About 2 in 5 dental providers plan to drop out of some insurance networks. An estimated 17.5 percent of patients are being affected. If your practice does not participate with insurance, it may be time to rethink this approach. There are benefits to accepting DHMO and DPPO plans and other dental plan types. On the dental front, practice schedules have been consistent. Dentists nationally are reporting an 85 percent full practice.
- Expand your reach with people who may typically neglect their oral care.
- Most children in the U.S. have dental benefits, along with more than half of working-age adults.
- Receive free advertising as a network provider.
- Insurance carriers manage invoicing and payment for you.
- Get a boost from being a preferred provider compared to other providers who do not accept dental plans.
Accepting insurance will change patient traffic. It can also offer potential improvements to reimbursement processing and frequency. Now we will dive deeper into the benefits of accepting dental insurance at your practice.
Attracting and Retaining Patients:
As an in-network dentist, you enter a contractual agreement as a “participating provider.” One key advantage is exposure to a more extensive patient base.
Nearly 90 percent of children in the U.S. have dental benefits. 66 percent of working-age adults and 34 percent of older adults also enroll in benefits. People without insurance may avoid coming into your practice due to perceived expense.
People with benefits are encouraged to stay in-network when seeking dental care. By accepting insurance, you can attract new patients looking for providers covered by their plan. You can also retain existing visitors. You can also spend less on marketing your practice by participating in benefits. The carriers will promote you through their provider directory.
Increasing Patient Volume:
People with dental benefits have a higher likelihood of seeking oral health care compared to the uninsured population. If they come in for routine appointments, it can lead to them becoming long-term patients. You also have opportunities to recommend necessary treatment during their exam. This also helps maintain a steady flow of patients. According to a recent survey, 76.7% of people with dental insurance have visited the dentist in the past year.
Even just accepting DPPO insurance provides benefits. DPPOs are the most common plan type, with almost half of covered workers enrolled. You will be boosted when recognized as a preferred provider. This lets patients know they will have less financial burden than visiting out-of-network providers.
Streamlined Billing and Payments:
Insurance carriers take on the administration and cost of payment and collection processes. Rather than invoicing and collecting payments for each service, simply submit claims to insurance. This will reduce the administrative burden on your staff. There are typically provider relations reps you can call with questions. Insurance carriers also have online systems to check the status of claims and payments.
Opportunities for Patient Education:
Insurance has come a long way in providing policy information. It is now more easily accessible. You can confirm coverage information before talking to patients. Carriers also provide resources and patient education about benefits.
Accepting insurance can offer your practice financial stability. Reimbursements for service can account for a significant portion of your revenue stream. Consistent payments can help offset fluctuations in patient volume or cash flow. This stability can support the overall health of your practice.
Accepting benefits can give you an edge if you’re in a competitive dental market. There may be other practices in your area that do not accept insurance. It can position your practice as more accessible and affordable.
There are many considerations to account for when contracting with dental insurance. It’s all about what will benefit your practice, staff, and patients most. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions. We hope this information helps keep you on track to save time and resources. This will let you focus more on providing care.
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