that person about, why do you think it's better that they get off the check coming back in the mail and go set up to have an electronic deposit. What's the advantage?

 

Chris:

I would say that the biggest advantage is having the money in your bank in 5 to 7 days versus 3 to 4 weeks, waiting for that. Sometimes when those checks come back in the mail, or the claim, if you get a claim, it could be a rejection letter. Stop and think about that. You've waited 3 weeks for that rejection letter to come back and have to address that again and send it back. I would say the most important thing is getting your payment between 5 to 7 days versus in the mail.

 

 

There's many benefits to it. If you give, if they give their staff the tools and the training to do it where they receive electronic payment, then they can implement that system as far as receiving electronic payment. It would make their cash flow much better, monthly.

 

Howard:

How much would it cost for them to have you fly to their office and set that up?

 

Chris:

The expense of the flight, and it really depends on the size of the practice. That's how I go, by that. Why I'm going to say this too, is some offices might already be set up with 1 or 2 electronic insurance payments. If that's the case, then I give them a break on the fee that I charge, but if it's a larger practice, I would say anywhere between 2-4 thousand dollars. It really depends on the size of the practice. That is getting it all set up and training their staff how to implement that electronic system of the payment.

 

Howard:

Basically, they're going to do all this stuff and they're just going to get a faster turn around time on their money?

 

Chris:

Yes, sir. Yeah. Because of these claim management services that they have, it's not only that, they also implement another really important part of that is the eligibility information. A lot of offices are getting more into finding out ahead of time, what a patients insurance eligibility is. Which is a big benefit also. That can all be done electronically through the websites, also or even through those claims management services. They offer that stuff.

 

 

Stop and think about it. If you have, say you're working within that claims management service, you can look a week ahead and it pulls from your software program, your patients that are scheduled for the following week. You an look up their eligibility and find out what it is a week before they come into your practice.

 

 

Now, that's a benefit in itself because it's going to tell you if they don't even, it'll tell you that they don't even have coverage with that insurance company any longer. Because they're pulling the information from your software program, so whatever insurance is in that software program, under that patient, that's what's going to come up. It'll tell you if they don't have insurance any longer with that. Think about that. A week ahead of time and you already know that they don't have insurance with that company, so you call your patient up and tell them that. They need to find out what their insurance is before their appointment.

 

 

It's only a benefit because what happens when they get in to the hygiene chair, and you're advising treatment to them, you've already got their eligibility information in the computer. You know right there, basically, the breakdown of what their insurance is going to pay. They are going to be more likely to schedule treatment with you before they leave the office because your office staff is going to be more knowledgeable in explaining to them, what their eligibility is and their coverage and what their percentage would be.

 

Howard:

What do you say to dentists who are afraid, they say, well if I, okay, how do I do electronic claims through Dentrix, Eaglesoft, Opendental, but if I do direct deposits, isn't there going to be a delay in my EOB, my explanation of benefits?

 

Chris:

No. There will be no delay because basically they send you an electronic, it's called an ERA. If you've ever seen the three little words. It's called electronic remittance advice. Same thing as an EOB, only it's an electronic EOB, basically.

 

Howard:

An EOB, explanation of benefits, will be called a what?

 

Chris:

Electronic remittance advice. Same thing as an EOB, only it's an electronic version. These claim management services have that option of having that information within these programs or if the office doesn't want to use that program, they can get that within the website, the insurance company websites.

 

 

I very rarely, myself, call insurance companies. To me, that's a waste of time because you're on the phone for so long. You can so easily go to the insurance company websites and get a wealth of information. You just have to learn how to get around in the websites for the information that you're looking for. You can get all kinds of information.

 

Howard:

Again, that EOB, explanation of benefits, would be called an electronic remittance ...

 

Chris:

Advice.

 

Howard:

Advice, so do they call that an ERA?

 

Chris:

ERA. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Howard:

What else is ERA, we have no ERA attachment. Okay, and so, when they do the direct deposit, they should electronically send at the exact same time, an ERA, electronic remittance advice?

 

Chris:

You can also set it up, if you have an office email. You can also set it up where that insurance company is going to email you that they've made a payment, to notify you of an electronic payment.

 

Howard:

Can the ERA also be sent directly into Eaglesoft, Dentrix, all those?

