Growth Trends for Related Jobs
Office managers or other workers are generally the ones in a dentist's office who file claims to insurance companies. These claims are then processed and, if there are no mistakes, payment is sent to the doctor. The process of filing dental claims can mean less time for those employees to work on other projects around the office. For this reason, many dental offices are now outsourcing their dental claims work to others, including freelancers who work from home. To take advantage of this job opportunity, some equipment, software and knowledge are a must.
Research online training for dental billing and coding if you do not already have the proper training. A website like the American Dental Coder's Association (ADCA) can help you understand any classes or training that may be needed.
Decide if you want to simply learn the process or become certified. Taking classes to learn the coding will allow you to work as a coder and earn money, but being certified may make you more attractive to to clients. There are more classes to take to be certified so the cost is greater, but in the long run it will likely pay off. Sign up for and complete the appropriate class or classes.
Purchase and install the dental claims software. If you took the course, you may already have the software as a part of your purchase price. If you didn't get the software as a part of your training package, the ACDA can sell you the software separately.
Decide if you want to do electronic claims, paper claims or both. Some dental offices only do electronic claims, while others may only do paper. Offering services for only one or the other will limit the amount of clients you can get. Offering services for both can increase your client base, but is more time consuming to learn both.
Advertise your services. Start with your own dentist then get referrals. Local newspapers and websites like Craigslist are great places to advertise to find more clients. Give a summary of your services and a contact number or email address.
Find your first client or clients, and file your first dental claims. Do the work promptly and correctly to ensure a happy customer. Ask satisfied clients for referral letters to use to lure more clients. If other dentists see a referral from a fellow dentist, it may make them more likely to hire you.
Official certification is not necessary to become a dental claims processor, but it may help drive more business your way. Being certified makes you look more professional and capable in the eyes of prospective clients.
If you begin to have too many clients, you can hire a new person or persons to help with the workload. Be sure, however, that you follow all workforce laws for your state and area. Failure to do so could lead to costly penalties, court hearings and more.
Melissa Martinez has been a freelance writer and copy editor since 2003. She specializes in Web content and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle" and is now the section editor for a minor league sports news wire. She attended Seattle University.