Have you ever received a phone call from a patient upset about the amount their insurance has paid on their claim? I know it may not seem fair, but our patients expect us to know about their insurance plans and what is covered. After all, aren’t we the experts in understanding dental terminology? There are so many advantages to our practice if we take the time necessary to make sure our patients understand their insurance benefits and make them a priority.
Why is it important to understand your patients’ insurance benefits? It is very important for several reasons. As providers, you know the language that insurance companies use. Some of our patients cannot afford the dental treatment that they need without the benefit that insurance provides. You have the opportunity to be the translator for your patients so they understand what to expect financially. Understanding benefits and coverage can be a huge barrier to patients getting the treatment they need. Being able to explain their insurance benefits enables you to partner with them to make sure they understand their coverage and out of pocket expenses. No one likes financial surprises. We know their human resources department may have chosen the plan for them, but what a great opportunity to show you care. By translating this verbiage for them, you gain their trust on the financial end of treatment in your office. You will look like the hero taking the time to explain to them what they can expect.
Being the translator for your patients also allows you some added advantages for your patients. Taking the time to be the advocate for your patients allows you the opportunity to make sure they use all of the benefits their company has chosen for them. Your patients will truly understand that you are there for them, and want to help them navigate the financial aspect of getting the care they need. By taking this time, it also gives your practice a competitive advantage. Doing this for our patients can be a time consuming endeavor. However, when you use this to make sure the patient is getting the most out of their benefits, the relationship you are building just gets stronger. Most practices will not take the time and it will allow you to be the insurance hero. The concern you are showing to your patients is something that will be discussed with others and that is a fantastic referral source. Making the patient the priority will help grow your practice. Also, this helps your insurance coordinator feel they are a crucial member of your dental team. It is so rewarding to be able to tell your patients that you have an insurance guru that will assist them to get the most out of their benefits as possible.
Another area that is a win/win for all involved; the patient, the practice, and human resource departments, is to meet with employers in your area. We all know human resources do not understand dental codes, but we are the translators. Our knowledge can assist everyone in this process. Meeting with targeted employers, you are able to help the company navigate and choose preferred plans which offer more value to your patients. What an advantage it would be for your practice if you invested the time to do this! Can you imagine the positive things that would be shared by this word of mouth marketing? Not to mention, the increased profitability by targeting the insurance plans you want to work with.
Now that it is September, this is a great time to get in touch with your patients that have not used all of their insurance benefits to complete treatment before the New Year. It is not too early to think about this now so your patients can complete treatment plans that were created during the year and use all of their benefits for 2016. By doing this, your patients will feel like they are important to your practice and you are trying to help them by using all of the benefits before they disappear at the end of the year. It’s time to be the hero!
Does your practice have a translator?
If I can assist in helping your practice implement the details it takes to be successful, contact me today.
Victory Dental Management, LLC