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Billing tip of the day: 3 keys for dental practices

Erin Elliott, DDS, practices at Post Falls (Idaho) Family Dental.

She shared three tips for dental medical billing on DentistryIQ:

1. Document anything you find.

"You need a diagnosis code and you need SOAP notes. My entire team has changed the way they write notes, and it's for the better," Dr. Elliott said.

2. Get medical insurance cards from every single patient.

"Oftentimes, the patients kind of wonder what it's about," she said. "If you just explain that a lot of dental insurances are having us submit to medical first, they're usually more than happy to hand over their medical insurance card. But make sure you get a copy of their driver's license as well."

3. Make sure every front desk team member can do an eligibility check.

"This doesn't mean being on the phone for hours," Dr. Elliott said. "It's just a simple check to make sure the patients, first of all, have insurance and that it's good. The second thing is they simply log on to the insurance website and look at the in- and out-of-network deductible and how much has been met."

If you would like to share a coding & billing tip to be featured in our "tip of the day" series, please email Angie Stewart at

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