Vyne’s State of the Dental Industry Report 2021

Survey of dental practices reveals insights into practices’ sentiments on the impact of 2020, the industry, hiring, technology, and overall business outlook for 2021

 

ATLANTA, GA – January 5, 2021 Vyne, a recognized market leader in healthcare information exchange and electronic communication management, announced today the results of the Vyne State of the Dental Industry Report 2021, a comprehensive study of over 400 dental practices in the U.S. that sought to understand how they have transformed in 2020 and their perspectives headed into the new year.

The study was categorized into five focus areas: Impact of 2020, hiring and the economy, technology, industry, and overall practice outlook.

Impact of 2020

Dental practices faced significant challenges in 2020 due to COVID-19. The greatest impact of the pandemic on dental practices was financials (42%). Patient volume followed at 32%, and nearly half of respondents (47%) had to shift their investment priorities in 2020.

It was discovered that 72% of dental practices surveyed did not offer teledentistry in 2020. Twenty-three percent of practices are considering teledentistry in 2021, and 62% said they would not offer the service in 2021.

In terms of patients’ views on resuming dental services, 30% of practice leaders said their patients are actively seeking treatment or services; 21% said patients are ready to resume treatment or services; 56% are willing to resume if safety protocols are in place, and 8% of patients will not resume treatment or services until a COVID-19 vaccine is available.

As a result of the pandemic, a small percentage of practice leaders may consider selling in 2021 (8%). Four percent may consider a DSO affiliation and 3% may consider merging with another practice. Just under 1% said they are considering a local hospital or health system affiliation. The majority of practices (84%) are considering “other” changes in 2021. When asked to specify, responses included dropping in-network status with all insurance providers, expanding their services portfolio, and offering in-house patient payment plans. 

Hiring and the economy

Based on current economic conditions and patient demand, 46% of practices said they are not planning to hire additional staff in 2021. Practices are also not planning to adjust current staffers’ schedules. Eighty-seven percent said that based on current conditions, they are not planning to turn part-time staff into full-time staff, or vice versa.

When it comes to perspectives on whether recruitment may be challenging for practices in 2021, the responses were split. Forty-eight percent said they felt it would be challenging, and 51% said they did not think it would be challenging.

Technology

When asked if their practice planned to invest in practice management technology in 2021, 17% said they likely would; 65% said it was unlikely and 17% were unsure. When it comes to software investment in 2021, 24% are planning to spend less than $299/month; 11% plan to spend less than $500/month and almost 40% were not sure what their practice planned to invest in technology.

The top three motivators for seeking new software in 2021 were to reduce paperwork (16%), modernize the office (14%), and lower costs of current software solutions (13%).

Industry

To navigate changes within their practice and the industry, 43% look to the American Dental Association for guidance. Twenty-nine percent look to their local or state dental association, and 13% read industry publications.

Practices said that their preferred method of communication with patients in 2021 will be text messages (53%). Email came in at 24% and phone was the preferred communication channel of just 19% of practices.

Practice Outlook

Patient volume was the top challenge practices anticipate for 2021 (44%). Hiring and staffing (19%) and industry updates and regulations (17%) were the second and third challenges identified.

When asked what actions could make their practice more productive or profitable in 2021, 38% said marketing. Thirty-one percent of practices said that less coding or industry changes would help them be more productive or profitable and 26% said technology adoption. 

Eighty-six percent of practice leaders are confident (35%) or very confident (51%) in their practice’s future. Just 13% were somewhat confident or neutral about their practice’s outlook.

 

“The Vyne State of the Dental Industry Report 2021 was designed to gain perspectives from the industry that tell a story about what practices have gone through in 2020, and how they are feeling going into 2021,” said Vyne Dental president Steve Roberts. “These insights are not only valuable to Vyne Dental as we look to improve how we support practices in revenue cycle success, but also to the industry as we work to improve dental practices and facilitate better patient care.”

