Interview with Teresa Duncan on Dental Insurance Billing Mistakes

Teresa Duncan
Teresa Duncan

Teresa Duncan, MS

Teresa is a speaker and writer with over 20 years’ experience in healthcare. Her areas of expertise include revenue protection using proven accounts receivable and insurance methods; and helping doctors and managers establish solid management systems. A recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Dental Office Management, she understands the importance of continuing education.

She has been named one of the Top 25 Women in Dentistry by Dental Products Report Magazine and is recognized annually as a Leader in Consulting by Dentistry Today. She provided consulting assistance in the development of the American Dental Association’s Guidelines for Practice Success. Her podcasts “Nobody Told Me That!” and “Chew on This!” provide regular coding and management updates. Teresa received her Master’s Degree in Healthcare Management from Marymount University.

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In today’s interview, Teresa and I discuss her takeaway’s on dental insurance billing from the recent Vyne Accelerate event for dental billers. You will be enlightened with the mistakes you are making when billing dental insurance and what you can do to fix it. Teresa is my number one go-to for dental insurance questions and updated information to help dental teams through the maze of everyday challenges.

Teresa has an on-demand dental insurance course available now to help you on-board new team members or give yourself a refresher on all the in’s and out’s of dental insurance. You can find Teresa’s course by CLICKING HERE and use coupon code NOVONEE75 for a discount.

Full transcript provided by Riverside AI so please disregard any grammar, misspellings, and awkward pauses.

Dayna Johnson (00:02.518)
Welcome, welcome, welcome. I am here today with one of my favorite people in the dental industry, my good friend and insurance industry expert, founder, CEO of Odyssey Management. My good friend, Theresa Duncan, welcome.

Teresa Duncan (00:23.529)
Oh, it’s so good to talk to you again. I mean, I know we talk all the time, but honestly, like it’s so fun to get on here and talk business, like, because we can talk about all that other stuff anytime. But yeah, let’s talk some business today. It’s exciting.

Dayna Johnson (00:30.59)
Yes, I know. When we see each other at meetings, it’s like, okay, let’s get caught up on all the dental rumors or dental gossip or, you know. We do get together as friends a lot more than we do with business. So it is so good to have you on the podcast and we are gonna dive in deep into some

Teresa Duncan (00:41.874)
I know.

Teresa Duncan (00:46.865)

Teresa Duncan (00:53.745)
Thank you.

Dayna Johnson (00:59.794)
some things that our dental insurance coordinators and our dental billers are doing wrong. And I also wanna hear about your top takeaways from the recent Vyne dental event, the Accelerate event that you were just a part of. So we’re gonna talk about that as well. Yeah.

Teresa Duncan (01:05.068)
Ha ha

Teresa Duncan (01:15.533)
Yeah. OK, all right. Well, yeah, let me just start with the Vyne thing. That was pretty cool, because they came to me and said, let’s put on something just for dental billers And.

I was like, yeah, let’s do that. Heck yeah. So it was really focused on dental insurance people, people who sit in our audiences trying to figure out how the heck do we get this right. So that was really cool. And the topics were all about how to get the best out of your insurance system, how to even set up the system. And I did a lot of here’s where we’re going, here’s where people are really getting messed up. And a lot of talks about audits. One of the billers was talking about compliance, which was kind of cool.

And so just want to give a shout out. So DeVon Banks of D-Tech Billing was there, and Ashley Bond of Bond Dental Billing, and then Amanda DeMoura of Essential Dental Services. And of course, the Vyne team was there. We got a ton of dental billers, but we also got a bunch of dentists that came because and this was really cool because they said, we need to know what’s going on with our system. You know, one or two had been burned, one or two were brand new. We had some dentists, we had dentists and dental spouses there because they want to run the business together.

Dayna Johnson (02:08.587)

Dayna Johnson (02:12.895)

Teresa Duncan (02:26.335)
Um, mm-hmm.

Dayna Johnson (02:27.118)
I’ve heard that a lot as well. I’ve had two doctors that recently have purchased practices and it’s the doctors that are taking my double insurance 101 course in the membership because they want to know everything. I have another doctor up in Seattle that is sitting in on all the insurance training. It’s amazing how many doctors want to know. Tell me more about some of the good takeaways that you had from that event.

