Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Assigning Billing Types in Dentrix

If you want a convenient way to filter patients for reports, correspondence, and other office tasks (such as applying billing or late charges) then you should be using billing types. Nearly every report and list you can generate in Dentrix can be filtered by billing type, so assigning patients to an appropriate billing type allows you to generate reports and lists for a specific group of patients.

To assign a billing type to a family:
  1. From the Family File, select the head-of-household for the family.
  2. Double-click on the Balance/Billing Type block to open the Billing/Payment Agreement Information dialog box.

  3. In the Billing Type section, select the billing type you want to assign to the family.

  4. Click OK.
For more information about how to customize billing types, as well as a list of the 10 default billing types that come standard with Dentrix, see the "Customizing billing types" topic in the Dentrix Help. 

Filtering lists and reports using patient billing types is a topic covered in the 10 Basic Dentrix Reports Every Office Should Use, Ins and Outs of Dentrix Billing Statements, and Maximizing Collections with Dentrix courses offered at this year's Business of Dentistry Conference.

Visit http://businessofdentistry.com/dentrix/ for more information about the 2014 Dentrix Business of Dentistry Conference, including information on how to register for the conference, conference speakers and agenda, and a complete list of Dentrix courses being offered. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Customizing Continuing Care Intervals for Individual Patients

When you use the continuing care system in Dentrix, each patient is attached to their own continuing care type(s). These continuing care types are set up with defaults (like six months between prophy visits) but Dentrix allows you to adjust the interval for each continuing car type on a patient-by-patient basis.

When you adjust the intervals for individual patients, every patient can be set up on exactly the interval they need and their continuing care due dates will reflect their own intervals instead of the standard intervals used for the rest of the practice.

To change a continuing care interval for a patient:

  1. With a patient selected in the Chart, click the Continuing Care button. The Continuing Care dialog box appears with the patients's name included in the title bar.


  2. Double-click the continuing care type to be changed. The Edit Continuing Care dialog box appears.


  3. To set the interval for the patient's continuing care, click the search button next to the Due Date field. The Set Interval dialog box appears.


  4. Change the interval to reflect the amount of time that should elapse between the patient's continuing care visits. If you want the interval to extend an extra day to prevent insurance billing problems, select +1 Day. Click OK.
    Note: When you change the interval, the patient's continuing care due date is automatically updated to reflect the new interval period. You can manually reset the date by typing the date in the New Due Date field after you set the interval.
  5. Close the Continuing Care module.
For more in-depth training on customizing your continuing care program for your patients, sign up for the Continuing Care from the Hygiene Chair course offered at this year's Business of Dentistry Conference. 

Visit http://businessofdentistry.com/dentrix/ for more information about the 2014 Dentrix Business of Dentistry Conference, including information on how to register for the conference, conference speakers and agenda, and a complete list of Dentrix courses being offered. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hiding a Patient on the Treatment Manager List

The Dentrix Treatment Manager is an interactive tool that allows you to generate a list of patients with outstanding treatment plans. You can use this list to contact patients and encourage them to schedule an appointment.

As you are contacting patients using the Treatment Manager List, you may want to temporarily remove a patient from the list because you have already made contact with them, or because you don't want to contact them for a specific reason (such as an outstanding balance). You can temporarily hide patients from the list so you can continue working from the list to contact other patients.

To hide a patient from the list:
  1. From the Appointment Book, click the Treatment Manager button. Set your View options and click OK. The Treatment Manager window appears.


  2. Right click on the patient's name you want to remove from the list.
  3. Click Hide Patient. The patient is removed from the list until the next time the list is generated.

For more information about using the Treatment Manager, see the "Treatment Manager" webinar recording (article # 41885) in the Dentrix Resource Center, or the various topics under Treatment Manager in the Dentrix Help.


For a more in-depth learning experience, sign up for the Using the Dentrix Treatment Manager to Fill your Schedule course offered at this year's Business of Dentistry Conference. 

Visit http://businessofdentistry.com/dentrix/ for more information about the 2014 Dentrix Business of Dentistry Conference, including information on how to register for the conference, conference speakers and agenda, and a complete list of Dentrix courses being offered. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Monitoring your Production

 The Dentrix Daily Huddle Report displays daily practice details for production, collections, case acceptance, new patients, and scheduling.

