Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tips for Setting Up Non-typical Families in Dentrix

Not all families are typical. Some family situations might be called complex or even difficult. Not to worry, Dentrix has the flexibility to help you set up a wide variety of family relationships. Keep the following tips in mind as you set up families in Dentrix:


  • Any time you add an account to the system, you must designate someone in the family as the "responsible party." Dentrix refers to that person as the Head-of-Household (or Guarantor).
  • The Head-of-Household does not have to be a patient, in which case, he or she would have a status of "Non-Patient."
  • Dentrix addresses all account correspondence (billing statements, collection letters, etc.) to the Head-of-Household.
  • Dentrix addresses all patient correspondence (appointment reminders, etc.) to the individual patient.
  • You can enter different addresses for patients within the same family.
  • Insurance carriers cover family members through the insurance subscriber, but the insurance subscriber does not have to be the Head-of-Household in Dentrix.
  • The insurance subscriber must be a member of the same family as the covered patient.
  • You can create multiple records for the same person as long as you don't enter the social security number in the SS# field more than once. (See Scenario 2 below). Remember that you can enter a social security number in the Subscriber ID field for as many patients as necessary.
  • Use the "Non-Patient" status any time you need to create a record for a Head-of-Household or insurance subscriber who isn't a patient. Non-patients don't show up on reports and will only receive correspondence if they've been designated as the Head-of-Household.
  • You can use the "Other" status anytime you need to add a Head-of-Household or insurance subscriber to a family if the person isn't a member of that family (divorced parents, step-parents, etc.)

Here's a couple of family situation scenarios, and how you should set them up in Dentrix:

Scenario 1: Children live with parent X (who is the children's responsible party) but Parent Y is an insurance subscriber for the children. Parent Y is not a patient.
  1. Enter Parent X as the Head-of-Household. Enter Parent X's mailing address as his or her address record.
  2. Add Parent Y to the account as the insurance subscriber. When creating the record, leave the SS# field blank and set his or her status to Non-patient, Other. Enter Parent Y's mailing address as their address. Add the insurance coverage information.
  3. When creating the child's record, select the address to match the parent who is responsible for dealing with treatment correspondence from the dental office (in this situation, Parent X).
  4. Attach Parent Y's insurance coverage to the child.
Scenario 2: Parent X and Parent Y are both active patients. Children live with Parent X who is the responsible party for the children. Parent Y is the insurance subscriber for the children.
  1. Create Account #1. Enter Parent X as the Head-of-Household. Set his or her status to Patient. Enter the mailing address as his or her address record.
  2. Enter Parent Y as the insurance subscriber. When creating the record, leave the SS# field blank and set his or her status to Non-patient, Other. Enter their mailing address as the address record.
  3. Add the child's record to Account #1, select his or her address to match the parent who is responsible for dealing with treatment correspondence from the dental office (in this situation, Parent X). Attach parent Y's insurance coverage to the child.
  4. Create Account #2. Re-enter Parent Y. When creating the record, enter the SS# (if desired) and set his or her status to Patient.
Scenario 3: Children live with Parent X, but Parent Y holds the insurance and receives the bills for the children.
  1. Enter Parent Y as the Head-of-Household for the children's account. When creating the record, leave the SS# field blank and set his or her status to Non-patient, Other. Enter the mailing address as his or her address record. Enter the insurance information.
  2. Add the child to Parent Y's Non-patient, Other account. When creating the child's record, enter his or her address to match the parent who is responsible for dealing with treatment correspondence from the dental office (in this situation, Parent X).
  3. Attach parent Y's insurance coverage to the child.
  4. Enter Parent X as another member of the family, with a mailing address that is different from Parent Y, but that matches that of the children.
Keep in mind that with complex family situations, you can always enter explanatory information about the family dynamics in the Patient Note within the Family File.

For additional information, watch the Dentrix Does It video titled, Editing Family Relationships.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Modifying Image Documents within the Document Center

The Dentrix Document Center is a wonderful tool you should be using to help eliminate paper files in your office. One of the best uses of the Document Center is to store images. Images can include not only digital X-rays, but scans of driver's licenses or insurance cards, or screen captures from oral imaging devices, or patient pictures you take with your office camera.
Within the Document Center you have a whole range of tools you can use to modify the documents once they are stored. Please note, though, that only image files (.jpg for example) can be modified. Text files, such as PDFs, cannot be modified.
A group of images within one filename is still referred to as a document, and can be assigned to multiple sources just like another document in the Document Center. Individual images within the group are referred to as "pages".



