How Elevate Billing Is Modernizing The Dental Industry With Hive

Elevate Billing Solutions is a remote dental billing organization that provides administrative relief to dental businesses. Elevate was created to address the frustrations that most dental practices feel when tackling insurance billing and verification processes. Most practices want to focus their effort on patient care and practice growth, but are often unable to due to the daily time commitment the insurance process requires. Offices that don’t dedicate as much time to the insurance billing process are often leaving tremendous amounts of revenue on table. 

Elevate solves these problems by streamlining the revenue cycle and removing distractions throughout the insurance billing process. When dental practices utilize Elevate to help with insurance billing and verification work, they become more profitable, staff members become more efficient, and the overall office culture improves significantly. In the wake of the pandemic, when many dental practices experienced reduced staff and became increasingly reliant on outstanding claims to be paid, Elevate had the opportunity to ramp up and help many, many organizations. 

Since it’s creation, Elevate has more than doubled in size every six months. The team currently has 75 team members, and this number isn’t slowing down anytime soon. But with growth comes constant revision of processes and how things are managed, which is why Elevate brought Bri Erickson on board. 

My responsibility is to start this company with the technology and processes that will make us most efficient from the beginning, so that we don’t have to figure it out later down the road. – Bri Erickson

As Director of Operations, Bri is focused on creating and improving processes to become as efficient as possible. With technology at the forefront of this strategy, Bri knew that choosing the right project management tool was critical for the success of Elevate and its growing client base. So why did Elevate end up choosing Hive? And how does Hive actually impact the team’s efficiency? Let’s dig in. 

Bringing Project Management To Dental Billing 

Elevate takes an innovative approach to dental insurance billing in more ways than one — including its use of project management software. Historically, task management has not been common in the dental industry. However, coming from a design and process improvement  background where tasks and processes power everything, Bri saw an opportunity for Elevate to apply the same concepts. Having an organization built on increasing efficiency and profitability, finding the right project management tool for the team was critical. The decision to go with Hive became even more important when transitioning to a fully distributed workforce. 

When Bri set out to find the best project management tool, she knew the platform couldn’t be daunting or overwhelming. Many employees at Elevate came from small dental offices and had little to no experience with project management, so she wanted to find a tool that people would first and foremost be open to using — and then one they would fall in love with. 

Bri initially started the team on MeisterTask, which was a great beginner project management tool and helped introduce the concept of task management to the team. But as employees started evolving and thinking through the platform, they grew frustrated with the limited functionality. The team wanted features that MeisterTask just couldn’t provide at the time, and with more employees joining Elevate, the team was outgrowing the platform in more ways than one.

Task management is not common in our industry, so I initially introduced it to employees, showed them how to use it, and how it could help. After a few months they started evolving and thinking through things, and then it was a complete 180. They were so into it, but they wanted more features that MeisterTask just couldn’t provide. – Bri Erickson

It became clear to the Elevate team that they needed a more robust app that was also intuitive, so that it would work for the new team members that weren’t as familiar with project management tools. To find the best-fitting tool, Bri and the team created an extensive list of desired features. In addition to both task and data management, Elevate was looking for notifications to alert team members to pending action items that needed their attention. Another critical part of their search was both a desktop and web application, with the option of mobile if desired, which narrowed down the field.

Additionally, the Elevate team heavily utilized Microsoft products, so they needed a tool that would integrate with SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams. It was critical for them to be able to link files and share them in a cloud for easy access. Finally, they needed a platform that was HIPAA compliant, and met security requirements due to the nature of working in the dental industry. 

Choosing Hive: One Place To Manage All Clients 

With robust Microsoft integrations, HIPAA compliance, comprehensive project and data management capabilities, and several notification types, Hive checked off all the boxes on Elevate’s list. But the deciding factor was Hive’s customizable and user-friendly experience, which was constantly evolving and improving based on customer feedback. 

“Every company has different needs, but that’s what enticed me about Hive. Hive’s customizations let us build the unique structure we need, which was something that a lot of task management systems just didn’t cater to the nuances of what we needed for our company.” – Bri Erickson

As a startup itself, Elevate also values what its customers have to say, and strives to partner with organizations that do the same. So when looking at project management tools, Elevate looked closely at how responsive each platform is to its customers. This is where Hive blew everyone else out of the water. Rather than releasing one feature every few months, Hive releases multiple new features every week. This constant innovation and implementation of customer feedback was what ultimately sold Elevate on Hive.

The Forum was one of the things that sold us on Hive. Hive is constantly innovating, and it’s not just one thing every couple of months — it’s multiple new features every week. They actually listen and talk to their users, which is something that is part of our company culture as well.  – Bri Erickson

Hive In Action

Once Elevate started using Hive, the team spent about two months fully building out a workspace for their exact needs and workflow. Additionally, they underwent  comprehensive Hive training to learn the ins-and-outs  of Hive and make sure the team was set up for success. 

Elevate has now been using Hive for over 1.5 years, and the team has created a unique workspace that is able to evolve alongside its own growth and changing needs. To illustrate just how much Hive impacts day to day work at Elevate, we’re digging into how Bri, Debbie (Director of Client Services), and their teams use Hive to manage ongoing clients, systemize the employee lifecycle, and maximize communication across the company as a whole.

