Ask the Experts at Elevate Billing Solutions by Nobility
The expert leadership team at Elevate Billing Solutions by Nobility has a long-standing history of innovating revenue cycle management solutions for medical and dental practices of all sizes. These experienced individuals are recognized in the industry for their prowess in achieving metrics-driven outcomes for Elevate clients. This article highlights some key advice from company leaders, ranging from the questions you should ask when evaluating a partnership with a dental billing company to your financing options as you grow your dental practice.
The 5 Most Important Questions You Should Ask a Prospective Billing Partner – Dr. Michael Fossum, CEO
When a dental practice decides to partner with a new billing service provider, there are typically one of three overarching reasons for the change: (1) the client’s hair is proverbially on fire due to ongoing crises with the current dental biller, resulting in the practice experiencing a significant decline in its financial health; (2) the client is so inspired by the value proposition of the new dental billing service provider, it’s unquestionably worth making the transition; or (3) the dental billing process has simply become too overwhelming for office staff to adequately manage, and a billing partner is the next natural step to alleviating those back office pressures.
Regardless of which scenario applies, it is critically important to ask the right questions when considering a new dental billing partner. Using these questions as your guide for vetting the billing company will help to ensure you receive quality services that meet the specific needs of your practice.
- Are specific metrics utilized to assess the performance of the dental billing partner? If so, what data is tracked and how is it reported?
- How and when will the dental billing partner communicate with your practice? What type(s) of information will be delivered through those communications?
- How is the billing partner’s company structured and what support team and resources will be deployed to your practice?
- What steps will the dental billing partner take to deliver service, and why are those steps optimal relative to other options in the market?
- What examples can the dental billing partner provide to demonstrate how they have historically provided exceptional outcomes? Do they have reviews, endorsements, and/or current clients willing to share their experiences with you?
Every practice is unique, and as the practice owner, you have distinct goals and objectives aligned with your short and long-term growth plan. Taking the time to ask the right questions will help you identify the best partner to support your dental billing processes and improve the financial position of your practice.
Four Steps You Should Take When Choosing a Billing Partner – Brian Flynn, VP, Business Development
When you decide it’s time to identify a new billing partner, the options can seem endless and overwhelming. But a “one size fits all” solution rarely leads to ideal outcomes because dental billing needs can be sensitive, and providers have diverse priorities influenced by the practice’s size, scope and stage of its own life cycle.
Before considering a new dental billing partner, taking a few critical steps can help to ensure the process is productive and the final selection is one that benefits all parties involved.
Step 1: Understand and communicate your goals to prospective billing partners.
The best way for a dental billing partner to customize its solution for your practice is to first understand your specific goals and objectives. What kind of HR footprint does your practice have? What elements of the billing process challenge you most? What are you ultimately wanting to accomplish with your dental billing partner?
Step 2: Secure recommendations from industry colleagues and ask for the rationale behind the recommendation.
Your peers often face the same challenges as you, so if they are satisfied – or better yet, ecstatic – with their dental billing partner, this partner may provide services that also align with your goals. But it’s not enough to simply ask for the name of a company; the most important question you can ask is, “Why are you recommending this billing partner?” Putting the “why” behind the endorsement gives you context and proof of performance.
Step 3: Identify billing partners that can show evidence of performance and are financially stable.
Financial stability is a crucial factor because the billing partner you choose will be managing your revenue. If the biller isn’t financial healthy, it stands to reason that the service it provides to you won’t improve your financial position either. Dental billing partners able to demonstrate a long-term commitment to remaining in the market will promote continuity for your practice, and those that can produce data to showcase performance – essentially walking their talk – will likely be a stronger and more valued partner for you, now and in the future.
Step 4: Speak directly with the company’s operations and billing personnel.
A dental billing partner should be a natural extension of your practice. When assessing if a billing partner is the right fit for your existing staff and your specific needs, you can get a much better sense of how your respective organizations will interface by opening the lines of communication to all stakeholders on the front end. This dialogue enables you to find out what the dental billing partner’s contingency plans might be to ensure there’s no disruption to the work on your account, get a preliminary glance into the communication style of the billing partner, and gain intelligence on other tangible and intangible dynamics.
Though the process can be time-consuming, undergoing a diligent and thoughtful assessment of a prospective billing partner is a worthy investment. Taking an investigative approach is the best measure to ensure your partnership is successful.
