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Should dental practices consider entering into medical insurance billing? According to Christine Taxin, the specialists are all getting on board – oral surgery, sleep apnea, temporomandibular and ortho. More and more general dentists are as well. Case acceptance increases in dental practices when patients know their out-of-pocket expenses will be lower as a result of this cross billing. 

 

 

Examples are orthodontists billing medical to treat children who have sleep apnea, and oral surgeons and dentists billing medical to restore jaws with bone grafting and implant replacement of missing teeth. CBT scans are billable. Pregnant women are at increased risk of medical problems due to oral disease. Diabetics are at increased risk of medical problems due to oral disease. And the list goes on. With cross billing, dentists and periodontal specialists are seeing an increase in referrals from obstetricians and endocrinologists. And dentists are seeking help from medical specialists for optimal care of their patients. The dental and medical partnership is growing.

 

Cross-Coding Setup and Training

How does a dental practice enter into medical insurance billing? Christine Taxin has the answers. “People don't realize there is an entire setup process,” says Taxin, who offers step-by-step guidance for dental practices through courses and free access to online websites designed to facilitate cross-coding. 

Taxin sets participants up in advance so they can pre-authorize medical billing, and she offers two free websites for pre-verifying codes electronically. By the time dental practice team members complete her course and have learned the medical codes for crossover, they’re ready to start. Taxin also sets them up with CAQH, which is a free organization that will help them send in their paperwork to the insurance company. 

“It's not about being in-network with medical,” advises Taxin. “It's about them knowing who you are.” Anyone can go to her website www.medicaldentalbilling.com and set up their office for medical billing through CAQH and do their dental billing there as well. “Think of it as a virtual file cabinet where they keep all the doctor’s paperwork and then submit it to the insurance company the doctor will bill. Going through CAQH enables the insurance company to know who you are.” You can bill out of network, and if you want to be in-network, CAQH can help. 

 

Startup Timeline

Because a dental practice is busy every day, the setup will take about a month. “The first thing I tell them is to start to collect medical insurance cards because every zip code in the United States has maybe five to six bigger medical insurance companies in their area and knowing which ones you're going to be dealing with is going to help you set up better,” says Taxin. “It's going to help me help the office learn about those plans. That's about a month in involvement.” It will take some additional time to learn how to find the diagnostic codes for medical billing.  

 

Find Out More

Christine Taxin is the go-to advisor in medical-dental cross billing. She teaches this subject at the Harvard and NYU dental schools, sits on a number of boards, and is a speaker with many different organizations, including Henry Schein, Patterson Dental, and Sirona Dental Systems. Her websites are www.Links2Sucess.biz and www.dentalmedicalbilling.com. Christine can be reached at ctaxin@links2success.biz.

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