Preventing Coding Errors In Your Dental Practice
Errors in coding can cause problems in a variety of ways. These problems include delayed or denied payment, fines, the revocation of your dental license and even jail time. It’s vital for you to remember that no matter who is in charge of assigning codes to procedures, the dentist is the one legally responsible for the accuracy of every claim that comes from his or her dental practice.
Preventing Coding Errors
As a dentist, you are legally responsible for errors in coding, even if the error was unintentional. Below are a few ways to protect yourself and your practice by preventing these coding errors:
- Know the codes – We urge you and your staff to attend coding courses. Even though most state dental boards won’t require a dentist to receive CTD training, attending these courses can prevent trouble for your practice in the future. Because the dentist is responsible for ensuring that procedures are correctly coded, he or she should know the coding well.
- Analysis reports for the practice – A fast and easy way to catch any errors is to run practice analysis reports. Another smart idea is to deactivate any codes in the software that your practice doesn’t perform. For example, there are around 600 dental codes available, but most practices don’t use more than 90-100 of them. Deactivating unused codes can decrease the chances of a mistake being made.
- Communication is key – It’s vital that your office has a coding communication system in place. The dentist needs to be able to communicate which procedures were performed to the billing staff. Sometimes the best communication tool is a chart, which is why keeping up on charting is so important. To be especially sure of the correct coding, you may even want to attach a post-it note to the chart showing the correct codes for the procedures done.
Not only will correct coding prevent you from any disciplinary action, but it can also result in increased income for your office! For more tips on running your dental practice more smoothly, or for any dental transition questions please contact CTC Associates today!