Teresa Duncan (02:40.037)

Teresa Duncan (02:44.103)

Teresa Duncan (02:49.191)

Teresa Duncan (02:56.485)
So some of the good takeaways is that the outsourcing piece is it’s finally becoming almost not standardized but more common. And I think there’s some guardrails that are being put in place by the real reputable companies that are out there. And they talked about what’s best practices for outsourcing and what to look for if you’re gonna use a company. And I know that lots of us are just so overwhelmed. I mean, I talk to people all the time. I know you do too that they might be the only one

or it might be one of two up front and it’s a super busy practice. They’re down people. I mean, whatever it is, right? So outsourcing temporarily, I think a lot of people don’t know that they can do that temporarily just to just to lighten the load And so there was a couple light bulbs that went off with that So outsourcing as is becoming more of the norm for sure, you know one thing I don’t know if I shared this with Kevin Henry your wonderful husband, but I had seen on the ADA Smilecon show floor

Dayna Johnson (03:26.968)

Dayna Johnson (03:34.91)

Dayna Johnson (03:51.243)

Teresa Duncan (03:56.161)
an outsourcing company that had iPads on robots. I don’t know if you’ve seen that. And it was just reception, it was just check in. And so you would walk into an office and here’s somebody, she’s talking to me through the iPad. And yeah, and I’m like, okay, so I’ve heard of this before, but I’d never actually seen it in practice. Like I actually know an office that is doing that, but I hadn’t seen it in practice. And it was wild, she was like so friendly talking to me on the monitor and I thought.

Dayna Johnson (04:00.701)

Dayna Johnson (04:04.161)

Dayna Johnson (04:09.234)
Oh wow.

Dayna Johnson (04:22.626)

Teresa Duncan (04:23.441)
When I brought that up at the class, I said, okay, so there’s outsourcing and then there’s outsourcing. Like this to me is like outsourcing.

Dayna Johnson (04:29.27)
And I am seeing a lot of that. In fact, in our Denver AADOM chapter, well, we can’t call it an AADOM chapter anymore, but the peak to peak study club that we have here in Denver area, one of our chapter members has a system of fully outsourcing the front desk. Like they have, it’s all virtual.

Teresa Duncan (04:35.957)
Mm-hmm. Right. Ha ha.

Teresa Duncan (04:53.093)

Dayna Johnson (04:55.37)
and which is really fascinating. Like they’ve reduced their overhead down to like 11% and their production has gone up 14%. So we are really seeing some significant improvements in outsourcing. They become an extension of your practice. I don’t really like the word outsourcing. I like it being called something like an extension of your practice, because…

Teresa Duncan (05:02.414)
Oh my gosh.

Teresa Duncan (05:11.709)

Teresa Duncan (05:21.446)

Dayna Johnson (05:22.298)
I refer to Ashley Bond with Bond Dental Billing. She’s my primary referral source for outsourcing dental billing. And I always like to say they become an extension of your practice. Yeah.

Teresa Duncan (05:31.395)
Uh huh.

Teresa Duncan (05:34.961)
For sure, for sure. Yeah, because I think you’re right. I think that when it first came out, outsourcing was like, we all thought it was going like overseas to a place that we couldn’t even pronounce the name or anything like that. Like that was always the perception, but it’s not. And so that then turned into the other issue that came up at Accelerate, which was…

Dayna Johnson (05:46.879)
Exactly. Yeah.

Teresa Duncan (05:56.917)
We don’t have a lot of people in our offices anymore to hire. It’s hard to find somebody good. And so that’s why outsourcing is getting big. But here’s the problem is that we have a lot of really good office managers who are super smart and brilliant. And they’re wanting to now stay at home and do all sorts of this. They want to do this work and stay at home. And I’m not knocking them at all. You and I both work from home. It’s appealing. But.

Dayna Johnson (06:02.474)

Dayna Johnson (06:20.067)
For sure.

Teresa Duncan (06:21.973)
what does that do for the industry? Like how many more can we afford to lose to work from home? So that’s a real worry. And then I know dental assistants were, I think there’s like a large amount that are getting ready to retire in the next couple of years. I know Kevin talks about it in his classes because they’re all aging out. I mean, so I’m really worried about the dental.

Dayna Johnson (06:38.766)
for sure.

Teresa Duncan (06:43.309)
workforce. And I had just read this morning that they that the unemployment rate has been holding steady. And it’s not that you know, more people are leaving the workforce, but they mentioned the caveat was in health care, it’s a different story. And I’m like, of course, of course, it’s a different story for us. So I we are definitely seeing a drain in labor and maybe outsourcing or an extension is really the only way to mitigate that at this point.

