Tuesday, September 15, 2020

A More Useful Fee Schedule Report

How do you document your office fees? For many years, the Fee Schedule Report has been the go-to method. The printed report has some limitations. It can create a hard-copy record of either one or five fee schedules. 

If you choose one fee schedule, the report will not include any procedures with a $0.00 fee. If you choose five fee schedules, you must include a sequential range of five (for example, fee schedules 3-7, or 14-18 – no skipping, picking, or choosing).

The Fee Schedule Maintenance area (Office Manager > Maintenance > Reference > Fee Schedule Maintenance) holds a more powerful and flexible way of viewing and documenting your fees: Export them to a file!

For specifics, see the Exporting Fee Schedules topic in Dentrix Help. 

Your exported file can be opened in a spreadsheet, such as in Microsoft Excel. From there you can print the file, perform data analysis and comparison, or share the file with someone else. 



You can even make changes to your fees if needed and then import them back into Dentrix. For specifics, see the Importing Fee Schedules topic in Dentrix Help.

For additional information, read It’s Time to Update Office Fees Again in Dentrix Magazine.


Tuesday, September 8, 2020

If You Aren't Using It, Delete It

As time has passed, your Dentrix system may have accumulated extra payment types and adjustment types that you no longer use. You may have even reached the limits and cannot add additional types.

In Dentrix you can remove unneeded payment and adjustment types, which can free up the spots so you can enter new types you may need. This also makes your selection lists smaller when it’s time to apply an adjustment or make a payment.

Reviewing the Payment and Adjustment Types You Use in Your Practice

In the Office Manager, open Reports > Management > Practice Analysis Reports. Select the Payment Summary and Adjustment Summary reports. Enter a date range of several years, which will help you understand how frequently you use each type. View the reports and take note of the quantity of each adjustment or payment type that has been used during your date range. If you find that you aren’t using a specific type, consider deleting it.

Deleting Adjustment Types

In the Office Manager, open Maintenance > Practice Setup > Definitions. From the Definition Type menu, select Adjustment Types. Select an adjustment type, and then click Delete. Select a replacement type (if the selected type has been used anytime in the past, it will be replaced on those Ledgers with this replacement adjustment type). Click OK.




Deleting Payment Types

In the Office Manager, open Maintenance > Practice Setup > Definitions. From the Definition Type menu, select Payment Types. Select a payment type, and then click Delete. Select a replacement type (if the selected type has been used anytime in the past, it will be replaced on those Ledgers with this replacement payment type). Click OK.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

3 Tips to Keep in Mind When Entering Batch Insurance Payments

Insurance carriers will frequently send you an EOB and payment for multiple claims and patients at once. You can open each patient's Ledger, open the claim, and enter the payment one by one. Or, you can use the Enter Batch Insurance Payment feature—a great tool to help you efficiently enter insurance payments!

For step-by-step instructions on how to enter a batch insurance check payment, click HERE

Keep these three extra tips in mind as you enter batch insurance payments:

  • To select all of the group plans at once for a specific insurance carrier, click the first alphabetical plan, scroll down to the last plan, and hold down the Shift key while you click the last listed plan, and click OK. That way, you’ll capture all of the group plans that are entered in your database for the same carrier and you’ll be able to see the claims for that insurance company. 


  • After you’ve finished entering all the payments for the claims associated with insurance check, make sure that you click the Generate Statements button as part of your process for entering batch insurance payments. A billing statement for patients to whom you posted an insurance payment will be created and sent to the Batch Processor.  Generating and sending these statements as part of your batch insurance process means that patients are aware of their balances sooner than they would be if you waited to send a statement in your next scheduled billing cycle.



Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Keep Track of Today's Appointments While Jumping Around the Appointment Book

Things can get busy at the front desk. You have what seems like hundreds of things going on at once—phones ringing, patients checking in and out, and a lot of jumping back and forth in the Appointment Book scheduling and rescheduling appointments. 

Did you know that you can use the Appointment List to keep today's appointments open in one window, and use the Appointment Book in another window to jump around as needed to schedule other appointments?

From the top of the Appointment Book, click Appt List. Then from the Select List menu, click Appointments.


A list of today's appointments will appear in the Dentrix Appointment List window. You can slide this entire window to one side of your screen, and have a list of today's scheduled appointments always available. Then you can use your Appointment Book window to flip back and forth between days while scheduling other appointments.

There are a number of useful features within the Appointment List you might not be aware of:
  • At the top of the Appointment List, use the Search bar to type patient names, provider IDs, appointment descriptions, phone numbers, and so forth. As you type, the list will instantly narrow down to display only matching appointments.
  • By default, the Appointment List opens sorted chronologically. You can click any of the column headers to change the sort order. For example, click the Name header to sort alphabetically, click Op to sort by operatory, or click Prov to sort by treating doctor.
  • Choose which columns of information are shown in the Appointment List. Right-click any of the column headers to open a menu where you can select or remove columns from the display.

  • Just like in the Appointment Book, right-clicking individual appointments in the list will open several helpful options. But unlike the Appointment Book, you can select multiple appointments, right-click them, and make updates together. For example, did a family just walk in together? Select all of the appointments (type their name in the search bar if that helps too), right-click, and update the Status for all of the appointments at once.

