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ADA to stream dental insurance webinar in April

Dr. Hope Watson, vice chair of ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs, to present

March 05, 2020

By David Burger

Trying to navigate the world of dental benefits can be full of choppy seas, and the ADA is holding a free webinar in April to help dentists and their staff find a safe harbor full of information.

The ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs will stream Understanding Dental Insurance: An Introduction on April 7 from noon-1 p.m. Central time.

Participants will be eligible for one hour of continuing education credit.

 News Webinar Icon
Dr. Hope Watson, vice chair of ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs, will lead the webinar.

“This is a must-see webinar for new office managers trying to navigate the dental insurance maze and for dentists starting a new practice,” said Dr. Watson. “We feel that continued education on dental benefit programs is not only necessary, but vital to the health of a dental practice. I think most dentists would agree that dental benefit understanding is a lot of trial-by-error and on-the-job training. I feel that if we all had a better understanding of dental benefits from the get-go, it would help to not only establish great in-office systems but would also help us have better relationships with our patients and with third-party payers."

“My experience has been that dentists want to work hard to do the right thing — after all, we are caregivers first and foremost,” Dr. Watson continued. “That being said, we are also business people who want to do the right thing the first time to ensure less administrative time by having to refile claims and collect fees after treatment is rendered.”

This free webinar will explain the basics of preferred provider organizations to help existing staff assist patients with those plans. Topics for discussion include:

• The current dental plan marketplace.
• PPO plan design and terminology.
• Contract clauses and processing policies that affect revenue.
• Avoiding coordination of benefits write-off mistakes.
• How to file an effective and proper appeal.
• How to talk to patients about their dental insurance.
• ADA resources to help practices succeed.

“We want to review many dental benefit plan basics, from contract language and definitions to walking a provider through the claim process,” Dr. Watson said. “Understanding how to file a proper claim and how a third-party payer may adjudicate your claim based on individual plan provisions is crucial. Patients often do not understand their personal benefit and when a plan may not pay what they think it should. Being able to decode these basics before the patient receives treatment leads to a much more symbiotic relationship with the dentist and the patient.”

 Photo of Hope Watson
Dr. Watson
Dr. Watson said she appreciates the value of webinars.

“I love webinars,” she said. “You don’t have to leave your office or put on your business suit. The convenience of grabbing lunch at your desk or in the breakroom with your staff is fabulous. The free ADA webinars are a great way to get some awesome CE that you can put into practice that day. Webinars are a fantastic member benefit.”

Dr. Watson, a native of Bluefield, Virginia, received her dental degree from the University of Alabama, Birmingham. She has maintained a private general practice in Maryville, Tennessee, for the past 22 years.

For more information on ADA’s activities on third-party payer advocacy and dental benefits, visit ADA.org/dentalbenefits.