Together we will create a practice Masterpiece                        Articles                                            ...
Medical Cross Coding and Encounter Forms                        All of the benefits outlined above also apply to encounter...
more time. The Reality Clinical data is necessary to appropriately access a patient and requires time. Services ranging fr...
CDT Code Update – Past Due – The ADA has announced that CDT codes willupdate on January 1st of every year. If you havent a...
The Art of Practice Management                                                     2217 Fox Horn Road • New Bern, NC 28562...
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The Art of Practice Management Dental Pearls


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An insightful and informative newsletter from the Art of Practice Management. A dental practice management consulting company that focuses on revenue and collection systems, front desk systems and forms, dental insurance processing, medical/dental cross-coding systems and employment-law compliance.

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The Art of Practice Management Dental Pearls

  1. 1. Together we will create a practice Masterpiece Articles A Most Effective Communication Tool Marianne Harper Communication issues – do you experience them? Is there a chasm between clinical and business office? Many doctors and staff members over the years have communicated that to me. I have one solution that can minimize this problem – encounter SPECIAL OFFER forms. 20% OFF Some practices may refer to encounter forms as route slips, charge slips, or care slips. on all No matter the name, these forms provide a way for the doctor, clinical staff and business office staff to have a clear picture of what has transpired at each patients ENCOUNTER appointment along with important patient information. You may ask how to begin using FORMS these forms. The easiest answer is to make use of what your practice managementEncounter forms are software provides. If you are not sure whether you can print encounter forms from your an invaluable tool software, give the support line a call and ask. They can tell you where to access these to use in dental practices that have forms and the best method for printing them. If not, you may consider creating your implemented a own form. dental-medical A good encounter form should provide the following information:cross coding system  Patient demographic information Order before  Medical alerts March 15, 2013  Patient insurance information  Patient account balance  Special notes  Procedure information – encounter forms for recare appointments should provide the different possible codes that you set up in the software that apply to recare appointments. For operative appointments, the system should provide the procedure codes that were entered into the patient’s treatmentDownload your FREE plan (treatment plans are an essentially important tool for practiceHygiene Department management – a topic for another newsletter). Analysis  A place to indicate next visit information  A place to indicate any additional information The beauty of these forms is that there is no question about what procedures were performed. Checkout goes more smoothly because all codes are listed and can be entered in the software ledger for the patient and the insurance claims will be correct. In addition, these forms aid in ensuring that data entry is correct at the end of the day. Each patient’s procedure totals can be written on the form and all should be totaled at the end of the day and then compared with the end of day reports to be certain that production is in balance for the day. I realize that practices are transitioning to being paperless but I still encourage the use of these forms. I have seen that medical practices that are paperless are still using these paper forms due to the communication benefits that they provide.
  2. 2. Medical Cross Coding and Encounter Forms All of the benefits outlined above also apply to encounter forms for cross coded claims. However, dental practice management software does not commonly provide10% OFF SALE! the ones that are needed for cross coding. The best encounter forms for crossEvery Product in our coding are similar to the ones that you see being used at your medical provider’s Store practice. These are usually large sheets with lots of codes on them, both diagnosis and procedure codes as is required with medical claims. I offer a number of different types of cross coding encounter forms on my website, The different types are listed below:  General  Perio and implant until March 15th at  Trauma PerioAndBeyond.  TMD  Sleep apnea  Pediatric  Endodontic There are many codes that must appear on these forms because both diagnosis and procedure codes are necessary, so the form must address the many possibilities. These forms can be printed on one large sheet as you see in many medical providers’ practices or they can be printed on one 8 ½” X 11” sheet but printed on both sides, or it can be printed as a two page form. Correct diagnosis coding is crucial to successful cross coded claims. These forms make it simpler for the dentist to see the different diagnosis codes that are available and choose accordingly. Business office staff should not be responsible for choosing diagnosis codes unless they have had the training to do so. These forms provide a way for the dentist to circle or check the appropriate diagnosis and procedure codes, thereby ensuring correct charges and insurance claims. Take my advice – increase efficiency in your practice through the use of encounter forms. Click the link below to access the forms for cross coding and they can be downloaded directly to you. Take advantage of my special offer on these forms, too. Order Your Encounter Forms Now! The Speed Limit Colleen Rutledge, RDH Kids instinctively know certain things. Take my daughter, Danielle, for instance. She knows approximately how fast I’m driving. She observes her surroundings; the wind blowing a little harder on her face, the houses moving at a faster rate. This usually prompts her to ask me: “Mommy, are you going the “speed limit”? This comment got me thinking about the various comments made by patients, co-workers, and employers regarding the “speed” of a hygiene appointment. Patients: “My hygienist is great! She gets me in and out of here fast!” Dentists/Employers: “My hygienist never falls behind schedule.” Co-workers: “I love our hygienist because we always get out on time.” Hygienists: “My patients love me because I never make them wait.” Consider the above accolades; do they reflect reality or an illusion? The Illusion Many dental offices are still practicing with antiquated hygiene department protocols. Long gone are the days when a “cleaning” took thirty minutes. Limited hand scaling, a quick polish and four bitewings are no longer acceptable standards. Providing a high quality preventive care visit entails a comprehensive approach which requires
