The E-Payment Solution
MetLife recently instituted a new policy that requires all reimbursements be electronic. The new policy appears to be ideal for our modern dental practices. The dream of claims and payments quickly processed, EOBs readily available online, and a reduced staff burden makes this a no brainer for our clients. This practice, in fact, is standard in medical billing and we welcomed the promise of this new modern technology to our dental clients. The dream, unfortunately, has become a nightmare.
Dr. Ronald Riggins, chair of the ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs, weighed in on the issues, “The ADA understands the benefits that electronic funds transfer payments can offer a dental practice. However, dental offices have reported problems matching electronic payments to explanation of benefits statements, ensuring that accurate electronic deposits are made and reconciling electronic funds transfer deposits into practice management software.” Dr. Riggins goes on to state, “Until these issues are resolved, dentists should have the freedom to choose whether they want to receive electronic funds transfer payments or paper checks.”
MetLife has relaxed their policy for those practices who do not have the required infrastructure or technical ability. But what are the options for the practice owner that has already made the switch? Here are a few solutions from PracticeCFO:
- 1.Billing manager identifies which amounts have been deposited to the practice’s bank account.
- 2.Provide a staff member a list of electronic payments that were received on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Then, the billing manager would log in to MetLife and match payments to the practice management software, as well as the bank account. Giving bank access has been the easiest way for billing managers to reconcile electronic payments, many owners may not be comfortable with giving a staff member access, even if it is just view-only access, to the bank accounts.
- Practice owner prepares a monthly reconciliation report for your billing manager.
- Together, they review and reconcile all received electronic payments to the practice management software.