For additional information about using the Appointment List and its features, read the various topics listed under Appointment Lists Overview in Dentrix Help and The New Dentrix Appointment List in Dentrix Magazine.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Don't Rely on Your Memory - Use the Appointment Checklist

When you create a patient appointment or check a patient in at the front desk, there may be a lot of things to try and remember to do. Did you know that Dentrix gives you a checklist at the bottom of the Appointment Information dialog box that you can use to make sure you have covered everything you needed to with the appointment, such as verifying insurance, collecting a co-pay, updating health history, and so forth? You can even customize this checklist to include the tasks that you want to be sure you address with each appointment.



Here's how you can customize the Appointment Checklist for your practice:
  1. In the Office Manager, from the Maintenance menu, point to Practice Setup, and then click Definitions.
  2. In the Definitions Type drop-down list, select Appointment Checklist.
  3. In the Definitions Text field, enter a checklist item you want to add to the list and click Add.

Additional Tips

  • You can have up to 12 appointment checklist items in Definitions. If you already have 12 items, you will need to either delete the items you aren’t using or change them to new items you want to use.
  • The Definition Text field is limited to 20 characters.
  • Appointment checklist definitions are global settings, meaning they will apply to all computers in the office.
In a recent post on The Dentrix Office Manager Blog, Charlotte Skaggs shares ideas on including COVID-19 tracking protocols in your Appointment Checklist.


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Setting Up and Posting Discounts in the Ledger

Do you offer promotions or discounts to new patients or certain groups of patients? For example, 15% off for senior citizens, 25% off for active military or veterans, and so forth.
 
In Dentrix, it’s easy to set up discounts and then apply them in the Ledger where applicable.

Part 1: Set Up Your Discounts

Before you can enter discounts, you'll need to create the discount types in Dentrix. Open the Ledger, and from the File menu click Tax/Discount Options Setup. Then click New and enter a name of the discount in the Description field. Enter a Percentage amount for the discount, and select an Adjustment Type to be used in the Ledger. Click OK, and the discount type will be available to use for all patients on any networked computer.


Part 2: Post a Discount

Select a patient in the Ledger. If you are not applying a discount to all of the day's procedures, select the procedures that you want to discount. Then from the Transaction menu, click Enter Tax/Discount


Select a discount type from the list.

If you selected individual procedures, under Calculate for, select the Selected Procedures option. Otherwise, select Procedure Dated and enter a date. All of the procedure codes for that date will be discounted.
 
You can use the Provider drop-down menu to select a specific provider, or if the procedures receiving discounts were completed by different providers, choose Split By Provider to let Dentrix automatically divide the credit up among them.

If you'd like to apply the discount to one family member, use the Patient drop-down menu to select that patient, or choose Split By Family Members to let Dentrix divvy up the adjustment to multiple family members.

If you'd like to add a note to give additional information about the discount, click Note and type a note in the box.

When finished, click OK, and Dentrix will calculate the discount amount and post the adjustment(s) in the Ledger.

For additional information, see the Posting Taxes and Discounts topic in Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Using a Custom List to Find Procedures Completed within a Date Range

In the Office Manager, one of the most versatile tools you have to work with is the Patient Report (By Filters) option within Letters & Custom Lists. With dozens of filtering criteria, you can use this report to generate custom lists of patients using the information in your Dentrix database.
The possibilities for generating custom reports are endless. For example, you could find out:
  • Which patients had a D6010 implant procedure completed in the last two years
  • Which patients have had scaling and root planning (D4341-D4342) treatment planned since April
  • Which patients came in for a new patient exam (procedure code D0150) in the last 6 months but have not returned for a follow-up visit
Though the details are slightly different depending on specific information you want to find, generating the list follows some common steps:

  1. From the Office Manager, click Letters & Custom Lists, and then click Misc.
  2. Select Patient Report (By Filters) and then click Edit.
  3. From the Letter or Custom List Setup dialog box, select the search criteria for filtering your list.
Based on the examples above, the list should include patients with a procedure code, or a range of codes that have a specific status (completed, treatment planned, etc.).

In the list of filters, click the search button next to Procedures.



Under Search For, select the status of the procedures you want to find from the options given. You can select more than one status if needed.

Under Select Procedure Codes, enter a Beginning and Ending code to include in your search. If you are only looking for a single code, enter it in both fields.

Under Select Procedure Date, enter a Beginning and Ending date range for the procedures. Then click OK.

Set any other filters as needed in the Letter or Custom List Setup dialog box, and then click OK.

From the Miscellaneous Letters & Custom Lists dialog box, click the Open List Manager button to open the List Manager and see a list of patients that match your criteria. From the List Manager, you have the ability to select a patient and open other Dentrix modules to view the details. 




For example, if you generated the list for patients with treatment-planned D4341 or D4342 procedures, you can select a patient in the list, open the Ledger, switch to the Treatment Plan Ledger option, and view dates, amounts, and whether or not a pre-authorization was created for the procedure.




The possibilities for creating custom lists and reports based on information in your Dentrix database are endless when you understand how to customize and use the filters within the Patient Report (By Filters).

For more information, read our previous tip titled, Using the Patient Report (By Filters) to Find Specific Groups of Patients, and The Dentrix G6 List Manager article in Dentrix Magazine.