  1. With a patient selected in the Document Center, select an image document from the patient's document tree. The selected document appears in the Document Preview pane in the main Document Center screen.

  2. From the Document Center toolbar, click the Modify Document button. A row of buttons you can use to modify the document appears:

  3. To copy a document to the Windows Clipboard, with the document visible in the Document Preview pane, click the Copy to Clipboard button.
    To add another page to the document, click the Add Page button.
    To delete a page from the document, view the page in the Document Preview pane, click the Delete Page button, and click Yes to confirm.
    To alter the color, light, contrast, or saturation of a document, click the Image Adjustments button.
    To crop a document, click the Crop Image button, and expand a square over the document with your mouse. When you release the mouse, the document is cropped.
    To invert the colors of a document, click the Invert Colors button.
    To convert the document to gray scale, click the Convert to Grayscale button.
    To "clean up" the document by removing random spots, click the Remove Spots button.
    To rotate the document, click the Rotate button and select a rotation option from the list.
    To adda  notation to the document as to the orientation of the mouth, click the Orientation button and select an orientation option from the list.
    To undo the last change you made to the document, click the Undo Change button.
    To undo all changes you made to a document, and return it to the last saved state, click the Undo All button.

  4. Modify the document as needed. 
  5. When you attempt to click on another document or close the Document Center, you are prompted to save your changes. Click Yes to save the document.
For more information on modifying documents in the Document Center, see the Adding Pages Adjusting Images, Cropping Images, Removing Random Spots, Rotating Images, and Orienting Images of the Mouth topics in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Checking Up on Your Treatment Planning Success Rate

It's no big secret that a dental practice's success hinges on its ability to diagnose, schedule, and complete treatment. With that in mind, it's important to be able to dig deep and discover how many of your treatment-planned procedures are actually being completed. Generating a Treatment Plan Statistics Analysis Report is a great place to start.

To generate the reports:
  1. In the Office Manager select Reports > Management > Treatment Plan Statistics Analysis.
  2. There are four different analysis reports you can generate. In the Treatment Plan Statistics Analysis Reports group box choose from the following options by checking the corresponding box(es):
    Note: You can check more than one box to generate multiple reports at once. Each report checked appears as a single line item in the Batch Processor. Also, the report option(s) you check determine whether other filtering choices are available within the dialog box.


    • Tx Planned - This report option provides an overview of treatment plans by provider, procedure, or procedure category. Additionally, you can select to include All Procedures, Only Unscheduled Procedures or Only Unscheduled Procedures for Appts Dated (entering procedure dates in the From and To fields for this option).
    • Completed Procedures - This report option displays the number and value of treatment completed during a selected date range.
    • Comparison for Completed Procedures - The report option allows you to compare the total number of treatment plans vs. the number of completed treatment plans.
    • Treatment Plan Summary - This report option provides you with an accurate picture of how much potential revenue there is in uncompleted treatment plans.
  3. Based on the report option(s) selected above, make filtering choices in the remaining group boxes:
    • Treatment Plan Date Range - Type a date range for the treatment-planned procedures.
    • Completed Procedure Date Range - This option is only available if you checked the Completed Procedures report option in step 2. Enter a date range for the completed procedures.
    • Procedure Code Range - Select the range of procedures you want to include.
    • Select Billing Type - Select the billing types you want to include.
    • Select Provider(s) - Select the provider(s) you want to include.
  4. Select one of the following report format options:
    • By Provider - Lists only the combined procedure information for each provider selected.
    • By Procedure - Lists all applicable procedures with information for each.
    • By Category - Lists all applicable procedure categories with the combined procedure information for all procedures within each category.
  5. If you do NOT want any procedures with a zero amount to be included in the report, check Skip Procedures with $0.00 Amounts.
  6. To save your settings for the next time you generate the report, check Save as Default.
  7. Click OK to send the report(s) to the Batch Processor.
For additional information about how to interpret these reports once they are printed, log in to the Dentrix Resource Center and under the Documents tab, look for the Reports Reference link. Within the Reports Reference PDF, view the following pages:
  • Treatment Plan Statistics Analysis: Tx Planned Report (pg. 332)
  • Treatment Plan Statistics Analysis: Completed Procedures (pg. 328)
  • Treatment Plan Statistics Analysis: Comparison for Completed Procedures (pg. 326)
  • Treatment Plan Statistics Analysis: Treatment Plan Summary (pg. 330)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Attaching Diagnostic Codes to Procedures in the Progress Notes

The Patient Chart is a clinical record of patient care, and as such it must be completely accurate. To help maintain an accurate clinical record, Dentrix allows you to attach diagnostic codes to procedures using the Progress Notes toolbar. Diagnostic codes, however, cannot be attached to conditions, clinical notes, exams, or referrals.

