Making business investments usually comes with high initial costs, and many times a positive return on investment or ROI is achieved later in the product’s life cycle.
However, there are solutions that you can implement that will provide an immediate return to your practice both from an expense reduction and cash flow perspective.
Electronic claims solutions are one of those unique products that provide an immediate positive ROI at implementation. This article compares the hard costs of sending paper claims to the hard costs of sending claims electronically. Chart 1 shows the estimated costs related to sending paper claims. The cost for a stamp, envelope and any paper that must be sent along with the claim is about 90 cents.
Offices that also include diagnostic images or documentation with their claims can see additional costs of up to 75 cents. With that being said, an office sending 200 claims a month would have a monthly cost of $330 and yearly cost of $3,960. On the other hand, if an office sends claims electronically, the average price is between 24 and 50 cents per claim. No matter which price, it is lower than the 90 cents spent to mail a claim.
Offices can also choose to send diagnostic images and other documentation to insurance companies in the form of an attachment. Chart 2 lists the costs related to sending claims and attachments electronically. There is a flat rate of $31 per month listed for sending electronic attachments; this can vary depending on the company.
With a claims product that costs 24 cents per claim and a flat-rate electronic attachment product, an office would spend $79 per month and be able to see a savings of more than $3,000 per year. Even if an office sent electronic claims and attachments for 50 cents, the total expense would only be $1,572, which is still a savings of $2,388 per year. Besides saving money, sending claims electronically can help make an office’s workflow more efficient.
An employee would not have to take time to print, package and mail out claims. And, with an electronic trail, there is less need to call insurance companies to find out what is happening with a particular claim. Also, with digital workflow, claim processing time is decreased so dentists receive payments from insurance companies faster andwith fewer denied claims.
Even though switching from paper to electronic claims will give offices a great ROI, be sure to do the research and find the correct electronic claims product. Not all electronic claims companies offer the same level of integration with different practice management software or work with different insurance networks. Doing the upfront research helps to ensure success and reduces switching costs in the future.
Contact Professional Services at 800-243-4675 for recommended claims solutions.
Katy Rice Sales and Marketing Coordinator with the Digitial Dental Record [email protected]