Dayna Johnson (06:56.909)


Dayna Johnson (07:08.878)
Yeah, yeah. And I think, you know, that’s a whole nother podcast topic is to talk about staffing and overhead and all of that. That’s a whole, boy, we could talk about that for days. Yeah, exactly.

Teresa Duncan (07:12.39)
For sure.

Teresa Duncan (07:20.525)
Yeah, yeah. Well, and another takeaway from Accelerate, and then let’s go into your other topic, because this kind of leads into it, is that when you have a workforce that is under skilled, they just haven’t been trained yet, or they’re overworked, then you have a lot of potential for errors. And we, it was really obvious to me that more of these attendees, and also in my classes across the country, they want more business knowledge. Like they don’t want just the basics, you know.

Dayna Johnson (07:31.604)

Teresa Duncan (07:46.897)
file a claim, click the button, or even the coding. The coding is different. I feel like even insurance management has changed into, you have to know codes, but over here, you have to know your system. And they’re wanting to know more about the system, which I’m happy to teach them, you’re happy to teach them, but it is really wild to me that when you say dental insurance, coding now is just a tiny piece of it. Oh my gosh.

Dayna Johnson (08:12.858)
I know exactly, you know, because you have a dental insurance course that, you know, we refer a lot of people to your course. So give us a little bit about like, what would somebody learn in your course? Because coding is just a piece of it. And I know you do a lot of coding, but what else would be in that course that people could take away from that?

Teresa Duncan (08:17.871)
Yeah, yeah.

Teresa Duncan (08:22.149)
Thank you.

Teresa Duncan (08:29.741)
It’s barely.

Teresa Duncan (08:37.593)
Well, the tagline of the course is there’s more to dental insurance than codes. So like I only have like two little videos on actual codes. The rest of it is what’s called dental insurance design and management. And it’s all about dental insurance, like the plan, how the plans are designed, how to set it up in your system, how to enter payments, how to identify errors. It’s, it’s everything but the codes really, because the codes, the codes will change and the codes, you know, you can honestly, there’s the codes are in.

Dayna Johnson (08:42.081)

Dayna Johnson (09:00.827)

Teresa Duncan (09:06.925)
If you read the coding companion guide and the ADA’s book and all of that, how to use the codes is there. But setting up the system and understanding the difference between a rollover plan, all the difference in secondary insurance by itself as a whole, like, oh my gosh, even I think it’s a pain in the butt. That is the hard part. And that’s what people are coming into the classes saying, okay, fine, crown buildups, okay, now I know how to get that paid because I read it. Okay, I get it. But…

Dayna Johnson (09:10.622)

Dayna Johnson (09:22.068)

Teresa Duncan (09:34.009)
How do I actually set up the system? And then more importantly, how do I train somebody? What I have seen a lot, probably you too, is that we will train somebody in this insurance coordinator position, which is really hard, right? And then like two or three weeks later, they’re like, sorry, I’m out. I had no idea it was gonna be this hard. And it’s almost unfair to have somebody come into a dental insurance position and expect them to excel at it. I mean, it’s taken us, you know, we’re continually learning. So that’s…

Dayna Johnson (09:47.651)

Teresa Duncan (10:02.533)
That’s a big thing that came up at Accelerate. And it’s one of the things that I think, to your point before, like what are the things that we’re doing wrong? I find that we just underestimate how hard this job is. It’s really difficult to keep up with all of the plans. And if you’re participating, keeping up with what networks you’re in is a full-time position, right? Ugh.

Dayna Johnson (10:20.462)
Mm-hmm. Oh, I agree. I agree. I agree with you 100%. So, let’s pause before we go into our next topic because I know Kevin will probably wanna drop the ad in the middle. So we’re gonna pause for like six seconds and I’ll cut this out.

Teresa Duncan (10:46.456)
It’s funny.

Dayna Johnson (10:56.51)
Okay, all right, so thinking about how hard this job is, of course, being an insurance coordinator or being a biller in a dental practice, it is a hard job. So let’s talk about some of the things that maybe our insurance coordinators or our billers are doing wrong. Because, I mean, I’m in practices a lot and I see a lot of things that are happening.

Teresa Duncan (11:18.065)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Dayna Johnson (11:26.09)
You know, you’re working from stage a lot, so you hear a lot of things from the audience and you’re like, oh my gosh, I can’t believe you’re doing it that way. You know, so when I go into practice, I see a lot of things and a lot of times the answer is, well, that’s how we’ve always done it. You know, and I’m like, well, that’s not how we do it anymore. And so, let’s kind of touch on maybe the top three things that you are seeing that

Teresa Duncan (11:31.065)
Mm-hmm. Ha ha ha.