Methodology

Vyne Dental surveyed 400 of its clients from across the United States in November and December of 2020. Seventy-seven percent of respondents were from solo dental practices and 23% were from group dental practices.

 

 

Media contacts

Amanda DeFuria, Millerrupp

amandadefuria@millerrupp.com

© 2021 Napa EA/MEDX, LLC. All rights reserved.  Vyne logos, product and service names, including but not limited to, FastAttach mentioned herein are registered trademarks and are the property of Electronic Attachment, Inc., or their respective affiliated entities. 

All third-party trademarks and tradenames (including logos and icons) referenced are and remain the property of their respective owners.

 

Give new life to your practice’s financial health

By: Steve Roberts

The claims process can feel a bit uncertain. There’s much to consider – submitting the correct dental codes, ensuring you are providing all the latest requirements, and anticipating how long it might take for the claim to go through and for you to receive payment.

It’s a lot of guesswork and can be very frustrating.

Using manual processes like mail and fax or a system that isn’t highly connected slows the process down, provides little to no visibility into what is happening with the claim, and certainly doesn’t provide any status of when payment will be received.

Now more than ever, there may be increased stress about your practice’s financial health. For such an important process with significant impacts on your practice’s revenue stream, it’s important to get your insurance claims right – the first time.

The good news is there’s a better way to manage this.

Vyne Dental can support you in creating steady revenue with our technology solutions that help ensure faster payment turnaround and more efficient claims processing.
Our product portfolio includes Remote Lite® dental claims, FastAttach® electronic claim attachments, and Vyne Connect™ encrypted email. Here’s a quick overview of what our solutions can do for your practice:

Remote Lite – Our dental claims software works with your practice management system to handle claims submissions and attachments. Remote Lite handles your claims delivery and tracks it throughout the process, with the power of FastAttach for including attachments.

FastAttach – Electronically save and send claim attachments – including x-rays, perio charts, EOBs, narratives, pre-treatment estimates, secondary insurance or any other documentation required by a payer.

Vyne Connect – Communicate via encrypted email with patients, providers, payers, and anyone else your office needs to reach. This solution allows you to share protected health information (PHI) safely and confidently, in a way that standard email cannot.

Let us help you create a reliable revenue cycle. Talk to a Vyne Dental specialist to assess your practice’s claims.

© 2020 Napa EA/MEDX, LLC. All rights reserved.

Manage change with easy-to-use technology

By: Kris Grimes

The reality of the dental industry is that things change – a lot. There’s a seemingly endless list of new dental codes, regulations, payer requirements, and technology to keep up with. It can be a lot to manage, especially when you have dental claims piling up, waiting to be submitted. Will the claim be approved? Did I use the right coding? These are questions you may ask yourself every day.

Imagine an intuitive technology solution that could help simplify claim processing, attachments, and secure messaging. A system that is continuously updated to incorporate new codes and requirements from a technology partner that provided comprehensive support and continuing education.

Vyne Dental is here to help.

Our product portfolio includes Remote Lite® dental claims, FastAttach® electronic claim attachments, and Vyne Connect™ encrypted email. Here’s a quick overview of what our solutions can do for your practice:

Remote Lite – Our dental claims software works with your practice management system to handle claims submissions and attachments. Remote Lite handles your claims delivery and tracks it throughout the process, along with the added power of FastAttach to include attachments.

FastAttach – Electronically save and send claim attachments – including x-rays, perio charts, EOBs, narratives, pre-treatment estimates, secondary insurance or any other documentation required by a payer.

Vyne Connect – Communicate via encrypted email with patients, providers, payers, and virtually anyone else your office needs to reach. This solution allows you to share protected health information (PHI) safely and confidently, in a way that standard email cannot.

Our easy-to-use and implement technology, coupled with our industry knowledge, and comprehensive customer support, will help prepare you for the ever-changing world of claims processing. We partner with you to easily implement the new system and ensure our technology supports your goals and alleviates your practice’s pain points.

