Dental PPE Billing Challenges Considered
Dental PPE billing challenges are real! And here we are, in the midst of a global pandemic. But with our minds racing on a trillion different survival tactics. And darn, aren’t we good at this? Survival! I want to take a moment here and just applaud mankind for our adaptability and survival skills.
Although this is our first global pandemic, it’s not the world’s. And on this mother’s day, let’s reach deep and thank our Mother Earth for her continual care and renewal. And for all she does to put up with us. For at times, we are her demanding, entitled toddlers running a muck! However, we learn and we grow. With each day taking us one step closer to our answers and maybe even more questions.
What Do We Need To Know?
Just for a moment, let’s take dental insurance off the table. And consider what the cost of operation is now with our needed PPE and any other air filtration equipment, etc. There may be a reduction in the number of team members in our practice at this time as well. Especially as we see less numbers of patients each day. Or maybe a shift and reassignment of team members. It’s time to realign, reconsider, and regroup.
What would the cost be per patient with this new PPE consideration? Let me give you an example. I have a routine hygiene appointment in Oregon on May 19th. When I phoned the office to ask about my appointment, I was told that there is an additional fee for PPE. Seriously, I expected something more. So, I was pleasantly surprised. And your dental practice may need to do something similar. It’s a smart way to manage the cost of PPE while we all figure this thing out a little more.
Dental PPE Billing Challenges To Insurance
Dental PPE billing challenges to insurance are also real! My dental provider’s office advised they would submit the charges for PPE. However, it is unclear at this time what to expect. As this is all still very new. And dental insurance carriers continue to work on how to best manage this for themselves. Remember, they will surely profit. Their existence depends on it too!
The dental code that may be best to use is the D1999, ‘unspecified preventive procedure, by report’ to document and report the use and cost of additional PPE. Be sure to include a narrative that says just that! And we can use the same code on every dental claim with the same narrative. We will all need to watch and wait and see what dental insurance carriers decide to do. However, it’s important for dental practices to move forward. We too must survive, thrive, and care for our patients. More than ever, our patients need us now. As medical offices and hospitals have too much on their plates to provide immediate dental care. We must make a move quickly and confidently.
Communicate Fully With Patients
Create new dental office policies in regard to your PPE changes and the cost. This is not a cost the dental practice can absorb. It’s simply a cost of operation. And patients may be resistant to the change. If that’s the case, they can ride it out a bit. It’s truly in their hands. Let’s focus on the patients who are able to move with us at this time. That’s really all we can do! Just be sure to clearly and calmly communicate the policy to patients. And understand that not everyone will be on board. That’s okay.
Collect the additional PPE charges at the time of service. At least, that’s my recommendation. It can still be billed to dental insurance. And if something is paid on that charge, everyone wins! But if it is denied, no one loses! My dental provider’s office offered to bill and see what happens. However, I choose to pay at the time of service and they can still bill insurance. I would much rather give them their money and see how it goes. It’s the least they deserve! They are some of the unsung heroes in our world today. As are you!
Dental PPE Billing Challenges Resolved
Dental PPE billing challenges are nothing in relation to the the many other considerations of the dental team. But something that we all must take into consideration. Because we want our dental practices to do more than survive. We want and need our dental teams to focus on protecting themselves and their communities. However, we must consider the financial health of our practices to keep our doors open. And open we must!
Thank you all for caring for the world as you do! I love the dental community. And I honestly feel our dental community is an extremely hardcore, courageous class of people. And one that also goes unnoticed and unrecognized as such. The dental professionals I have known and continue to meet, battle disease of all types each and every day. And do a fine job of it, I might add!
We’ve Got This!
Please let me know if I can help you or your team in any way! Maybe you would like to take some time to reorganize or train some new team members! Let’s make it work for you. And if you have any questions about materials, e-books, courses, or even one- on -one Zoom training, I’m here for you!
Just a little something fun to share too! Do you remember, 007 – James Bond? Would you like to know what happened to him? Because I happen to know! He is now working as a dentist in Canada! It’s true! And he has recently just opened his second dental practice there. How do I know this, you ask? Because he called me last week! And imagine my surprise when I asked who I was speaking with and received the unexpected reply “Bond.. James Bond”…. ! It’s so true!!
I love what I do! And the best part is getting to meet all of you. So, please.. stay in touch! We are in this together. And we’ve got this!