How to Prevent Dental Practice Audits
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re looking for ways on how to prevent dental practice audits in your practice. Being audited is not fun, which is why you should try your best to prevent one from occurring. This may seem impossible, especially when there are sometimes occasions when it seems you are targeted without cause. While there is no magical way to avoid being audited 100% of the time, we will cover some best practices you can put into place to reduce the likelihood of your dental office having to go through an audit.
How to Prevent Dental Practice Audits by Avoiding Coding Errors
Typically a dental practice is most susceptible to an audit when they’re attempting to do their own medical billing, or billing/coding and aren’t familiar with the codes, changes, and everything else that matters when doing medical billing/coding for your dental practice. This is exactly why in one of our other articles on understanding medical billing and coding for dentists we emphasize why it’s important to find a reliable biller-coder who can take these types of tasks and duties off your plate so you can focus on what matters most in your practice. Improving patient care, managing team dynamics and ensuring your optimal “busyness” should certainly be things that as a physician of the mouth are top of mind. With that being said, if you really want to know how to prevent dental audits we suggest you start by making sure that everyone in your office is careful when it comes to using diagnosis and procedure codes.
Something as simple as two numbers being transposed can mean the difference between a smooth billing process and having an auditor beating down your door for insurance fraud. In order to stay on top of this, you should make sure that the most recent coding manuals are available to all of your staff and they are clear about what modifiers are supposed to be used. Again, this is should you choose to do the billing/coding in-house vs outsourcing it to a reputable medical billing company for dentists.
Document Everything Correctly
When it comes to dental billing, documenting everything accurately is an essential part of the process. If someone realizes that the services you are claiming to have provided do not match the documentation you have available, that can cause a serious issue. While it may seem like a simple error that is not a huge deal, dental billing fraud is a real thing and you do not want anyone to believe that you or anyone at your practice are capable of something like this.
How to Prevent Dental Practice Audits by Performing Practice Audits
Every once in a while, you should perform a mock/practice audit. This will give you an idea of what an auditor is likely to find if they decided to look over all of your records. If there are any inaccuracies or glaring issues, work on fixing them as soon as possible. It is much better for you to be proactive and focus on finding all of the problems you can. This will help you make policy changes and fix things on your own before someone else steps in and things become more complicated than they have to be. Performing a practice audit for your dental practice can save a lot of headaches and frustration should a real dental practice audit occur. You’ll have nothing to worry about because you know you’ve already gone through the same process the auditor likely will themselves.
Have Clear Policies And Procedures
Many dentists have no idea how to prevent dental audits from wreaking havoc on their lives, even though the first step is simple. It is imperative that you have clear policies and procedures in place when it comes to dental coding and billing. It is not uncommon for different people at the same practice to have varying ideas of how things should be done. This is problematic since it opens the door for inconsistencies. As you may or may not know, this is one of the main reasons a practice would be subject to an audit. That is: inconsistencies with how certain procedures were processed via the medical billing/coding.
Consider Past Audits
If you want to know how to prevent dental audits, another thing you have to do is take a look into the past. Any claims that were flagged before should be reviewed so you can identify what the exact issue was. Once you have determined the problem, steps need to be taken to ensure that this does not happen again in the future. You do not want to go through this regularly if preventing this is as simple as looking at your past mistakes and being more careful moving forward. As you already know, it is possible to follow all of this advice and still become the subject of an audit. With that said, making it a point to think ahead will increase the likelihood that nothing will go wrong and you can avoid having billing auditors showing up and adding unneeded stress to your life.
If you’re still concerned about what to do or how to prevent dental practice audits from happening in your practice then it may be a good idea to learn how OneMedAll can help with all your medical billing needs. Having been through the audit process and passed with flying colors we make sure all our clients are protected.
Check out our FREE Educational Webinar on Medicare and Medical Billing to learn more.