Vyne Dental is honored to present another first-class webinar designed to educate and engage dental practice leaders as they navigate the continually changing world of dental insurance, practice revenue, staffing, networks, and leading a successful practice.
Teresa Duncan, founder of Odyssey Management, industry evangelist, and dental practice management thought leader, presents this Vyne Dental sponsored one-hour session. Teresa will discuss how dentists and dental practice administrators can assess the current state of their insurance systems and develop strategies for maintaining a winning culture and establish goals for finishing 2021 profitably following the trials and challenges of 2020.
As we embark on the second half of 2021, she’ll also outline how to address the end-of-the-year patient rush, 2021 code concerns, and what’s in store for 2022. Finally, we’ll finish the session with a no-holds-barred Q&A session.
Don’t miss this chance to put a magnifying glass on your practices and your administrative processes — proudly presented by Vyne Dental.
In advance of the session, we spoke with Teresa to gather her thoughts about what she’ll discuss in the webinar. We also covered some other ground, all in an attempt to whet your appetite! Details of our conversation follow, but before we move on, please register for Vyne Dental’s complimentary webinar here: 2021 Mid-Year Insurance Check In with Teresa Duncan.
A conversation with Teresa Duncan
Vyne Dental: In our upcoming complimentary educational webinar, you’ll provide a mid-year coding update to dental practice leaders. Can you tell us what you specifically plan to discuss?
Teresa Duncan: I’ll focus on some of the legislative changes impacting certain states as coding updates are winding their way through the states. For example, changes to the McCarran–Ferguson Act may soon be affecting practices differently than it has in the past. I’ll also provide a preview of what’s coming to coding next year. For example, there are a small number of code deletions for next year. In the last couple of years, there were many technology changes, but changes set for next year are minor in comparison but still essential to monitor.
Vyne Dental: And you’ll be discussing how practices can better manage their payer networks?
Teresa Duncan: I’ll suggest metrics that practice leaders can use to analyze their payer networks, which reports they should run to understand their network utilization better, and three key reports that they should use if they plan to drop any networks or make any network changes.
Vyne Dental: Regularly analyzing payer networks is important for ensuring the practice’s revenue health. Any reason to suggest why this may be more important now than in the past?
Teresa Duncan: Out-of-network utilization is very common, especially more so during COVID. But there are other factors impacting practice’s bottom lines. For some, the Delta Dental controversy in California has an impact. For most others, they continue to bear the burden of increased PPE costs. Employee turnover and staffing remain high, too, impacting the ability to schedule and serve patients, resulting in loss of revenue. Doctors are always looking at their margins, which are shrinking.
Vyne Dental: That’s unfortunate, especially since the last year has been so difficult for practices. How are you guiding practice leaders to mitigate these shrinking margins?
Teresa Duncan: There are several things they can do, but I recommend they start grading their claims processes. I walk practices through their claims process, through the claims journey and help them identify the top areas where claims get held up. This is one of the primary benefits of Vyne Dental’s solution because, with it, practices can grade claims by age or pull a few claims to look at why they are outstanding, review any notes, and determine if the issues are related to a specific member of the staff. For example, is human errors causing slowdowns in the claims processing or is the system doing it. If they are not a Vyne user, I show them how to review reports to see how they can improve their claims management processes manually.
Vyne Dental: And you’ll be going over some points about the end-of-year patient rush. Any advice for how practices can manage this?
Teresa Duncan: Patient volume has been good for most practices, and everyone seems busy, which is good regarding how we’ve spent the last year. I don’t see patient volumes dropping off. As a spoiler, I also don’t like sending end-of-year letters encouraging patients to use their benefits. As a practice, you’re already busy, and encouraging people to flood the practice will make for some really mad patients. For a lot of offices, end-of-year letters are like a tradition. Then the practice gets so crushed in December that they kill themselves. Practice closures last year have kept patient values up, and services, on the whole, are on the rise, so there’s no reason to overwhelm yourself with patients you can’t serve.
Vyne Dental: Speaking of the last year’s difficulties, what’s the primary lesson or guidance you can offer dental practices now?
Teresa Duncan: Anything that can be outsourced, now is the time to do it. People were holding out on benefits management, for example, and there’s no return on investment for the effort. Outsource it. Open yourself up to outsourcing, add online scheduling and online payments to your practice, and reduce manual processes. Outsourcing a job also means one less person in the office, which means fewer personnel issues and more time to focus on care. Regarding staffing, good clinical people are hard to find, so treat them well, create paths for them to excel, and find out what’s important to them.
Vyne Dental: Any other issues you plan to discuss during the session?
Teresa Duncan: I’ll lightly touch on taking steps to increase general business knowledge and paying increased attention to having solid business systems in place. I’ll also encourage attendees to learn more about their revenue cycle management and how they best can manage all the cash through their practice so that if another shutdown happens and they have cash on hand, there’s no problem.
To attend Vyne Dental’s complimentary educational webinar featuring Teresa Duncan, register here.