It’s time to put you in the driver’s seat of your claims processing. Learn more about how Vyne Dental can support your practice.

© 2020 Napa EA/MEDX, LLC. All rights reserved.

Top 6 Reasons Claims are Rejected

Your dental practice can’t afford mistakes. The time it takes to fix a rejected claim costs you hours that you could spend elsewhere; not to mention the refiling fee if you are submitting them through your practice management system.

Here are a few other common reasons why your claims might be getting rejected and what steps you can take to fix them before that happens.

ADA Code Validation Failure

This can be as simple as using an invalid procedure code. It could also be the case that you have the correct code, but the insurance company requires a different one to process the claim (for example, D4342 was submitted with a tooth number, but the insurance company wants an oral cavity code instead).

Subscriber Not Found

This issue indicates that the subscriber isn’t on file or that the submitted ID doesn’t match the insurance company’s records. If you find that you’re receiving this error even though you have verified the subscriber ID, make sure the information is matched with the correct insurance company.

Missing or Invalid Subscriber ID

This is the policy holder’s subscriber ID number. If you are having issues with the subscriber’s ID, try inserting their SSN (social security number) in the subscriber ID field and type the subscriber ID in the SSN field.

Missing or Invalid Patient Information

This covers any information regarding the patient. If the patient is not available to verify their details, you can get this information by reaching out to their insurance company or by checking their Explanation of Benefits (EOB).

Incorrect Entity Address

This includes the address for the patient or the subscriber. Always confirm that the address your patient provides matches what their insurance company has on file for them.

Duplicate Claims

These are caused if you submit the same claim through multiple channels (a third party software, mail, practice management system, etc.). Typically, this means that the insurance company accepted the original claim and is only rejecting the duplicate. However, this can potentially lead to interrupted payment for the claim. It is best that your practice sticks to a single method for submitting claims like Remote Lite(R) e-claims services in the Practice Core solution by Vyne Dental.

Contact a team member today to assess your claim submission process and see where you can improve your workflow.

CTA: Schedule your workflow consultation

© 2020 Napa EA/MEDX, LLC. All rights reserved.

Strategic Plans for Dental Practice Growth

Optimize a plan to help achieve your goals.

The dental industry is constantly changing. As dental professionals, you need to execute strategic plans for success to stay competitive. Here are a few tips on how to drive patients to your practice.

Innovation Stack

As the dental industry continues to evolve, staying up to date with the latest dental trends is important for your practice to stay relevant.

The dental industry is going through a technological transformation. This is creating expectations for dental providers to provide higher quality patient care in the modern world.

What are the latest trends in the dental industry?

Cloud-based practice management software. This provides better security for confidential patient information, reduces the risk of human error, and can streamline daily administrative tasks and patient communication. Another advantage is that updates can automatically be pushed through the “cloud” which means no more long downloads or big files.

Video content. Tell your story and let your patients feel like they are part of the overall narrative. Videos can be used to market your practice, share your passion, or send a personal message. Create video content like how-to’s, Q&A, demonstrations, and the stories of other patients that have had great experiences with your practice through testimonials. People are more inclined to watch than read.

Teledentistry. Having real-time remote access to important patient information can help you grow your practice in new ways. Finding the right tools that offer a convenient way to work remotely is crucial so you can focus on what’s important – your patients.

Electronic claims processing. Using the right software to help you process your claims quickly, accurately, and with less effort is essential. Paying a flat rate fee for claims is a bonus. On top of that, Remote Lite works with most practice management software, allowing you to work with your existing setup.

Electronic claims attachments. By moving away from manual, paper-based processes you have the opportunity for increased efficiency and increased revenue cycle. The Fast Attach® platform puts an end to all of that manual work helping you start saving time and money.

Email encryption service. Maintaining key healthcare regulations and requirements is critical for your practice. The Vyne Connect™ email feature helps you communicate with confidence. This easy-to-use email encryption service allows your practice to communicate information safely with your patients.

