As with most things in life, dental billing codes and descriptors are changing again for 2023. Dental billing coding may be one of the most difficult aspects of working in a dental practice. Dental coding is essential to the billing process, and your practice may suffer without the proper knowledge of billing processes. Many dentists are missing out on revenue due to claims that can’t be processed because of incorrect coding or documentation.
Every change in coding means more opportunities to be specific with your billing process so you get the most out of your hard work. If you don’t know about these changes, you aren’t giving your practice every opportunity to be as successful as possible. Make sure your dental staff stays updated on changes to help you keep business booming and profits rolling in.
What Are the Changes?
One of the most significant changes is the introduction of new codes for teledentistry. With the COVID-19 pandemic changing the way we live and work, teledentistry has become an increasingly important option for dental practices. While dentistry is a difficult service to provide without being up-close and personal, more practices have found a way to provide some services like consultations or follow-ups via telehealth.
Although it may be a tool used to take precautions and limit exposure to germs, it has become quite convenient for patients and dentists alike, allowing patients less time away from the important parts of their daily lives and allowing dentists to prioritize the patients who need to be seen in-office.
With the new codes, it’s easier to bill and manage the telehealth services your practice provides for patients.
The new codes include D9995, which is for synchronous teledentistry services provided in real-time, and D9996, which is for asynchronous teledentistry services that are provided on a delayed basis. These codes are particularly helpful for practices that offer remote consultations or follow-up appointments, allowing for more efficient billing and reimbursement.
Other New Codes
Aside from those codes related to teledentistry, more codes have been created to help your practice be more specific about the services you provide and procedures you perform. While it is a challenge to remember new codes and apply them, it can be a positive change to help you get the money you’ve earned from your work.
Among the new codes, things like diagnostic imaging, 3D scanning, guided tissue regeneration, and HPV vaccinations are addressed.
Another important notation is that, while there are 6 new codes related to guided tissue regeneration (GTR) procedures, another separate code has been created for removal of non-resorbable barrier. While this surgical procedure may technically fall under GTR procedures, the ADA made the decision to make a specific code related to the removal of a non-resorbable barrier, because the procedure may take place at a different time than the other procedures under GTR codes, and possibly by a specialty dentist.
Several of the codes have undergone revisions to descriptors, so the meanings of what the codes describe have varied slightly. For example, the descriptor codes D0210, D9110, and D4355 are among those that have been revised. These codes don’t have large changes to their descriptions, but rather a single specific word that changes their meaning. This trio of codes all had language that included the word “complete,” which has now been changed to “comprehensive.” While only a word has changed, it seems to clarify the procedures further to ensure correct billing.
What Do These Changes Mean for Your Practice?
These code changes can mean important things for your dental practice. Without updating your code information, you could be looking at an increase in claim denials for services, which means several things for your practice.
Claim denials will mean a longer waiting time for reimbursement after a procedure or other patient care. Unfortunately, equipment repairs, payroll, and utility bills don’t wait until claims reimbursements come in, so delays in payment for your practice can be detrimental to your patients and employees.
Claim denials also take up more time than necessary from your hardworking secretarial staff. Denied claims mean redoing work that could’ve been done the first time and the potential for upset customers correctly when insurance hasn’t covered a procedure.
The measure twice, cut once mentality applies in this situation. Double-check that your billing codes are correct before bills are submitted and you’re less likely to have to do more work or do the same work over again later.
If you’re looking for assistance with filing dental claims and increasing your dental practice’s revenue. PPO Negotiation Solutions can help. PPO Negotiation Solutions can help you get the highest claims reimbursement possible and make sure none of your hard-earned money is left on the table. Visit us online to schedule a consultation or utilize our complimentary assessment.