 

Chris:

Not within the software program. Like I said, it would be through these claim management companies. It could go through there or it would be on the websites.

 

 

I work with the clearing house. I find that very efficient to do it that way because they're sending you, you have everything within that program. Your claims are in there. You attach your x-rays in there. You get your insurance response, which is your ERA in there. You get your eligibility in there. I think any office today, really that wants to be more efficient with their insurance stuff, really needs to find out more about their clearing houses and what they have to offer.

 

 

There is so much more to them, these days, really. Before, you didn't even know what the phone number was.

 

Howard:

I want to go off topic a little bit. Setting up electronic claims and setting up electronic deposit, does this have any variable to do with embezzlement? I know a lot of dental offices, we're always seeing in the newspapers. There was one in the office the other day. Does this have anything to do with making it less likely that I'm being embezzled from?

 

Chris:

That's one thing that I find with doctors that they're probably most concerned with, but if ... I find from experience, it's a more secure way of handling your payment because, stop and think about it. That payment is actually going to your bank deposit. If you put it in the deposit only account, and you do not give any front office staff any privileges, within that account whatsoever, then that's going to reduce your risk right there because they don't even have access to your money.

 

 

The doctor is the one that monitors that account. It's really very easy. Like I said, if you do the deposit only, the only thing in that account is going to be your electronic payment, so it should be very easy for him to print that off and give a copy to his front desk person and say, this is what's gone into the bank.

 

Howard:

Sometimes you can't win for losing. The last dentist that I talked to that just got cleaned out in embezzling and guess who was embezzling from him? His wife who had been planning to divorce him and she'd been embezzling and sending the money to Australia. She thought it all out and she didn't file for divorce until he figured it out, so she's been doing this for 5 years.

 

Chris:

She was doing it electronically?

 

Howard:

Oh, I don't know all the details.

 

Chris:

Wow, that's a new one.

 

Howard:

Yeah, so you can get embezzled from anybody.

 

Chris:

I know that. It's like that ...

 

Howard:

In fact, as we're talking, my son Ryan just walked away with my wallet. Ryan, what are you doing? I wonder. He reached in my drawer, took my wallet and he's running, he just ran out the front door.

 

Chris:

He probably went to get you some lunch, that's what he did.

 

Howard:

Are there any other mistakes you could be explaining to my homies? Is there any mistakes that you see with payment codes in the software programs? Is that an issue?

 

Chris:

No. Basically, what happens, when you send a claim electronically, these clearing houses are so efficient these days, if you sent that claim electronically and there is information that missing or incorrect, it actually gets returned to you to correct it. It's so specific now, that it actually tells you exactly why they sent it back to you. It could be something as simple as missing birth date or incorrect ID number or incorrect address or something to that effect. As far as electronic, it's much more efficient because you didn't have that option before, when you think about it. You had to wait to send it and then it would come back and then you would find out that the reason why, they wouldn't even really be that specific, why they rejected the claim. It really is so much more efficient that way because you pretty much, find out, when you send your claims at the end of the day, by the next day, you're going to know if there is any mistakes in any of those claims that you've sent and you can correct them.

 

Howard:

Chris, now I want you to take off your dental consultant hat and put on your mom hat. You and I have the same dilemma, in the fact that, I've had Dental Town Magazine since 1994. I've had the website since '98. The bottom line is, if Henry Ford would have asked all the people, hey, do you want to get rid of your horse and buy a horseless carriage? The whole market would have said, hell no, I love my horse. I get up everyday, I bathe him, I wash him. When they start selling a horseless carriage and it didn't work, they had to realize, they're not going to get rid of their horse. They're going to get a car and they just have to sell the advantages of a car over a horse. They can go faster and go longer, blah, blah.

 

 

If I asked Dennis, what do they want a podcast about? What do they want to hear about? It only comes back clinical. There is not a single person out there who want to learn anything about everything you're talking about. They want to learn about root canals, fillings, crowns. Most of my podcast people are under 30. They've probably only had their practice for 5 years. Put on your mom hat. How can you tell these young dentists that are now half women, that they just can't learn about root canals, fillings, and crowns. They have to get involved in the front desk. Every single office I go into, the front desk people tell me, our dentist has zero idea about anything. He couldn't even fill out a form. He couldn't submit a claim. They joke that they could be up there running a medical marijuana dispensary and the dentist wouldn't even know it.

