A strong foundation is imperative for a building’s longevity and performance. When architects and engineers design structures, they understand that without a solid base, even the most magnificent skyscrapers are at risk of crumbling. Similarly, when it comes to your dental practice, ensuring a solid foundation for your Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) is crucial for long-term success.
RCM is vital for your practice, as it guarantees appropriate compensation for services provided. By implementing efficient RCM procedures, your practice can simplify the complexities of billing and payment collection, ultimately accelerating the payment process and optimizing cash flow. A proficient RCM system also helps provide transparent billing, leading to enhanced patient satisfaction and trust in your practice.
In trying to pursue financial stability and operational efficiency, some dental practices seek quick fixes and patches to address immediate revenue challenges. However, like a building constructed on a shaky foundation, these short-term solutions can lead to severe complications in the future.
In this blog, we’ll delve into the five most important elements of a solid RCM foundation that will pave the way for your practice’s lasting success and growth. We’ll also explore how the right practice management software, like Curve SuperHero™, will help strengthen your RCM foundation and provide optimal functionality and productivity.
The 5 Most Important Elements of a Strong RCM Foundation
1. Accurate Data Entry
Most insurance denials stem from inaccuracies in data entry before the patient even steps into your office. As soon as a patient schedules his first appointment, the RCM process is set in motion, leading your practice closer to its financial goals.
Precise information regarding each patient’s personal details, address, medical history, and insurance coverage, helps to confirm that the RCM cycle can move on to the next phase. Inaccurate data entry not only results in delayed reimbursement, but it also means more effort for you since you’ll need to comb through patient information and correct any errors that were made. It’s a good idea to appoint an Intake Champion to review entries daily and verify all data matches patient records.
How Curve Strengthens your RCM Foundation: Digital Intake for Accurate Data Entry
Given the significance of obtaining accurate data, an expanding number of dental practices are ditching paper forms and adopting digital solutions like those offered by Curve Superhero™. Customizable online forms let your patients fill out their personal information from home or anywhere with internet access, which saves your staff time and promotes a better patient experience.
Having patients enter information in real-time reduces the margin of error since it automatically populates your database. And having mandatory fields guarantees patients won’t skip essential sections. If a patient provides information that differs from what you have on file, Curve Superhero notifies your team so they can verify it.
2. Personalized Clinical Narratives
Detailed and personalized clinical narratives are essential for documenting dental history, diagnostic findings, and proposed treatment plans. Think of it as each patient having a unique story. This story must be communicated to insurance companies in order for them to authorize claims. If there are any ambiguities, the claims might be rejected.
How Curve Strengthens your RCM Foundation: Enhancing Clinical Narratives with Templated Prompts
Generic cut-and-paste narratives from Word documents don’t offer personalized insights for each patient, preventing the creation of comprehensive patient stories. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, Curve Superhero lets you create templated note prompts that can be individualized for each patient. This method requires your team to progress through specific responses, resulting in more reliable and tailored clinical narratives.
3. Precise Coding
Insurance providers use procedure codes to establish reimbursement amounts. It goes without saying that accurate and streamlined coding plays a pivotal role in the effectiveness of your RCM. In fact, it is the most important factor when it comes to medical billing since precise coding ensures punctual payments while guarding against claim denials or payment delays.
How Curve Strengthens your RCM Foundation: Optimizing Code Bundling
A good way to safeguard against overbilling is by having a systemized way to bundle procedures together. Curve SuperHero comes with features that allow you to label visits and bundle services called Tags, making the entire process more efficient. Not just for standard procedures, SuperHero lets you create bundled codes for specific treatments like pin retention crowns. By pre-selecting treatments and tagging visits, you simplify the process for your team. Nothing is missed when the visit is completed.
4. Unified Dental Coding Practices for your Team
When your team isn’t in sync regarding dental codes, you expose your practice to more than just financial risks. You might face:
- Legal and financial penalties for failure to comply with coding rules and regulations
- Inaccurate patient dental history that can affect patient care
- Poor communication of patient information with other dentists and specialists
- Obscured data that can hinder your ability to pinpoint areas of your practice where improvements are needed
- Unclear patient expectations of insurance benefits and potential out-of-pocket expenses
- Potential flagging for fraudulent coding
How Curve Strengthens your RCM Foundation: Equipping Your Team
By consistently naming your tags and narratives using Curve Superhero’s inclusive charting features, you streamline the process, ensuring each patient's visit goes seamlessly. Uniform naming conventions eliminate confusion, allowing the team to be on the same page, leading to successful patient care.
5. Thorough Perio Charting
Insurance companies use the information on perio charts to assess the necessity of periodontal treatments and procedures. Accurate perio charting helps justify the need for these treatments, increasing the likelihood of insurance coverage and reimbursement. Proper perio charting also helps certify that the correct procedure codes are used when submitting claims. It also provides a clear record of a patient’s oral health status, which is essential for continuity of care and for tracking the progression of periodontal disease over time.
How Curve Strengthens your RCM Foundation: Making Sure the Claim is Ready to Process
The final step in the RCM cycle, but by no means the least, is confirming that the claim is primed for processing. Leveraging tools for faster and more accurate perio charting is vital. An advanced voice recognition AI tool, Bola AI, has been integrated with Curve Superhero to make it easy for you and your team to dictate your perio exams directly into your software. By attaching precise perio charts to your claims, you increase the chances of swift approvals, minimizing potential delays or denials.
Setting Your RCM up for Success with Curve
A strong foundation in Revenue Cycle Management is undeniably essential for the long-term success and financial well-being of your dental practice. Establishing a robust RCM foundation helps your practice navigate the complex world of billing, payments, and insurance claims with confidence.
By paying attention to key elements of RCM, such as accurate data entry, personalized clinical narratives, precise coding, uniform dental coding practices, and thorough perio charting, you can help safeguard your practice against financial risks, streamline your operations, and enhance patient care.
Investing in a well-structured RCM foundation, combined with a comprehensive all-in-one cloud-based software solution like Curve SuperHero™, helps ensure that your practice thrives in the long run, ultimately benefiting both your team and your patients.