Organizing Client Work

Rather than working on a campaign basis, which is what many other platforms focus on, Elevate gets clients and keeps clients. Hive’s ability to create projects within projects set it apart from other tools that Elevate looked at. Within Hive, Elevate sets up their projects by client. This ensures that all materials are recorded centrally with easy access points. 

“We don’t have start-to-finish campaigns or deadlines. We get clients and keep clients. That was a unique aspect of our workflow that a lot of task management systems just didn’t cater to, and Hive did a wonderful job addressing these nuances and letting us build what we needed in the platform.” – Bri Erickson

For each client, they have one main parent project in Hive, which is then broken down into child projects that include projects for each service line and projects by employee, which help filter data and tasks. Elevate also utilizes project templates to quickly create new child projects when clients have repetitive or recurring tasks. 

elevate billing project navigator
Project templates in Elevate’s workspace

They set their workspace up with Hive’s robust Summary views in mind, so they can easily create Summary views for each individual employee to see which actions are assigned to them. These Summary views are also used by their management team, and they use Hive permissions to allow leadership to access these by-employee views. 

elevate billing summary
Summary views in Elevate’s workspace

Filters are also heavily used at Elevate, which help their team weed out the action items that don’t pertain to them. Filters and summary views have drastically increased the speed at which the team is able to sift through and locate important actions.

Managing A Growing Team Of Employees

Outside of the client and employee level projects, Elevate also has onboarding, recruiting and employee lifecycle projects, which they use in Kanban and Gantt view to track employee progress or movement through the recruiting cycle. For new hires, Elevate uses Templates in Hive to create repeatable processes and next steps that every new hire goes through to ensure seamless onboarding throughout the organization. The new hire project is utilized specifically in Gantt view with dependencies, so they can track tasks that can only be completed once the previous step has been taken care of. 

Additionally, Elevate uses Hive Forms for all of their IT system tracking – Hive has enabled their team to easily and quickly pull data and analytics, which makes a huge difference in their workflow. Previously, Elevate had team members direct messaging their questions to the support team. Now, the support team can look at all form submissions and tackle them in order of importance. On top of that, they can pull analytics such as who has submitted the most tickets, what’s the most common ask, how many requests does the team get on average, and are there any gaps in training or documentation they can address. This has drastically improved Elevate’s productivity and ability to support their employees.

Elevate forms
Forms in Elevate’s workspace

Overall, employees also love and use My Actions view, which gives them a quick glance at, and overview of, all tasks assigned to them. In terms of integrations, Elevate uses Hive Mail and the integration with OneDrive to track incoming mail and attach relevant files to action cards for easy access. Notifications also help the Elevate team track items that need their attention, and act as a backlog for all recent activity in Hive.

Elevate’s Secret To Communication 

Creating a culture that supports open communication has been important to Elevate from day one. The team knew Hive would help facilitate this communication, but they never imagined just how impactful it would be. 

We wanted to create a culture of communication at Elevate from the beginning, and we knew Hive would be helpful. Hive saves us so much time without having to track down other teammates. – Bri Erickson

To keep all communication in one place, Elevate encourages the team to comment directly on action cards, rather than sending one-off messages that interrupt someone’s workflow. This system lets everyone see the most up-to-date status of each task by simply going into the action card and scrolling down to the comments, rather than sending chat messages and piecing together broken bits of information.

elevate action card

“Hive puts together all of the puzzle pieces. I can see anybody who is related to a task, and I can see all communication because it’s documented in the comments of action cards. Versus when there are five different messages, I have to go reach out to all of those people and interrupt their workflow. But that process doesn’t happen naturally. You have to train your users and create that culture.” – Bri Erickson

Growing Together

“I honestly believe that Hive and other technology platforms have actually fueled our growth at Elevate. They allow us to be more efficient. They allow us to be more communicative. They allow us to work at a faster pace alongside that growth. If we didn’t have these processes and platforms, I don’t feel we would be as successful.”– Bri Erickson

Hive has propelled Elevate’s growth over the past year, but it’s not a one-sided relationship. Over 120 Elevate employees are also on our Hive Forum, the platform where users request and vote on new features. Even more, Bri is one of the top Forum participants of all time. Bri herself has contributed to the development of more than 25 new features in Hive, and her enthusiasm for the Forum has become part of the Elevate culture. 

“The Hive Forum is part of our culture here at Elevate. People who have been here longer have seen the benefits and get really excited about it, and newer members look at them and want to be a part too. It’s exciting for me to see their passion because they know they can positively impact the team too.” – Bri Erickson

To create this culture of engagement, Bri established something called Feature Request Friday, where she sends out a list of feature requests on a Friday that would significantly impact their day to day efficiency. It gives everyone an extra nudge and reminds people that they can do something to impact the company as a whole. As Bri says, “It takes two seconds to vote on a new feature that could literally save us hours of time. Why wouldn’t we do it?” 

Without Hive, Elevate’s processes wouldn’t be nearly as effective, and the team would likely be operating at a totally different pace. But one thing’s for sure — without Bri and the entire Elevate team, Hive also wouldn’t be the platform it is today.