Why Dental-Medical Necessity?
Many studies in recent years have investigated the relationship between oral and systemic conditions. An increasing number of dental carriers are recognizing the medical nature of certain dental procedures. Dental-medical necessity is the reason why a test, a procedure or an instruction is given. Dental-medical necessity is different from person to person and changes over time. There is benefit to all practices to document it routinely to help optimize dental benefit coverage and cross-coding opportunities.
Twitter-Style: Less is More
Many people tend to over-write, in a similar way to how they speak. Twitter taught users to send and read short 140-character messages. That isn’t 140 words or even 140 letters, its 140characters,including letters, numbers, symbols, punctuation and spaces. Writing Twitter-style squeezes out the excess, leaving only the nourishing juice.
A sample dental-medical necessity written Twitter-style might read:
High-risk pregnancy. High-risk caries. Plaque-induced gingival disease modified by systemic factors-pregnancy, #14-15 Chronic Periodontitis 2mm bone loss
This is a 153-character dental-medical necessity that gives medical information, risk assessment and a periodontal diagnosis.
“Tweeting” Medication Risk
Those long lists of medications our patients take every day often contribute to dry mouth. Lack of saliva is much more than just irritating; it can be a contributing factor in caries infection, oral cancer, and periodontal disease. This means that the medications themselves, as well as what they treat, are part of the dental-medical necessity. A sample Twitter-style write-up might read:
Diabetes & Coronary artery disease. Vasotec, Topamax, Albuterol, Lipitor, 81mg. aspirin. Extreme oral dryness.
This patient’s dental-medical necessity is evident with this concise, specific 111 character “tweet.”
One Simple Change
Often we read articles hoping for that one simple step. A simple change has been offered, yet as Steve Jobs said,
“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
Twitter-style documentation of dental-medical necessity isn’t difficult, but it requires team cooperation, new thinking, and practice. Take this simple approach for 90 days; you might be surprised at how it increases the efficiency and profitability of your practice.
To learn more, order and read DentalCodeology: Jump Start Diagnostic Coding by Patti DiGangi and Christine Taxin.
Posted August 16, 2019
Cosmetic dentistry popularity is on the rise again. In fact, according to the results of a recent survey from the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), 96 percent of U.S. laborers feel a beautiful smile is very or somewhat important to your appearance. Psychology experts also suggest that nice smiles create trust, reduce stress, and helps us live a […]
Posted August 16, 2019
tick, tick, tick… Pop quiz for employers, when’s the next time you have a team member going away on vacation? Looking at the calendar, it’s probably Labor Day. You aren’t alone. Roughly 25% of Americans plan to be out of town for Labor Day. Check-in with your staff Always the first Monday in September, almost every […]
Posted August 07, 2019
Something feels different in the office. It’s hard to describe. The patients are happy, no complaints. The schedule is full, revenue is strong. Internal conflicts among staff are at a minimum. In fact, things are working so well that you’re answering fewer staff questions and requests. These are the situations we all work hard to […]