  3. 3. more time. The Reality Clinical data is necessary to appropriately access a patient and requires time. Services ranging from gathering a thorough medical history and risk assessment to a six-point periodontal charting are the fundamentals of a high-quality hygiene visit. Time is necessary for all too often disregarded topics including smoking cessation, bruxism, oral cancer screening, oral hygiene instruction, sleep apnea and nutritional counseling. How much time You may be thinking: “How much time should I give my hygienist?” The answer is different for each office, but can be generalized with these guidelines: New adult patient: One hour twenty minutes Adult recare: One hour Periodontal maintenance: One hour New child patient: Forty minutes Child patient: Thirty minutes We have an ethical and moral obligation to provide high-quality hygiene services to the people entrusted to our care. Start by giving your hygiene department the proper amount of time to provide these services. It not only increases productivity but will provide optimal care and increase referrals. 10% OFF SALE on every product in our store until March 15, 2013! Please visit for more information. Insurance AlertDental – Are you using Box 35 of the dental claim form effectively? This is a greatplace to enter your narrative information. However, keep in mind that the insurancecarrier’s scanners limit the number of characters that they will scan in that box and ifthe box is completely filled in, it will not be completely scanned. So be concise andprovide only the pertinent details. Anything longer should be submitted as anattachment.Medical – Box 19 of the CMS1500 claim form (medical claim form) can be used inthe same way with the same requirements to be concise. Time Line Update Time is Past Due – Medical Codes and Dental Codes for 2013 And your updated medical coding manual contains the new CDT codes alsoCPT Code (medical procedure code set) will update as of January 1, 2013.Purchasers of "CrossWalking – A Guide Through the CrossWalk of Dental toMedical Coding" and/or the "Quick Look Up Cross Code List" – you should havereceived an email that provides information on the way to order the update. Medicalinsurance carriers will not accept outdated codes and will deny claims for thatreason. I am offering a less expensive update to the paper manual this year in anelectronic format. So take advantage of the savings and keep your codes up todate.Click Here to Update Now!
  4. 4. CDT Code Update – Past Due – The ADA has announced that CDT codes willupdate on January 1st of every year. If you havent already purchased your 2013code set, now is the time. I recommend Dr. Charles Blairs "Coding with Confidence."It is the best source for all the detail that you need to understand the CDT codes. Inaddition, consider a subscription to "Insurance Solutions Newsletter." Not only willyou receive a newsletter packed full of great coding information but the subscriptionalso includes a coding support service. You cant go wrong with that kind of help. Toorder either or both of these, please click here.September 23, 2013 – HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule – The updates to this rule werepublished on January 25, 2013. The compliance date is September 23, 2013.October 1, 2014 – The new date for ICD-10 implementation.Favorite Quotes:"The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has takenplace."George Bernard ShawTips – For our Patients:Dish up some pineapple – for your health"Pineapple is high in manganese, a mineral that is critical to development of strongbones and connective tissue. A cup of fresh pineapple will give you nearly 75% ofthe recommended daily amount. It is particularly helpful to older adults, whose bonestend to become brittle with age. Regular ingestion of at least one half cup of freshpineapple daily is purported to relieve painful joints common to osteoarthritis. It alsoproduces mild pain relief. Those individuals who eat fresh pineapple daily reportfewer sinus problems related to allergies. In and of itself, pineapple has a very lowrisk for allergies. Pineapple is also known to discourage blood clot development.This makes it a valuable dietary addition for frequent fliers and others who may be atrisk for blood clots."From email – author unknownPoints of Interest:Next month you may be celebrating St. Patricks day. Irish lore isinteresting and we often hear about leprechauns. A leprechaun wasconsidered to be a small and mischievous sprite who could reveal thehiding place of a treasure to those who could catch him. The origin of theterm comes from the Old Irish luchorpan. This term is broken down into"lu" for small and "corp" for body. I may try to find one of theseleprechauns and get my treasure. Is there someone you think would be interested in this newsletter? Please feel free to forward this email to them. Thank you!
  5. 5. The Art of Practice Management 2217 Fox Horn Road • New Bern, NC 28562 • Phone: 1-252-637-6259 • Perio-Therapeutics & Beyond 724 Fitzwatertown Road • Glenside, PA 19038 • Phone: 267-241-5833 • Please do not reply to this message. If you have any questions, please contact us by clicking the following link: Contact Us.About us | Privacy policy | © Copyright 2013 - Marianne Harper The contents of this publication reflect the opinion of the authors only. This publication is for informational purposes only. Any reference to a company or product is done only to provide information about the same and does not reflect any connection between the authors and the company.