Teresa Duncan (11:42.393)

Dayna Johnson (11:54.55)
that dental practices are doing wrong when they’re sending claims, which then delays the payment or denies the claim or things like that. What are our dental billers and our insurance coordinators doing wrong when it comes to sending claims?

Teresa Duncan (11:57.5)

Teresa Duncan (12:11.313)
So one thing that doesn’t have an immediate consequence, which I think is dangerous is when you bring on an associate and you don’t take the time to credential them, you wanna get them running, you wanna get them producing, but their paperwork isn’t complete. They’re not credential with the insurance plans. And so you read on a Facebook group, well, just use the owner doctors, NPI, just use their information and submit the claims under the owner doctor.

And because there’s no immediate consequence to that, there is this perception that, oh, I’m gonna get away with it, it’s gonna be fine. But what happens is when you submit, it’s utilization. So the systems are gonna flag. Now all of a sudden you have a doctor that may be sent in, for example, 10 claims a day to UnitedHealthcare, just for example. Now this associate comes in doing work, and now we’re looking at now 20 claims a day, 15, 20 claims a day now.

under that particular doctor. So the utilization has gone up 50% and that’s impossible. I mean, and if they look at the claims and it’s for crowns, fillings, like it’s a 20 hour day, but you’ve, so, I mean, they can catch that, right? And so then there’s consequences to it. So if you, if they come back and audit you for that, and this has happened plenty of times, then you’re in trouble. The other way that they get caught is that the,

Dayna Johnson (13:10.678)
Oh, interesting. Yeah.

Dayna Johnson (13:24.49)
Wow. Yeah.

Dayna Johnson (13:29.985)

Teresa Duncan (13:40.625)
customer or the patient gets the EOB at home and is like, I never saw this doctor. And then they call the fraud hotline, not realizing it’s the same office. And so then I’ve heard that too, we got audited because the patients were calling and it’s like, well, you know, cause you shouldn’t have been doing that in the first place. So that, yeah.

Dayna Johnson (13:46.189)
All right.

Dayna Johnson (13:51.196)
Oh boy.

Dayna Johnson (13:59.254)
Well, yeah, so I’m sorry to interrupt you, but so here’s what I hear sometimes is that, because I have had offices that have used the owner doctor’s credentials while they’re credentialing their associate or something. And what I hear from the office is, well, Delta Dental told us we could do that.

Teresa Duncan (14:03.171)

Teresa Duncan (14:16.229)

Teresa Duncan (14:24.725)
So if Delta Dental told you and you have a letter and you have a representative’s name, like the provider relations rep that’s helping you with the credentialing and they have that in writing, then I’m good. But I think if you push for that in writing, it’s going to be hard to get.

Dayna Johnson (14:29.182)

Dayna Johnson (14:35.622)

Dayna Johnson (14:43.91)
Okay, all right. So some offices may get the authorization or the permission to do it during this short period of time, but as a general rule, it’s a big no-no.

Teresa Duncan (14:54.374)

So I actually, I hear that too, that they told me to do it and I have never once seen a letter that states that. And I think the reason why you’re not gonna see it is because that claim form is an actual legal document and that you, I mean, if Delta is telling you, if any company is telling you to do that knowingly, I think they’re gambling. That’s why I think they’d be very reluctant to put that into writing. Yeah, yeah.

Dayna Johnson (15:11.198)

Dayna Johnson (15:21.522)
Interesting. Okay. All right. That’s a good point. So that is like the number one thing that you’re seeing that they’re doing wrong is using the owner doctor’s credentials. Okay. Yeah.

Teresa Duncan (15:28.347)

Teresa Duncan (15:32.845)
as the treating dentist. Then the second thing that I see wrong, and this has to do with that we’ve done it this way all the time, I see a lot of people sending in secondary insurance by paper. I also see, yeah, it’s crazies. Yeah, like, well, I can’t send it through the clearinghouse. I’ve got to send it through paper. And because I have to send a copy of the EOB, so I just print it and send it through paper. Okay, so there’s that. And then there’s also, well, I can’t, my clearinghouse.

Dayna Johnson (15:44.706)
Oh yeah, I see that a lot too.

Dayna Johnson (15:55.488)
Oh, I know.