How the Right Billing Partner Can Change Your Practice and Your Life – Faisal Bhatti, VP, Revenue Cycle Operations
One of the chief complaints from dental practices today is the overwhelming task of managing billing processes. Smaller practices are struggling with the time it takes to adequately handle these processes, and they often lack the technological support necessary to automate billing activities. In most cases, larger practices have already engaged a billing partner to assist with insurance collections. However, many have billing partners that are not providing the promised value or efficiency, or causing the practice even more hassles than when billing was managed in-house. All of these challenges ultimately lead to reduced income, and even more problematic, a decline in quality of life for the provider and staff.
When you engage the right dental biller for your practice, you can restore some sanity to your staff and yourself. The right dental biller should be able to offer you certain promises; without those commitments, you won’t be guaranteed improvement.
The right biller should be your partner, working behind the scenes quickly and quietly to accomplish the tasks at hand. This means less time spent on billing-related tasks by you and your staff and more time to focus on delivery of patient care. Because of the contracted relationship with a dental billing partner and the accountability inherently tied to it, your practice can reduce its risk of embezzlement by staff while stabilizing revenue. The right dental biller will link your success with theirs, such that there is a financial incentive integrated into the partnership to motivate the biller to collect every available cent for you.
In addition to optimizing revenue, the dental billing partner can alleviate human resource pressures and reduce your practice’s personnel footprint, which typically results in immediate savings. A biller with the right technology and a complementary commitment to advancing innovation will reduce stress and hassle while providing improved financial outcomes to your practice.
Finally, the right dental billing partner can free you of financial worries through special financing opportunities secured by your account. For example, Elevate Billing Solutions by Nobility is the only billing provider that offers Pre-Funding. With this model offered exclusively to qualifying Nobility clients, the company pays the practice’s claims upfront and then collects from the insurance companies on the practice’s behalf. Pre-Funding enables the provider to have 100% predictable revenue, which, in turn, creates true financial freedom, now and in the future.
Financing 101: Factoring, Operating Lines of Credit and Pre-Funding – Dr. Michael Fossum, CEO
When assessing potential billing and revenue cycle management (RCM) partners for your dental practice, understanding the additional services or enhancements a prospective partner can deliver is nearly as important as the billing solution itself. Since your RCM partner should be an extension of your dental practice, having the opportunity to align that partner with your other priorities will undoubtedly improve efficiencies and outcomes. For example, is your RCM partner willing to invest in your future by offering methods to infuse capital into your practice? Access to capital directly influences your current stability and your long-term financial health, so who better to provide financing than the partner managing your revenue cycle?
Financing options available to today’s practices can seem as complex and nebulous as navigating the massive index of insurance reimbursement codes. The right RCM partner should have the expertise to provide both transparency and clarity, so you can feel confident in the financial decisions you make.
Financing comes in numerous forms, and a common one is factoring. In simple terms, factoring is selling your Accounts Receivable (A/R) at a discount to a third party. Sometimes, the A/R will be used as collateral for a loan, and an interest rate will be assessed on the accompanying loan. The discount or interest rate, depending on the structure, is essentially the fee for getting cash sooner rather than waiting for patients or insurance companies to pay. Also, the factoring company will likely handle collections on invoices, which may reduce time and expenses for your office. However, this structure also separates you from interaction with your patients regarding collections, which could have an adverse effect on your relationships.
Another frequently used financing tool is an operating line of credit. Operating lines of credit can be secured through banks and other financial institutions or through private entities. In some cases, the RCM partner will provide financing for operating and expansion capital. Nobility’s Easy Credit program is an example of this type of financing. With Easy Credit, Nobility offers a competitive interest rate to a pre-approved client, and that client’s A/R is used as the primary collateral.
Pre-Funding is yet another option, though this program is exclusive to Nobility clients. With Pre-Funding, Nobility pays a client’s claims upfront at a predetermined rate and collects from insurance companies afterward. Unlike other financing tools, no personal guarantee is required with Pre-Funding. This provides the client with 100% predictable revenue, month after month, to more effectively manage cash flow.
Your growth objectives will inform much of your financing decisions, but don’t assume you must take the traditional bank route to get the capital you need. An innovative and creative RCM partner can be your gateway to financial stability and freedom in all aspects of your dental practice.