 

 

How do you and I, we're in our 50s, we got children old enough to be dentists, how can we try to convince these young podcast listeners that a dentist is a business person and getting paid in 5 to 7 days versus 90 days, can be the difference between a bankruptcy, and I want to tell my homies, I'm in Phoenix, Arizona and this is only April, we're podcasting on February 9th in Phoenix, Arizona, Valley of the Sun has already had ten dental office bankruptcy closures and we're only six weeks into this year. How do we get people to get, I mean, I know when I'm doing this podcast interview on electronic claims, I know they're all looking at me like, what? Who cares. Then they want to hear about a root canal. Talk to them.

 

Chris:

They should care because that's the core of their practice. Any young dentist that's just coming out of college, I'll be honest with you, he needs to put systems in place, right from get go. He really needs to learn the core of his front desk and how that works. As far as setting it up electronically, stop and think about that. When he first starts his practice. If he gets this set up right from, and puts those systems in place, right from get go, that's going to sustain him for the duration of running his practice. Once he gets set up electronically, it just continues that way. I haven't run across any problems as far as glitches in your payments and stuff.

 

 

That's the most important thing. It really comes down to the fact that knowledge is everything. If it's going to effect his cash flow then that's the most important thing that he needs to learn, as far as his front desk and all it takes to organize it and put systems in place so that cash flow is efficient, the way it should be.

 

Howard:

You work with, how many different practice management systems software do you work with? Do you think Dentrix, Eaglesoft, do you think they are pretty much, basically all the same? Are there some that you think work a heck of a lot easier and better and intuitive than others?

 

Chris:

There's some that work a little bit, most of them are pretty much the same. Some of them work a little easier than others. Some of them are kind of complicated.

 

Howard:

Which ones are kind of easier and which ones are kind of more complicated?

 

Chris:

I'll be honest with you, what I do, setting up electronically, it doesn't matter what the software program is. That doesn't effect what I do. As far as the ones that, my experience that I've come across, I find Eaglesoft, Softdent, those are easier to work with. Dentrix, I find most offices, they either love it or they dislike it. I wasn't going to use the other word. It really just depends. I find that Dentix can be a little cumbersome for some people because it's so, there is so much there to learn.

 

Howard:

Right. I've always told all, I have personally gone on flights on my own dime. I went to Effingham and talked to Eaglesoft. I've got to Shine. I've gone up to [inaudible 00:48:43]. The Dentrix, I've talked to them all. The bottom line is, they'll tell you that 80% of their software is never used. I tell them, what they're doing is they're trying to put up a thing, if any receptionist ever says, I wish it would do this. They just do that as the expense of making it over complicated for everyone else. I've begged them.

 

 

If 80% say it's not being used, if you stripped all of that out. Can you imagine checking in at the Hilton, or checking in at the Hyatt and the person there checking your car could literally do 480 different things, when they need to just ask, what is your mileage? What is the gas tank? Make it so these are the 6 things to check me in. These are the 6 things to check me out and get rid of everything else. Someone needs to just come down, and you know whose going to do it? I think whose going to do it is somebody who is not even in the business, is going to start, probably, a dental practice management from scratch, on a phone app. Then they would be forced to streamline it down. Keep it simple stupid.

 

Chris:

I think, as far as young dentists, first starting, if they start off of with an efficient systems at their front desk, that's the most important thing I could leave with them. Just start out with good front desk systems. Make sure that you take the time to train the staff. Sometimes, the training part of it, for the staff, is important too. Sometimes the doctors don't take the time, give them the tools so they know how to use that. That's going to help everything in the long run, is when they have staff that has the tools and the training that's needed to achieve their job at the front desk.

 

Howard:

Well Chris, I think you've covered it all. You can email Chris at dentalwebsmart@gmail.com. She gave you, I can't believe, she gave you, not many people are going to give you their cell phone number, 864-414-1126. That 864-414-1126. Just go to dentalwebsmart.com. Chris, you're so smart. I don't know of anybody in your space who just does this. You're highly specified. You're only in dentistry. You're only in these dental electronic claims, direct deposits. You're what I call, who I always try to get on my podcasts, or what I call, dental unicorns.

 

Chris:

Okay.