Teresa Duncan (16:00.933)
for some reason they just won’t get it. So I’m just gonna print it and mail it. Instead of going through the clearing house and saying, hey, what’s going on with this? Why isn’t it getting to where it needs to be? And let the clearing house troubleshoot that. So the back behind the scenes on that is when you send a claim through paper, number one, it definitely takes longer to get things done, right? And if you send in an attachment with it, it’s even longer.

Dayna Johnson (16:23.746)
for sure.

Teresa Duncan (16:24.417)
Yeah, it just doesn’t, it pushes out your revenue cycle and there’s no guarantee that it gets to where it’s supposed to go. The clearing house, you’ve got the transaction ID, right? You can chase it down. And you’re paying for a service, you should get your service. If you can’t, if they can’t send in your secondary claims, I wanna know why. And yeah, so there’s that. So I see that a lot, but yeah, just, I don’t.

Dayna Johnson (16:31.064)

Dayna Johnson (16:35.006)

Dayna Johnson (16:42.557)
I agree with you.

Teresa Duncan (16:48.397)
It’s been a long time. I still do claims for one office and I still monitor four different offices that are kind of like my beta offices. And you know, they just let me log in and look around and make sure things are good. And I check in with the managers all the time. But between all of us, we just don’t send in paper claims. I don’t know when the last time. Yeah, I don’t I really can’t think of it. I think there’s one in our area that’s like this tiny little union. And

Dayna Johnson (16:54.892)

Dayna Johnson (17:04.286)
You should not ever, you should never send in a paper claim. And.

Dayna Johnson (17:13.506)
Ha ha

Teresa Duncan (17:14.445)
I mean, and I don’t even, I think that’s one of those things where the girl that took, you know, that took over my office, she’s just like, Oh yeah, don’t, don’t forget, don’t print that because, you know, they need it sent in on their form. Like that’s how small this union is. Right.

Dayna Johnson (17:27.922)
Yeah, yeah. And so let’s just kind of, I just want to give you a little bit of information about there’s no reason why you should have to send anything on paper because, you know, in the Dentrix system, you know, which is where I’m an expert, is the secondary EOB goes in the document center and then you attach the secondary, the primary EOB.

Teresa Duncan (17:44.313)

Dayna Johnson (17:53.282)
from the document center, you attach it as an attachment to the claim. So another thing is I was working with practices where their x-ray system’s not integrated or something like that, so they can’t easily attach an x-ray. Well, in fact, I was working with a practice recently, like just last week, that is still using film x-ray. I know, right? I said,

Teresa Duncan (18:20.359)
Oh wow, okay. Wow.

Dayna Johnson (18:23.274)
And he’s like, well, you know, we have to duplicate the X-ray and send a paper claim. I’m like, no, you don’t have to do that. You know what you do? You, you put the, no, you put the X-ray up on the light box, take a picture of it. And then attach it as an attachment. You still, you don’t have to send a paper claim because you’re right. I mean, we have to have that attachment ID. It’s like having a FedEx tracking number on your claim. If you put it in the mail.

Teresa Duncan (18:30.526)
Oh, that brings back so many memories.

Teresa Duncan (18:35.927)

Teresa Duncan (18:41.731)
I know.

Teresa Duncan (18:50.327)

Dayna Johnson (18:52.31)
You have no way of tracking it. And then when you use attachments, because that’s another thing that I see that offices are still doing wrong is using the remarks for unusual services for their narratives, and which they really should be using the attachment feature and attaching the narrative as an attachment.

Teresa Duncan (18:54.746)

Teresa Duncan (19:03.929)

Teresa Duncan (19:12.245)
Yeah, I don’t actually put anything in box 35 like it’s you know I mean if the software from the clearinghouse wants to put something in there like the attachment number, that’s fine But when I send claims there’s nothing in box 35. So so But people I can hear this collective cry But but I write these narratives and I know I get it. We wrote I wrote beautiful narratives My doctor was like, wow, this is a better narrative than I would have written. I know cuz I was good at it

Dayna Johnson (19:29.09)
I know.

Dayna Johnson (19:35.744)
I know.

Teresa Duncan (19:40.397)
And you have to let that go because narratives are just not what they’re looking for. And, you know, if you’re still sending them and they’re getting paid, of course, you’re going to think, OK, that’s fine. But honestly, it’s coming where they’re not going to look at that. I mean, many of the plans now don’t want your narratives because they know that it’s not accurate like it’s just not the clinical notes is what they want. So for me, it’s either, you know, attaching the clinical notes, screenshotting the clinical notes.

