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Episode #289 – Part 5 – Billing and Documentation with Dr. Mark Murphy

the best practices show podcast Apr 02, 2021

Screening and treating your patients might’ve been easy. But now comes the worst part — billing and documentation. In the final episode of this five-part series, Kirk Behrendt brings back Dr. Mark Murphy to help you understand the biggest barrier to success in DSM. His solution? Outsource! To learn how outsourcing could benefit you, your staff, and your practice, listen to Episode 289 of The Best Practices Show! If you missed any of the previous episodes, be sure to go back and listen to Episodes 285 – 288!

Main Takeaways:

  • Over 90% of dentists will quit DSM out of frustration with documentation.
  • Outsource! Third party companies know how to communicate with insurance companies.
  • Outsourcing will save you time, money, and give you peace of mind.
  • Third party billing and documentation companies know how to get you paid!
  • There are only 4% of dentists doing DSM.
  • The population of people with obstructive sleep apnea is growing.


  • “Whatever an hour or an hour-and-a-half is worth to you, write that down. When we finished using a third party as a documentation support software system . . . I would not spend three minutes at the end of my last patient finishing my documentation for the day, because there's a checklist, there's punching buttons. Everything gets done automatically.” (03:28—04:04)
  • “When I've talked to people who said, ‘Well, I've tried sleep medicine, but I just quit,’ I said, ‘Why’d you quit?’ The number-one answer is, ‘I couldn't get paid.’ I said, ‘Why couldn't you get paid?’ ‘Well, we tried to bill.’ ‘Did you try to do it yourself?’ ‘Yes.’ I go, ‘That might be the problem.’” (04:09—04:21)
  • “90% to 95% will quit doing dental sleep because of the documentation.” (05:20—05:23)
  • “If you say, ‘The hour I spend cutting the lawn every week is like Zen meditation,’ then knock yourself out and do it. Absolutely. Let me tell you, you're not going to feel that way about documentation and billing.” (06:19—06:29)
  • “I probably pay $300 a month for my software. I probably pay $49 a claim and 8% for my claims. That is a cost of doing business. That is a cost of not having to spend an hour-and-a-half at the end of my day, or not having to upset my team by trying to get them to do something that they're not capable of doing.” (13:24—13:42)
  • “The billing and documentation part, I always say, are the biggest barriers to success in dental sleep medicine. What I probably should say is they're the biggest barriers if you try to do them yourself.” (23:48—23:59)
  • “The number of people that have obstructive sleep apnea in our population is growing faster than the number of people we’re treating.” (25:48—25:55)
  • “There are 180,000 dentists, 150,000 GPs, ballpark. Maybe 6,000 dentists are doing dental sleep medicine. That's 4%. . .  So, there's an incredibly large population of patients in need, and it’s growing . . . So, if you decide to cross that chasm and step into the arena to do some dental sleep medicine, it’s a pretty easy downhill path.” (27:09—27:47)


  • Synopsis. (02:45—04:46)
  • What outsourcing really means. (05:08—06:38)
  • Myths of medical insurance. (07:04—10:56) 
  • Things to know about billing and documentation to get started. (11:26—13:42)
  • Third party billing companies get you paid. (13:59—16:27)
  • SOAP (Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan) notes. (16:43—20:03)
  • Why Dr. Murphy chose to be a Medicare provider. (21:11—23:24)
  • Last thoughts on billing and documentation. (23:48—25:07)
  • The future of dental sleep medicine. (25:26—28:05)
  • Advanced education and associations to join. (28:11—32:52)
  • Closing. (32:53—35:17)

Reach Out to Dr. Murphy:

Dr. Murphy’s email: [email protected] 

Further Reading:

American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine: https://www.aadsm.org/

American Sleep and Breathing Academy: https://asba.net/

American Academy of Physiology Medicine and Dentistry: https://www.aapmd.org/

American Academy of Sleep Medicine: https://aasm.org/

American Academy of Cardiovascular Sleep Medicine: https://aacsm.org/

American Academy of Orofacial Pain: https://aaop.clubexpress.com/

American Academy of Craniofacial Pain: https://www.aacfp.org/

The Pankey Institute: https://www.pankey.org/

Dr. Mark Murphy Bio:

Mark is an American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine Diplomate and has practiced in the Rochester area for over 35 years. He is the Lead Faculty for Clinical Education at ProSomnus Sleep Technologies, Principal of Funktional Sleep, serves on the Guest Faculty at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry, and is a Regular Presenter at the Pankey Institute. He has served on the Boards of Directors of the Pankey Institute, National Association of Dental Laboratories, the IdentAlloy Council, the Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology, St. Vincent DePaul’s Dental Center, and The Dental Advisor. He lectures internationally on Leadership, Dental Sleep Medicine, TMD, Treatment Planning, and Occlusion.




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