Digital Presence

In today’s market, the consumer can usually find most of their needs by looking online for goods or services. Building a strong website is a key component in attracting business.

What makes a great website?

Functional and well-designed. This could be your patient’s first or only impression. Your site reflects your practice, your services, and most importantly your brand.

User-friendly. Don’t make your patients work for the information. Scheduling appointments online, using a secure patient portal to access their records, opting for text or email reminders are great ways to show your patients how your practice is keeping them in mind.

Optimized for mobile. Everyone is constantly on the move. Your site must work well on any platform whether it is a laptop, cellphone, or tablet. Doing this will improve the experience of your patients.

Make your practice readily accessible. Provide multiple points of contact like your phone number, email, social media channels, and a Google map. Make this information easy to find.

Why is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) important?

SEO boosts your practice’s reach. SEO is the process of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

One main benefit of investing in SEO is that potential patients can easily find your website when performing a search online. A highly targeted SEO strategy can help you market your services and attract the right demographic for your practice.

What ranking factors should your practice focus on?

Providing quality content . Creating quality content is key to attracting patients and creating interest in your practice. The more patients click on your links, the greater your chances are of getting better rankings on search engines.

User experience (UX). The way a patient navigates, interacts, and uses your website are all part of user experience. This is important because it aims to provide positive experiences that keep patients loyal to your practice.

Social signals . Having a social media presence creates a more engaging and personal connection between your practice and your patients. This leads to increased online visibility and traffic to your website.

Use these strategies to build your brand and create a positive, user-friendly, patient-focused experience. Turn your patients into brand ambassadors so that they can help your practice continuously grow.

© 2020 Napa EA/MEDX, LLC. All rights reserved. All third-party trademarks and tradenames (including logos and icons) referenced herein are and remain the property of their respective owners. This communication is provided for convenience as general information. Vyne does not guarantee reliance on the aforementioned information.

Remote Solutions for Your Dental Practice

Three tools to help you work remotely with ease.

As healthcare professionals, it’s important to continuously look for new ways to work and communicate with your team and patients. To do this, you need to find the right tools to uniquely empower your practice.

We have the solutions to help. These tools offer a convenient way to work remotely, help your practice avoid the disruption, and continue to focus on what’s important, your patients.

Remote Lite

With the Remote Lite tool, you’ll be able to send claims remotely from the comfort of your home.

Remote Lite works with your current practice management software, allowing you to work with your current setup.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Batch your claims using your practice management software.
  2. Send your claims to Remote Lite.
  3. Make any corrections to your claim and add your attachments.
  4. Send your claims and track their status in real-time.

Our expert support team is here to help you along the way, offer training, and help you set up Remote Lite on your computer.

FastAttach

Our Fast Attach® software allows your practice to electronically submit claim attachments with ease. Your practice will be able to upload images like x-rays, perio charts, EOBs, and other necessary documentation.

Fast Attach is an end-to-end service, streamlining your practice’s healthcare data within a private forum. In addition, our Fast Kapture® feature does not store images in your device gallery or SIM card, helping to eliminate the risk of compromised Protected Health Information (PHI).

You don’t need fancy office equipment to use this tool. You can upload images seamlessly from your phone using our Fast Kapture app.

By using these tools, submitting attachments becomes an effortless process while assisting your practice to meet key healthcare regulations and requirements.

Vyne Connect

Vyne Connect allows you to email your patients through an encrypted email service and is easy to use for your practice and your patients.

For dental practices, Vyne Connect offers an “add-in” feature, allowing messages to work in conjunction with Microsoft Outlook.

Unlike other email encryption services, patients don’t have to go through the hassle of registering an account to view the encrypted messages sent by your practice. For added security, our encryption service also allows you to decide the specifications on how they verify their identity.

