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Claims Processing: Dental Claims vs. Medical Claims

There are some similarities between preparing dental claims and medical claims. For example, patient and insurance demographics and insurance information that must be provided to medical carriers are similar.

However, there are some very significant differences between the two. While dental carriers typically require a procedure code. Medical carriers not only require procedure code(s) but also the reason why the procedure(s) were performed or the patient’s diagnosis.

Diagnoses are classified in code form in the ICD-9-CM “International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision – Clinical Modification” manual. Without at least one diagnosis code that supports the procedure(s), the medical claim will not be paid. There must be an appropriate diagnosis to establish the medical necessity of the procedure. This is probably the most important part of successful dental-medical cross coding.

Another very significant difference between dental and medical coding systems is the time period and frequency between updates, deletions and revisions. All medical code sets update yearly and medical carriers generally offer no grace periods on using outdated codes.


The medical claim form also has some major differences compared to the dental claim form. Most medical carriers require the CMS-1500 (08-05) claim form. Medical carriers require these preprinted, red-inked forms because these forms are the only ones that scan correctly. Hand-written claims and comments or copies are not accepted.

Apex EDI can provide the best medical electronic billing for all of your medical claims and dental claims. The main benefit to implementing a dental-medical cross-coding system is satisfied patients who recognize your willingness to help them save their dental plan allowance and access medical benefits. Grateful patients can become your most valuable marketing asset.

Articles with this disclaimer may not represent the beliefs or core values of Apex EDI. The above is simply a summary taken from the industry’s general community to help readers stay up-to-date on what people are talking about.

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Claims Processing: Medical Claims vs. Vision Care Claims

When handling claims regarding eye health, there are a few things to be aware of. For example, there are specific differences between what can be billed to a vision plan and what should be billed through medical insurance. Let’s discuss the difference between the two claims, and why eye care professionals need to know the difference.

girl with glasses

The Difference

Vision plans cover routine wellness exams for eye health. This means examinations for near- or farsightedness, astigmatism, and corrective lenses. Medical eye care on the other hand is for the treatment of specific medical conditions related to the eye, such as pink eye, cataracts, double vision, etc.

Why It Matters

As we discussed above, vision plans cover annual exams for eye health. When an exam reveals a condition such as pink eye, cataracts, glaucoma, dry eye, or another condition, the diagnosis and treatment is billed through the medical eye care insurance. A medical eye condition typically requires a more intensive treatment plan than what is covered through a run of the mill vision plan, which is why medical insurance typically steps in.

As the provider, you will want to ensure that you are billing the correct insurance in order to receive the fees you are due. Many eye care professionals bill the vision plan first, and then reach out to the medical plan if any fees have yet to be covered. It is also important to discuss the plan of action with the patient so that they are aware of how the services will be billed to their insurance and that they are aware of any fees that may accrue due to their specific plans.

The Solution

In order to ensure the best possible care for your patients and management of your optometry practice, implementation of a clearinghouse for claims billing is recommended. A clearinghouse verifies vision and medical claims before they can be sent to the payer for final submission.

Apex EDI is a user friendly and fully integratable clearinghouse that works to get you paid faster. For more information about how Apex EDI can be used to benefit your optometry practice, click here.

Articles with this disclaimer may not represent the beliefs or core values of Apex EDI. The following is simply a summary taken from the industry’s general community to help readers stay up-to-date on what people are talking about. 

Posted in: Claims Processing

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Claims Clearinghouse: Medical Claims Clearinghouse

With all the regulation changes that have happened and have yet to happen, navigating the healthcare revenue cycle can be overwhelming. So much of what physicians do is overseen by one regulatory committee or another. In fact, often it is multiple committees that oversee one aspect of healthcare. Understanding what the healthcare professional needs to comply with can be costly. That is why having a medical claims clearinghouse on your side is a powerful partnership that no healthcare practice should be without.

In 2010 congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This law put into place numerous regulation changes. Some of those changes were obvious, like increased patients with insurance, others were not so obvious, such as insurance companies providing administrative and financial transactions that are compliant with the standards set forth. A medical claims clearinghouse is there to help manage these changes on behalf of the physician. They can help physicians by cutting through overwhelming documentation and let them know what they need to act on. They also maintain the relationship with the insurance company when it comes to the electronic interchange of data. This allows the medical claims clearinghouse to advocate for the provider when it comes to establishing connections for the administrative and financial transactions the insurance companies are now required to provide physicians. These transactions include, but are not limited to, electronic eligibility and benefit verification and electronic explanation of benefits (EOB’s).

With the ACA a number of regulatory bodies became prominent in the healthcare industry. One of those bodies is the CAQH body. They are responsible for the CORE operating rules. CORE operating rules are mandated operating rules in section 1104 of the ACA. The purpose of these operating rules is to:

Posted in: Claims Clearinghouse

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