Prepare for 2014 with practice resources on cda.org

By Ann Milar, CDA dental benefits analyst

While it is only October, now is the time to begin planning to make 2014 a productive and profitable year for your practice.

Having proper instrumentation is critical to practicing dentistry and providing excellent care to your patients. It is equally important that your front office staff have the right resources and tools for ensuring quick and timely payment of claims. These include the up-to-date version of the Current Dental Terminology code book, the most recent ADA claim form and access to the hundreds of practice support resources available on the CDA website.

Accessing the accurate procedure codes for claim submission is essential for quick payment. The ADA has released the 2014 version of the CDT codes — the official source of up-to-date procedure codes. The CDT 2014 includes updated information, such as: 29 new procedure codes; 18 revised procedure codes; four deleted procedure codes; and seven changes to the subcategories and their descriptors. 

Additionally, the new book includes a new subcategory of service for fabrication of medicament carriers; and revised caries risk assessment codes to provide a standard means of reporting, which is especially useful in public health dentistry and for Medicaid documentation. It also includes updated procedure codes that reflect guidance from such areas of specialized dentistry as endodontics, orthodontics and prosthodontics. Copies of the codes are available through ada.org.

In conjunction with accurate procedure codes, it is advised that dental offices utilize the 2012 ADA claim form, the most recent version of the claim form, which was revised to reflect changes to the HIPAA standard electronic dental claim transaction that went into effect in 2012. The form and instructions can be found on the ada.org website as well.

For those offices that bill patients’ medical plans, dentists can find information on how to bill medical plans via resources offered through the CDA Practice Support Center at cda.org/compass. Essentials needed for billing medical plans include the Current Procedure Terminology (CPT®), the International Classifications of Diseases (ICD-10 CM for 2014) and the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS), which are generally used for Medicare and Medicaid, in addition to the CMS-1500 form used for medical claim submission. Many of those codes and forms can be found online or can be ordered through the American Medical Association’s website.

At CDA Presents in San Francisco, the Practice Support Center unveiled its new and improved online Practice Support resource at cda.org/compass. With more than 600 resources on the topics of dental benefits, human resources, practice management and regulatory compliance, the website offers valuable tools and information for CDA members. Within each topic area, dentists will find subtopics that allow for improved ease of use.

In the dental benefits area, members will find more than 130 resources listed under the following subtopic areas: coordination of benefits; fees/discounts/refunds; appeals; billing; and contracts. Whether you are looking for information on what to avoid before signing a provider agreement, how to bill for the new associate in your practice, or how to appeal a dental claim denial, there are resources for a variety of dental benefit scenarios on the cda.org website.

To gain an in-depth understanding of the dental benefits marketplace and analysis of how dental plans impact your practice, the Practice Support Center is offering the first of its Smart Dentist trainings — the Dental Benefits Workshop — in March 2014. The trainings will utilize dental industry experts such as Michael Perry, DDS, with Momentum Dental Business Consulting; Charles Stewart, DMD, with Aetna; Gary Dougan, DDS, MPH, with Liberty Dental Plan; attorneys Felicia Sze and Katrina Pagonis from Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, P.C.; and CDA Analyst Katie Fornelli. Participants will engage in an interactive workshop as well as pre-and post-workshop webinars.

Registration for this two-day workshop has been extended to Nov. 15 and more information is available at cda.org/dbw.

For more resources available through the Practice Support Center, visit cda.org/compass.