Dayna Johnson (19:40.402)

Dayna Johnson (19:46.538)

Dayna Johnson (20:03.594)

Teresa Duncan (20:08.133)
That’s how you get your claims paid. And then, but then that shines a bigger light. And that’s why I’m so glad doctors are coming to my classes because if the doctor’s clinical notes are terrible, that’s a problem, that’s a problem. So a lot of my dental insurance design and management is how to write a good clinical note. Like I don’t, you can template it out. You’re great at that. Other people like Andre with Eagle Soft is great with that.

Dayna Johnson (20:16.739)

Dayna Johnson (20:20.868)
Oh, good point. Good point.

Teresa Duncan (20:34.929)
They’ve got templates for days, right? You can get templates, but there are certain things that need to be in those templates, and that’s what I spend time. And so when a doctor’s sitting in my class, one of my live classes, you can see like the light bulb goes off, oh, if I do this, and this, that’s all I need to do on a regular basis. Yes, you don’t need to recreate and write a book each time. Just template stuff out, you know? It’s mind boggling to me, and I don’t mean this like in a negative way, but it’s mind boggling to me that…

Dayna Johnson (20:47.317)

Dayna Johnson (20:54.378)
Yeah, exactly. I know.

Teresa Duncan (21:02.865)
There’s such a fear around writing a narrative or the clinical notes. And I just wanna make that easier on them. It’s not terrifying.

Dayna Johnson (21:11.342)
I agree. I know it’s not. And when you have it templated out the way that it should be written and you have the prompts so that you don’t forget the important information, then you also can allow your dental assistant to build the kind of the bones of the note, you know, and then the doctor can always go in and fill in all the meaty stuff that they might need to add in there. But when you

Teresa Duncan (21:25.326)

Teresa Duncan (21:31.865)

Dayna Johnson (21:40.894)
you know, almost anybody on the team could, can fill in that clinical note. And then the doctor just has to review it and make sure that it has all the, all the guts and everything in it. And then they sign off on it.

Teresa Duncan (21:50.557)
Mm-hmm. Absolutely. And I hope that we’re, I think we’re getting there. I mean, as more, first of all, more awareness is out there and then we’ve got dentists who haven’t always done it that way now that are coming in and they’re open to that. And the fear of malpractice, I want that to be real for people because the only thing that’s gonna save you is your clinical notes and a malpractice set. That’s the only thing that’s gonna save you. So.

Dayna Johnson (22:18.374)
100%, yeah.

Teresa Duncan (22:19.909)
please focus on that because that’s your livelihood, that’s your children, that’s everything, everything you’ve worked for, right? And in my classes, I’ll say don’t document to the level of the carrier, like that’s the low bar. Because if you do that, you’re just documenting to get paid. That’s not what we’re about. We’re documenting to the level of judge and jury, your state board, you know, can one of your peers read this and understand what you did? That’s the level you document to, not the carrier. It falls into place when that happens. So.

Dayna Johnson (22:25.684)

Dayna Johnson (22:46.575)
Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Teresa Duncan (22:50.385)
Yeah, so attachments, not having good clinical notes, attaching narratives, I mean, all of that, that’s a huge issue, you’re right, there’s no reason to put it to paper, so that’s a big thing. And then I think the other part is, and we touched on it briefly, I just think a lot of doctors don’t realize how hard this job is, and so we’re overworked in this arena. And so I go through and find out what your good…

your electronic capabilities are, you know, your extensions of your practice, go through and find out what those are and see if you can up the game. You know, we can all check eligibility now. It’s super simple. But do I want you on the phone for hours checking to see if your 10 year old has benefits? No, the they probably have like, let’s think about this, right? Do that a little bit better. And then I think the last one that I wanted to bring up is EFTs have just kind of they’re their own and you probably could do it.

Dayna Johnson (23:25.959)

Dayna Johnson (23:37.415)
Yeah, exactly.

Teresa Duncan (23:46.929)
couple shows on this, right? It just gets away from people. So if you’re gonna do EFTs, pick one or two, get really good with it, get a good system down, and then add to it. But it’s pretty much just payment entry has turned into a full-time job. It’s tough.

Dayna Johnson (23:48.298)
I know for sure.

It does.

Dayna Johnson (23:57.492)

Dayna Johnson (24:04.754)
I agree. I agree. It becomes overwhelming, you know, especially with EFTs, because a lot of times the biller or the insurance coordinator doesn’t have access to the bank statements. So they might not even know that it’s been deposited, you know. So there’s that kind of that gap between the biller and the bookkeeper because they have to communicate more together.