To attach a diagnostic code to a procedure:
  1. From the Patient Chart's Progress Notes panel, click the procedure you want to attach a diagnostic code to.
  2. From the Progress Notes toolbar, click the Attach Dental Diagnostics to Selected Procedure button.
  3. In the Select Diagnostic Code(s) dialog box, from the Included Diagnostic Codes drop-down list, select a code category.
  4. From the list, select the appropriate diagnostic code(s), and click Add.


  5. Click OK. Dentrix attaches the diagnostic code(s) to the procedure and the letter "D" appears in the Diagnosis column of the Progress Notes panel.


Notes:

  • If you print insurance claims rather than submitting them electronically, you must make sure to select a claim format (DX2012 for example) which supports the inclusion of diagnostic codes.
  • Dentrix versions G6.1 or later can automatically add ICD-10 diagnostic codes through a CDT Update utility.

See the Dentrix Help for more information on adding or editing dental diagnostic codes in Dentrix. You may also be interested in the Dentrix Does It video titled Diagnostic Codes on Dental Claim Forms.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Patient Balance Report

If you want a really quick and easy-to-understand report that can give you a list of outstanding patient balances, consider the Patient Balance Report.

This report is easy to generate, and doesn't have a lot of filters to manipulate. Quite simply, you set a range of patients, providers, and/or billing types, and that's it.

To generate the Patient Balance Report:
  1. From the Office Manager, click Reports > Ledger > Patient Balance Report.
  2. Type the Report Date you want to print on the report.
  3. Do the following:
    • In the Select Patient group box, set the range of patients to include on the report.
    • In the Select Provider group box, set the range of providers to include on the report.
    • In the Select Billing Type group box, set the range of billing types to include on the report.
  4. Click OK to send the report to the Batch Processor.
Once generated, the Patient Balance Report is easy to interpret, and contains the following important information:


  1. Patient Details - The patient's name, chart number, home phone, work phone, and billing type.
    Note: an asterisk to the left of the patient name indicates a guarantor.
  2. Last Patient Pmt - The date of the patient's last payment.
  3. Last Visit Date - The date a procedure was last posted for the patient.
  4. Pend. Claims - Indicates whether the patient has pending insurance claims.
  5. Family Balance - The patient's family balance.
  6. Patient Balance - The patient's individual balance.
For additional information on other Ledger reports available from the Office Manager, see the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Joining Insurance Plans in Dentrix

When multiple staff members enter patient information in Dentrix, there is a chance that duplicate information can be entered. One area where this can easily happen is with insurance carriers, group plans, or employers. Here are some general rules to follow when entering an insurance carrier in Dentrix:
  1. Look to see if the plan already exists in Dentrix.
  2. Enter the carrier name, plan name and group number as they appear on a patient's insurance card to avoid duplicate entries for the same plan with slightly different spellings.
  3. Because insurance carriers can be associated with different employers, be sure to enter employer information when applicable to help distinguish carriers with the same name.
If you find that you do have multiple instances of the same insurance carrier entered in Dentrix, you'll want to join the plans. Joining insurance carriers merges two carriers into one. In Dentrix, the Join Insurance Plans utility allows you to quickly move all subscribers from one insurance plan to another plan.

By joining the multiple instances of identical carriers in your database, it's easier to maintain your insurance plans. You won't have to update multiple plans, and as a result, you can avoid problems such as coverage table information being different, payment table overrides not being consistent, estimates not calculating correctly, etc.

For example: You discover than an insurance plan has been added into Dentrix twice. There are two identical carriers named Principal Financial Group with two different variations of the group plan name: Solutions Group (the correct name) and Solutions Group Plan (the incorrect name). You want to combine the two into a single, correctly named plan.

