By Laurie Owens CPC, CPB, COC
Devdent Director of Medical Billing Education
At 16 years of age and having been in orthodontics for 6 years, my wisdom teeth needed to be removed. If these pesky posterior third molars were not removed expeditiously, all the work my orthodontist had accomplished would have been compromised. Let me tell you, I was an oral mess, Malocclusion class II, multiple maxillary and mandible defects, vertically displaced dentition, deviation in opening and closing mandible, limited range of motion, and a lot more.
I was the poster child of orthodontics and maxillofacial procedures! Reflecting upon the surgeons involved with my oral care, I remember asking how much my “bad mouth” would cost my mom financially. Her response shocked me, as she said “nothing, it is covered under our medical insurance.” Many decades later this has motivated me to help others that need the treatment, yet do not have the disposable funds to complete their care by relying on dental insurance only.
If you haven’t implemented billing medical insurance in your practice, here are the top 5 benefits of medical billing for maxillofacial surgeons:
- Higher case acceptance.
If you think about the patients in your practice that have not moved forward with treatment, do you know why?
There is a high probability that their hesitancy is all about the money. While parents want the best for their children, if my surgeons had not billed medical for my treatment, there is no way my single mother of five could have found the funds for general anesthetic or oral surgery no matter how much she wanted to provide, the money just was not there.
Taking the burden of cost from your patient’s plate can help to turn that “no” into a “yes” when it comes to accepting the treatment you have created for your patient.
- Health increase.
Maxillofacial surgeons have the ability to increase a patient’s health through oral surgery, no surgery is too small to make a life changing impact. Even providing a single implant can make a difference for mastication and speech development.
As an example, there are many cancer patients that end up losing all dentition due to an adverse effect of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Who will be the hero to help them get healthy faster? That’s right, their Maxillofacial surgeon!
- Get paid for services provided.
Maxillofacial surgeons, when billing only dental insurance, are limited in benefits with an average annual maximum of $1000-$2000 per year. This hardly makes a dent into the hefty treatment needed to help.
Medical insurance does not usually have an annual dollar cap on medically necessary procedures. Looking at the musculoskeletal change that occurs within the course of maxillofacial treatment, this is a huge benefit! If you haven’t already implemented medical billing for maxillofacial surgeries, you should.
Billing medical insurance is a great way to tap into a new revenue stream!
- Quality of life improves.
I remember once reading a patient’s health history that said, “I’m tired of eating. I can eat mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese, and some soups.”
Let me tell you, her quality of life was not where it should be for a 17-year-old girl! When you correct the maxillary and mandible musculoskeletal defects, you also provide something else, perhaps something more important, improved quality of life!
The impact a maxillofacial surgeon has on their patient’s lives extends through nutrition, speech, function, and even self-confidence. When you are able to turn hesitancy into follow-through in the patient getting the treatment they need, you help to improve their quality of life!
- Word of mouth referrals.
When people are looking for a new dental provider or surgeon, pulling it up on the internet is like roulette. Your patients are taking a chance. Yet, when their friend says, my dentist does that procedure, and they billed my medical insurance for it. That is one of the best referrals we as dental processionals ever receive!
Yes, I know that reviews are good, but when patient’s mention you to their friends, that speaks volumes about your practice! Do not minimize the positive reach of word-of-mouth referral, they are a big deal!
If you are an oral and maxillofacial surgeon or a dentist, are you thinking outside the box by looking at medical billing for dentistry? We can help you and your team with the education and software to jumpstart obtaining benefits for your patients. Contact us for a free practice assessment today!