New ADA course to answer army of questions about coding accurately

 Photo of  Drs. Bulnes and Mihalo

Teamwork: Dr. Christopher Bulnes, left, and Dr. Mark Mihalo have collaborated with the ADA to create a new training course for the ADA on proper coding for dental procedures.

As the source of dental procedure codes, the ADA has created a new online training course to ensure that dentists and their team members confidently understand CDT codes and how to use them correctly.

The ADA has answered thousands of members’ coding questions over the years, and coding experts are launching the course in response to those myriad of calls.

Dr. Christopher Bulnes, immediate past chair of the ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs, and Dr. Mark Mihalo, past chair of chair of the council’s coding and transactions subcommittee, collaborated with the ADA  with the hopes that it will help practices effectively use the CDT manual to find the right codes in real-world settings.

Drs. Mihalo and Bulnes emphasized that the course is an efficient way to get dentists and, especially, their staff up to speed on coding correctly to speed up reimbursement.

“The dental industry has turnover,” Dr. Mihalo said. “This will be the easier way to train new hires.”

Dr. Bulnes said in the past, he’s had to send staffers out of town to continuing education sessions to learn about coding. This course makes education easier.

“As a business owner, working 8-5, I don’t have the time to train another individual on the job,” he said.

They both said that since the ADA has the people who maintain the CDT Code, the ADA has the expertise to run this series.

“The ADA is leading the charge,” Dr. Bulnes.

The course consists of four interactive modules that use scenario-based learning to approach proper CDT coding. The course requires the use of the CDT 2020 and CDT Coding Companion, two publications created by the ADA. The course culminates in a comprehensive assessment.

Learning objectives also include participants being able to use the ADA Dental Claim Form and becoming familiar with the 12 service categories and how codes are structured.