Teresa Duncan (24:09.511)

Teresa Duncan (24:17.317)

Teresa Duncan (24:22.437)
Right, right.

Teresa Duncan (24:32.615)

Dayna Johnson (24:32.81)
because the bookkeeper, the office accountant or bookkeeper has access to the bank account, but the dental insurance coordinator or the dental biller in the office doesn’t have access to that information. So there’s kind of this disconnect also.

Teresa Duncan (24:46.653)

Well, and I actually would like them to have access to not the full bank account for the practice. But so what I recommend is having a secondary account that’s tied to the primary account and having all the EFTs go into the secondary account. You can mark those as deposit only. Honestly, they don’t take the money out. So mark it as deposit only to make yourself feel better and then give that person access or at least every day.

Dayna Johnson (25:01.266)
Yeah, exactly.


Dayna Johnson (25:15.674)
That’s a great idea.

Teresa Duncan (25:16.845)
Well, and if for some reason you’re still nervous about that, at least every day from that account only, you could get an email summary of your you could print out a summary of all the transactions and at least then that could go so you’re not sitting there going well, that’s my personal that’s this that’s that. So you can do that from the secondary account and then that person then needs to work off of that. So for people for people who are not familiar with this and they’re like, what are you talking about the only way that you can reconcile.

Dayna Johnson (25:29.656)

Dayna Johnson (25:33.79)

Dayna Johnson (25:40.064)
I think that’s a great idea.

Teresa Duncan (25:46.885)
the information from the carriers that has to do with the electronic payments is by having your bank statement. And they don’t all talk the same language. Like what is one transaction ID is not the same transaction ID on the portals. And so you’re making sure that you’ve got this deposit date versus this run date. It’s very confusing.

Dayna Johnson (26:07.882)
Yeah. I think we’ll have to do a whole other podcast episode just on EFTs.

Teresa Duncan (26:14.269)
Oh, great. I can’t wait. We might have to find an EFT expert for that. Maybe Ashley, you can tap Ashley into that, right?

Dayna Johnson (26:21.938)
Oh, that would be, that might be a really good one. For sure, yeah.

Teresa Duncan (26:26.106)
I’ll definitely listen to that one because it’s still once I think I get a handle on it Dana It somebody else comes up with another issue and I’m like, okay, that’s not gonna work. So it’s changing all the time

Dayna Johnson (26:33.802)
Yeah. I think that’s a great idea. I’m going to get Ashley Bond on here with, and we’re just going to blast out EFTs for the whole podcast episode.

Teresa Duncan (26:44.401)
Oh man, it would be so heavily listened to because that’s what I hear all the time in classes is do you have a step by step? And I wish I did but every portal is different every you know I don’t know it depends on your permissions level like we talked about it depends on so many things So yeah, whoever really like publishes a good flow of that is going to be like so happy Yeah I gave you homework. I’m sorry

Dayna Johnson (26:49.737)


Dayna Johnson (27:03.602)
Oh, that sounds great. Okay, we’re gonna work on that. I like homework. I always like learning something new. I mean, I’m constantly trying to find new ways, better ways, more efficient ways to save you time, save you money and go home at the end of the day, less stressed out, you know? That’s the ultimate goal for sure.

Teresa Duncan (27:25.18)

For sure, for sure. Yeah, and not swimming in paper, like paper everything. Like, oh my goodness. Do you remember back in the day, you and I would take stacks of checks to the mail, or not checks, but claims to the mailbox? Like, all my MetLife claims were in this one package and all my Care First claims were in this package. And we would put them in there and I would be like so nervous making sure that they all go out because.

Dayna Johnson (27:33.68)
I know, I know it.

Dayna Johnson (27:47.883)

Well, I would just have the open envelope sitting on my desk, right? So then I would just print claims throughout the day and I would fold it up. Oh, that one goes in this envelope. And then finally, at the end of the day, you would finally seal your envelopes with all the claims in there.

Teresa Duncan (27:55.907)

Teresa Duncan (28:05.717)
Yes. Oh my God, that is so, we are, we have been doing this a long time, but that’s like, that’s how we did it. It was simple systems. And so the simple systems now are, okay, well, let’s see if we can, you know, keep it simple, even if it’s electronic.

Dayna Johnson (28:12.597)
I know.