To join insurance plans:
  1. Close all Dentrix modules on all computers on the network.
  2. Open the Office Manager on a single computer and click Maintenance > Reference > Insurance Maintenance.


  3. Click Join Plans.


  4. In the Join Criteria group box, do one of the following:
    1. Employer-based - Select to move all subscribers attached to an insurance plan (source plan) linked to a specific employer to another insurance plan (destination plan) that is linked to the same employer.
      • Subscriber's Employer must match Insurance Plan employer field - (Optional) Select to move only subscribers who are assigned the same employer in the Family File.
    2. Plan-to-Plan - Select to join insurance plans regardless of employers.
  5. In the Select Insurance Plans to Join group box:
    1. Click the Source Insurance Plan search button. Select the insurance plan you want to move subscribers from, and click OK. (This is the plan you want to get rid of. In our example, that's "Solutions Group Plan".) 
    2. Click the Destination Insurance Plan search button. Select the insurance plan you want to move subscribers to, and click OK. (This is the plan you want to keep. In our example, that's "Solutions Group".)
  6. Click Join. A message appears asking you to confirm the change. To move all subscribers from the source insurance plan to the destination insurance plan, click Yes.
  7. A message appears at the completion of the merge, or if no subscribers matching the criteria associated with the Source insurance plan exist. Click OK.
Note: Joining insurance plans only changes the assigned insurance for the patient. It does not affect any claims previously created. Claims created in the future will use the new carrier information. Current open claims that have already been created will not be affected by the change.

Once you have joined the plans, you need to delete the now unused and "empty" plan so that it doesn't get assigned to more patients, and doesn't bog down your database. Take a look back at last week's Deleting Unused Insurance Plans in Dentrix post for details.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Deleting Unused Insurance Plans in Dentrix

It happens. You are entering insurance information in Dentrix for a new patient, and as you scroll through the list of carrier names one catches your eye and you think, "We haven't accepted that insurance in forever."

To keep your Dentrix database uncluttered, you may at times want to delete carriers from which you no longer accept insurance. Dentrix only allows you to delete insurance plans when they don't have subscribers attached, and only when all claims for the plan have been received. To find out whether an insurance carrier meets those two criteria, you should first run the Insurance Carrier List to find patients attached to the plan, and then the Insurance Aging Report to find out if there are any outstanding claims attached that would prevent you from deleting the plan.

It's worth noting that Dentrix uses the word "purge" as an equivalent to "delete" with regards to removing an insurance plan.


To purge an insurance plan:

  1. Run the Insurance Carrier List:
    • From the Office Manager, click Reports > Reference> Insurance Carrier List.
    • Select the desired insurance group range. Uncheck Standard List, and check Include Subscribers. Click OK.
    • In the Batch Processor, view or print the Dental Insurance Carriers and Subscribers list and use it to clear insurance from patients attached to the plan.
  2. Clear insurance plans attached to patients:
    • From the Family File, select a patient from the Insurance Carrier List.
    • Double-click the Insurance block to open the Insurance Information dialog box.
    • Click the Clear Primary (or Clear Secondary) button, and click OK.
    • Repeat these steps for all patients on the Insurance Carrier List.
  3. Run the Insurance Aging Report:
    • From the Office Manager, click Reports > Ledger > Insurance Aging Report.
    • Search for outstanding insurance claims by entering a range of carriers (the one(s) you are wanting to delete) from the Select Insurance Carrier group box, and click OK.
    • View or print the report to see if there are any claims outstanding for the carrier. If there are outstanding claims, you must wait until the claims have been paid to purge the insurance carrier.
  4. Delete insurance carriers using the Purge Dental Insurance Plans utility:
    • From the Office Manager, click Maintenance > Reference > Insurance Maintenance.


    • Click the Purge button to open the Purge Dental Insurance Plans dialog box.
      Note: Insurance plans do not appear in the Purge Dental Insurance Plans dialog box if there are patients attached to the plan or if there are outstanding claims attached to the plan.


    • Do one of the following:
      • To delete a single carrier, select the carrier and click Delete.
      • To delete all the listed carriers, click Delete All.
    • A warning message appears asking you to confirm the deletion of the selected plan(s). Click OK.
    • Click Close to return to the Insurance Maintenance dialog box.
Stay tuned next week for a Tip Tuesday post about joining insurance plans to remove duplicate entries.