Finding new tools that enable you to seamlessly transition from your dental practice to working remotely when needed is beneficial. We know that working from home can be rough, but we’re here to help you navigate those struggles.

 

Related: 8 Reasons to Consider Email Encryption and Electronic Claims Attachment Solutions

 

© 2020 Napa EA/MEDX, LLC. All rights reserved. 

All third-party trademarks and tradenames (including logos and icons) referenced herein are and remain the property of their respective owners. 

8 Reasons to Consider Email Encryption and Electronic Claims Attachment Solutions

While you likely have a solid understanding of why it’s beneficial to migrate away from manual, paper-based processes in your practice, particularly when it comes to dental claims attachments, have you considered a safe way to implement your day-to-day communications?

Many practices continue to use standard email systems to communicate with others outside of their organization – whether that’s patients, payers, or other providers – or a combination of the three. Seems safe enough, right? With increased risk and sensitivity around safeguarding protected health information (PHI), it might be time to adopt an encrypted email service to compliment your electronic claims attachment service – or understand the reasons why both solutions make sense for today’s dental practice.

  1. Communicate with confidence – With email encryption and electronic claims attachment working for you, your end-to-end communications are more secure and trackable all the way through the information sharing and claims attachment process. Plus, there’s no guessing on what can and cannot be sent, from treatment plans to billing information.
  2. Increased efficiency – By moving away from manual, paper-based processes for dental claim attachments and supporting documentation to more secure, electronic solutions, your staff can increase efficiency and focus on other tasks and patient care.
  3. Less paper – This is an obvious one – but printing and chasing paper documentation is not only time consuming, but it also opens you up to human error, lost or unreceived communications, additional paperwork, issues with faulty or lagging mail service, and more. Why not let technology work for you to streamline the exchange process and eliminate wasted resources?
  4. Minimal disruption – The ideal kind of email encryption solution lets you continue to use your existing email address and email platform. It’s easy for your practice to get up and running with email encryption and electronic claims attachment solutions, especially when considering all the benefits.
  5. Potential cost savings – Finding a technology provider that offers both an electronic claims attachment and email encryption service can provide savings to your dental practice. As a bonus: one provider means better customer support and less phone or web inquiries to make.
  6. Risk reduction – Email is a quick way to send information, but standard email programs are not secure and do not encrypt information. An email encryption service allows PHI or any other necessary information to be sent to parties outside your organization safely. With increased scrutiny on claims attachments and PHI, why risk thousands of dollars when there are solutions in the marketplace?
  7. Receive payment faster – With electronic transmission and retrieval of requested records, you can receive documentation and images in minutes versus days when using manual methods, resulting in an increased revenue cycle. Many practices that are using technology to support their communications and claim attachments get paid within two weeks or less.
  8. Simplicity for recipients – Patients, payers, and other providers can easily view, download, and reply to emails sent with an encrypted email solution and at no added cost to them. Payers are comfortable with and prefer encrypted electronic communications and claims attachments.

How Technology Can Impact Revenue Cycle Success

Effective revenue cycle management starts with the pre-visit process and runs all the way through to final payment. Naturally, patient care is the primary focus of any successful dental practice, but effective revenue cycle management keeps the doors open and the lights on, therefore it is an essential component that cannot be ignored.

One way to be more effective at revenue cycle management is to implement technology to automate office processes. The following is a look at how implementing technology, such as practice management systems, email encryption, and electronic claims and attachment solutions can result in an immediate boost to your practice’s bottom line.

Improved communication – With technology like dental practice management software, email encryption and electronic claims and attachments working for you, your end-to-end communications are more secure, more accurate, and highly trackable. This benefits everyone involved in your revenue cycle, resulting in faster claim processing and reimbursement from payers as well as and improved treatment acceptance and payment from your patients.

Increased efficiency – By moving away from manual, paper-based or less automated digital processes, your staff can free up time to focus on other tasks such as researching industry trends and new service offerings, new marketing opportunities, and of course, devote themselves to providing better patient service.

