Dental practices, insurance companies and clearinghouses can exchange information electronically about a patient’s dental insurance coverage through two standardized EDI transactions. The ASC X12 270: Eligibility, Coverage or Benefit Inquiry is the request transaction and the ASC X12 271: Eligibility, Coverage or Benefit Information is the response transaction.
Both transactions were developed by ASC X12 for use in healthcare overall. NDEDIC is helping the dental industry adapt and implement the transactions to meet information exchange needs specific to dental.
NDEDIC’s Eligibility/Benefit Work Group analyzes unique dental benefit plan designs and benefits/payment administration to identify ways of standardizing information for effective exchange through the ASC X12 270/271. The complexity in dental plan designs requires the exchange of much more detailed information about a patient’s coverage than what is required by the ASC X12 270/271.
Through the work group process, NDEDIC has transformed the Top 50 questions into a guidance document for the ASC X12 270/271. The Top Dental Eligibility and Benefits Questions Response Guide is a list of standard eligibility and benefit questions that large group providers agree would minimize time consuming phone calls if the questions are answered in the payer response. This Guide is currently available for free to NDEDIC members on the Member Portal or available for purchase at the official NDEDIC store.
Through a consensus building process, this work group is responsible for advancing the adoption of electronic remittance primarily through the creation of best practice guidelines for the ANSI ASC X12 835D transactions.
Expedited remittance information and faster payment are key benefits of using an electronic version of an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) document. The ASC X12 835 Claim Payment /Advice transaction enables dental providers and payers to exchange enhanced EOB information electronically. This includes information on charges experienced during a patient encounter, amount the payer is remitting to the provider, contractual adjustments, and any reasons the charges might have been denied.
The ASC X12 835 was developed for use in healthcare overall. NDEDIC is working to make the ASC X12 835 optimally useful for the dental industry, thereby also increasing adoption.
The work group has finalized the development of a guidance document for the ASC X12 835 transaction for a unique business scenario. Dental providers of orthodontia services often submit one claim and dental payers remit payment to the provider over time.
Today, the remittance reporting does not adequately inform the practice of the time frame and frequency of the deferred payments, along with details of the patient and plan’s financial responsibilities. This guide provides detailed recommendations for a wide array of calculations the dental payer performs and how this maps to the ASC X12 835 transaction. This guide is currently available for free to NDEDIC members on the Member Portal and available for purchase at the official NDEDIC store.
NDEDIC’s Remittance Work Group develops best practice guidelines for implementing the ASC X12 835 in dental claims processing promoting the consistent use of Claim Adjustment Reason Codes (CARCs) and Remittance Advice Remark Codes (RARCs). Inconsistent use of the CARCs and RARCs by payers can hamper use of the electronic transaction by dental offices.
The NDEDIC work group is soliciting input from the dental industry to identify an inclusive list of current dental Explanation of Benefits (EOB) messages and the CARCs and RARCs that best map to those messages. The goal is to develop a standardized mapping process.
If there are cases where existing CARCs and RARCs lists do not meet dental EOB needs, the work group will facilitate the process of requesting new codes and develop a Best Practices Guide for the Use of CARCs and RARCs. National committees review the codes regularly and Washington Publishing Company publishes updated code lists three times a year.
The work group will continue to update Best Practice Usage Guidelines for use of the ASC X12 835 in dental claims processing and collaborate with ASC X12 on recommended changes.