Dayna Johnson (28:18.43)
Yeah. I mean, I am so jealous with the automation and the electronic services that offices have available now. I’m so jealous that I didn’t have those available when I was in a practice. But it is also a little bit more challenging in the sense of having to navigate the different portals and things like that, but.

Teresa Duncan (28:29.366)

Teresa Duncan (28:41.281)
Oh yeah, gosh, that would be so, I mean, that’s my dream. And you know, I work with the carriers a lot and there’s just, we’re not gonna get one portal to Unified. There’s just, that’s never gonna happen. I mean, even a uniform EOB, I don’t think we’ll ever see that. There’s just too many different players, but yeah, that boy, we had some trigger memories back there, right? Like, like,

Dayna Johnson (28:49.426)
No. I know. I agree.

Dayna Johnson (28:56.266)
now. I agree.

Dayna Johnson (29:02.318)
We did. We did. Oh, for sure. Yeah, that’s for sure. Well, Teresa, any last words? And then also tell us how they can find your insurance course. Where would they go to find that course if they want to register for it?

Teresa Duncan (29:16.477)
Okay. Sure.

Teresa Duncan (29:21.817)
So if you go to, that’s my website. And Dayna, you have a code for your listeners. Happy to share that on the show notes with you to use that. I believe it’s just NOVONEE75, actually. I think that’s what it is. But yeah, you can find that. You can take the course. It’s good for a year, so you have access for a year. And I’m always uploading some changes to it, like any updates. So I’m getting ready to upload about the 2024 claim forum that’s come out. And I just.

Dayna Johnson (29:29.982)
I do. I will.

Dayna Johnson (29:36.474)
I think so.

Dayna Johnson (29:50.433)
Oh, okay.

Teresa Duncan (29:51.417)
Well, and you know, just one word of warning, I’m not advising to implement that right away. I want you to hold off before you put that into place, just for a little bit, because I think it’s got some bugs to work out with electronic claims. The clearinghouses are all working to make sure all of the fields are going to work. So I would hold off a little bit on that. And then I think if you can find me on the road, I’m always all over the place. Right. So speaking at a couple different places, I’ll be out in your neck of the woods at Rocky Mountain in January.

Dayna Johnson (30:14.946)

know. Yeah, we’re both we’re both speaking at Rocky Mountain this year. So that’ll be fun. And I always see you in Chicago and, and all of that. So great. Well, I will put your the link to the course and our coupon code in the show notes. So if you want to enroll in Teresa’s insurance course, that will be readily and easily available in the show notes.

Teresa Duncan (30:21.145)
Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Dayna Johnson (30:45.715)
And then always look for Teresa’s, you know, beginning of the year. She always does a coding webinar, which is always like the most popular event of the year.

Teresa Duncan (30:52.538)

Teresa Duncan (30:57.893)
It does get a lot of signups. It’s pretty cool. It’s so the 2024 coding update webinar, I believe it’s the first Tuesday in January, but it is, I think we’re on six years now that I’ve done this in a row.

Dayna Johnson (31:02.699)

Dayna Johnson (31:06.25)
Yes, I know. Yeah, it’s always a very anticipated event.

Teresa Duncan (31:13.741)
Yeah, and I’ll go into what I see coming down the pike legislatively too. We have, um, I think 2024 is going to be an interesting year. Everybody kids keep their heads up because new plan designs every year turnover, but we have a lot of Medicare advantage plans that are, um, really bombarding the market and you really have to know the ins and outs of that because there’s some clauses that can surprise you with those. So, um, you know, just keep your eyes open, right? That’s, that’s, that’s our motto nowadays. You got to keep your eyes open. So.

Dayna Johnson (31:25.463)

Dayna Johnson (31:35.787)
Oh boy.

Dayna Johnson (31:42.378)
Yeah, get your head out of the sand and keep for sure. Well, thank you so much, my friend. This has been a great conversation. I look forward to our teams implementing a lot of the things you talked about, because I mean, so important. Thank you so much for your time.

Teresa Duncan (31:44.365)

Teresa Duncan (31:58.711)
Awesome. It’s always so much fun to talk with you and you’re gonna be on my podcast soon too. So we’ll talk even more. And you know, then I think, and Kevin won’t be there to interrupt us, so that’s good. Thank you.

Dayna Johnson (32:03.963)
I know. Yeah.

Dayna Johnson (32:12.179)
I know I can’t wait to be a guest on yours for sure. All right, thank you my friend. And as always, I look forward to watching your journey of becoming a Dentrix super user and I hope you all have a great rest of your day.