Eliminate paper – Printing and chasing paper documentation is not only time-consuming and bad for the environment, but it opens you up to human error, lost or unreceived communications, additional paperwork, issues with faulty or lagging mail service, and more. Errors can mean claim denials and delayed payments which can shoot your accounts receivable (AR) through the roof. The industry is transforming into one that rapidly accepts technology to enhance the profession and leave the paper behind.

Minimal disruption – Today’s technology options are more user-friendly and require minimal setup or technology team intervention. For example, email encryption solutions often let you continue to use your existing email address and email platform making it easy for your practice to get up and running, with minimal training required for your staff. Increased support from technology vendors can make the transition seamless. As with any technology, the end-user experience is also crucial. Today, there are even encrypted email solutions that make it simple for the recipient to access and open an encrypted message without having to create yet another account and login to clutter their workflow.

Cost savings – Finding a technology provider that offers multiple technology offerings can provide savings to your dental practice. When you work towards digital automation, your practice can save thousands over what you might spend on paper, mailing, and even hourly pay for staff as they require more time to complete tasks. Consolidating vendors for services like claims, attachments, and encrypted email means cost-savings for you; and, as a bonus, having a single service provider means better customer support and less phone or web inquiries taking up your staff’s valuable time.

Risk reduction – In the world of oral health care, there is plenty of room for error specifically related to billing processes that directly affect the revenue cycle. Claim forms and attachments that are mailed in get “lost”. Patient payments may be dropped “in the mail” yet never received, and the list goes on. For every manual process or task performed by your staff, there is a chance of incorrect information being shared or submitted that can cause delays in case acceptance, slow payments, and diminished patient satisfaction. When it comes to patient communications, utilizing technology can also ensure your practice communicates in a more compliant manner. With a major focus on Protected Health Information (PHI) and HIPAA regulations, no practice can afford to have a data breach. A data breach no matter the size, is a breach of patient trust, a blow to your business’ reputation and can cost thousands of dollars to you and your employees. Why jeopardize all of that when there are simple technology solutions that you can easily put in place to help mitigate your risk?

Faster payments – With electronic transmission and retrieval of requested records you can receive documentation and images in minutes versus days when using manual methods, resulting in an improved revenue cycle. Many practices that are using technology to support their claim submissions, communications and claim attachments see their claims accepted faster and they get paid within two weeks. More advanced claim software can also provide near-real-time feedback at the time of claim submission to let practices know if there are any issues with the claim, i.e., missing information, before the claim is submitted. By empowering your practice with this information prior to claim submission, the errors can be fixed in advance saving time and money.

Simplicity – Once you are up and running with the right technology for your back-office, the first people to benefit are your team members. With minimal training, they can immediately see how simple it can be to manage back-office tasks like insurance billing. Your patients, payers, and other providers will quickly see the benefits, too. Patients will notice the seamless organization of their visits and will appreciate the enhanced security of the communications you send. Payers prefer electronic communications related to claims and attachments because it makes their work easier, and other referring providers appreciate the efficiency with which your practice electronically manages referrals using more secure communication methods than outdated faxes or letters.

All dental practices want to increase their cash flow and reduce the time spent on back office tasks, all while increasing the service level they provide to patients. Adopting technology solutions will pay for itself and more in dividends, and everyone in your revenue cycle management workflow will quickly experience the benefits.

The dental industry is transforming into one that rapidly accepts technology to enhance the profession, and while many dentists are on-board with utilizing new clinical technologies in care of their patients, the work they do is still being billed for and collected via outdated, manual paper processes fraught with risk and inefficiencies. Technology adoption is a hurdle that we encourage dental practices to fully embrace now because the longer practices wait to move forward, the further they will fall behind. In today’s competitive oral health care market, providers need to take action to run their businesses efficiently so that they can continue providing the high levels of care their patients expect and deserve.