 

Howard:

Just rare bird flying around that just master one little thing and I know, I'm not silly, I know if you're a podcast listener. I want to hear about bone grafting. I know it. I get it. You're a chef, you want to make lasagna. I know you want another recipe, but you've got to keep your eye on the business. In my 30 years experience, everybody who works on the business first, and gets rich, then they can afford, like me, gone to the [inaudible 00:51:52] and buy lasers and CBCTs and go to mesh and get ... That's all the fun stuff after you got your house in order. Your house has got to be in order. You got to be poised for growth and you need to get rich first and then play. Not get behind the financial 8 ball and then be stressed out of your wig. Start drinking Listerine and be one of the 10 dental offices in Phoenix that's already gone under for 2016.

 

 

Chris, thank you so much for spending an hour with me today.

 

Chris:

Thanks for the opportunity. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

Howard:

You know what, will you do me a favor? I just sent you an email and I cc'd my office manager, Robert. I want you to talk to Robert and see if you think we're doing it right.

 

Chris:

Okay. Can I ask you one quick question?

 

Howard:

Yeah.

 

Chris:

Do you receive any electronic payment at this point?

 

Howard:

We send electronic claims, but we get the paper check in the mail.

 

Chris:

Okay.

 

Howard:

We do not use the direct deposit.

 

Chris:

I can just help Robert, I can tell him a lot of stuff. Advise him on a lot of stuff then.

 

Howard:

I hope you do because his, the deal with humans is, you can't tell them how to drive from Phoenix to LA and give them the directions, until first you sell them on why they need to go to LA. I hope you call Robert and tell him why he wants to go there. If you get Robert to say, okay, now I want to go to LA, then you can help him get there.

 

Chris:

Okay. All right.

 

Howard:

It was an honor meeting you. Hope to meet you in person sometime and you know what I'm also thinking? I know it would be the most, least watched online CD course we ever put up, but it would be the most necessary, you should email HOGO, I'm howard@dentaltown.com. He's Howard Gostein, so he goes by hogo@dentaltown.com. I think you should make an online CE course on Dental Town about how to do all this stuff and just present it because the difference in a podcast and an online CE course, is like the difference between reading a book and seeing the movie. You just have to have people that want to read the book.

 

Chris:

Right.

 

Howard:

I look at all the people who, we are online CE courses have been viewed a half a million times. I look at the people looking at those list. I cross reference with the people sending me emails and it seems to be two different markets. I think the podcasting market is basically, a multitasking market. These are docs who are just driving to work and the choice was listening to us or some local radio station talk about the traffic.

 

Chris:

Right.

 

Howard:

The online CE course is more of an evening thing. They like to get 8 CE credits. It's just a different deal.

 

Chris:

Yeah.

 

Howard:

My new book, you mentioned, people, time, and money, You're the marriage of time and money. It's like we're not going to only watch your money, but we're going to watch it getting in in only 5 to 7 days instead of 30, 60, 90 days.

 

Chris:

Yep. One thing I want to mention real quick before we finish up too. Thank you for that tip. I'll be glad to reach out to him on that. I was just checking out for the Hinman Dental Convention in Atlanta, checking out. If you actually go on there and look at the courses that doctors can take, or even their staff, you will be shocked. I'm shocked. I look at it every single year because I only live an hour and a half from Atlanta. You will not find any courses that pertain to dental insurance. How sad is that?

 

Howard:

You'll find 10 courses on occlusion and teeth don't even touch when you eat. They should call them bolus chewing courses. Then you'll ask that doctor in his 15th occlusion course, what is your account receivables? What is your aging report? Ask him any question. What is your return on asset for 2015? What was your return on equity? What is your market? Ask him anything that matters, they won't know. Then they'll tell you the wear rates of all their composites, when none of their composites were down. They'll tell you the bond strength of all their fillings and none of their fillings fall out. It's always a challenge, as you get older and older and older, to try to get the kids to focus in the right direction. I hope that's what we're doing in this podcast. That's why I do it everyday for free. Thank you for doing this for me, for free too.

 

Chris:

Well thank you for the opportunity, Howard. I really appreciate it.

 

Howard:

Another reason you should make an online CE course? I do a podcast because I have a face for radio, you have a face for television, so that's why you should do an online CE, so they can all see you.

 

Chris:

I appreciate it. Thank you.

 

Howard:

All right, have a great day. Bye bye, Chris.

 

Chris:

Bye bye.

 


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