The Production section of the Daily Huddle Report displays daily practice details for production. With this report, you can see the amount of production you have scheduled today, compare it to yesterday's scheduled production, see how much you have completed so far this month, and see how much production is scheduled for the rest of the month. You can even compare your statistics to the monthly goals you have set up so you can see whether you're on track.

Here's a sample of the kind of information you can get from this section of the report, sub-totaled by dentist, hygienist, and entire practice:


  • Completed Prior DayThe dollar amount of procedures that were set complete on the previous day. The provider attached to the procedure determines whether it is counted with the dentist or hygienist totals.
  • Scheduled TodayThe dollar amount of procedures that are attached to appointments scheduled today. The provider attached to the appointment determines whether it is counted with the dentist or hygienist totals.
  • Completed MTD - The dollar amount of procedures that were set complete from the beginning of the current month to the current date. The provider attached to the procedure determines whether it is counted with the dentist or hygienist totals.
  • Scheduled Rem Month - The dollar amount of the scheduled procedures for the rest of the current month. The provider attached to the appointment determines whether it is counted with the dentist or hygienist totals.
  • Total - The combined total of the Completed MTD and Scheduled Rem Month dollar amounts.
  • MTD Goal - The combined dollar amount of the goals entered in the Practice Analysis. The provider attached to the goal determines whether it is counted with the dentist or hygienist totals.
For more information about generating the Daily Huddle Report, see the "Daily Huddle Report" topic in the Dentrix Help, or view the Daily Huddle webinar (article #56272) in the Dentrix Resource Center.

The Dentrix Daily Huddle Report's Production and Scheduling sections are included as part of the Scheduling for Production in Dentrix course offered at this year's Business of Dentistry Conference. There is also the Dentrix Daily Huddle course which focuses on how to set up and use the report to prepare for  the day and keep your team on track.

Visit http://businessofdentistry.com/dentrix/ for more information about the 2014 Dentrix Business of Dentistry Conference, including information on how to register for the conference, conference speakers and agenda, and a complete list of Dentrix courses being offered. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Understanding the Insurance Claims Aging Report

The Insurance Claims Aging Report

You might think that unless you are looking at an individual patient's Ledger, there's no way of knowing whether or not an insurance claim has been paid, or if there is something that is causing a hold up. By running the Insurance Claim Aging Report on a regular basis, you can keep an eye on unpaid claims and identify which may need to be followed up on. 

Dentrix makes it easy for you to keep track of your insurance claims. In the Primary Dental Insurance Claim window, you can double-click the Status block to open the Insurance Claim Status dialog box. Here you can indicate the claim status and date. Statuses include Created, Sent, Tracer, On Hold and Re-sent. Dentrix automatically updates the claim status when you create and send a claim, and you can manually enter notes about claims to reflect contact you have with the insurance company while waiting for the claim to be processed.


When setting the options for printing the Insurance Claim Aging Report, you can choose to print the status notes for claims. That way when you are using the report to review claims that are still outstanding, you have all the information you need in one place.


The Insurance Aging Report is just one of the reports covered in detail in the 10 Basic Dentrix Reports Every Office Should Use course offered at this year's Business of Dentistry Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Visit http://businessofdentistry.com/dentrix/ for more information about the 2014 Dentrix Business of Dentistry Conference, including information on how to register for the conference, conference speakers and agenda, and a complete list of Dentrix courses being offered. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Using the Office Journal for Staff Reminders

The Dentrix Office Journal allows you to keep a comprehensive record of contact made between your office and your patients. Additionally, the Office Journal can be used to create reminders for providers and staff members. By using the Office Journal for reminders your office can cut down on the use of sticky notes or phone memo pads that can easily clutter a desktop.

To create reminders for a provider or staff member:
  1. From the File menu in the Office Manager, click the Office Journal button. The Select Provider/Staff dialog box opens.
  2. Select the provider or staff member you want to create the reminder for and click OK.
  3. From the Edit menu in the Office Journal, click Add. The Add Journal Entry dialog box appears.
  4. Select Reminder from the Type drop-down list.
  5. Fill in the following fields:
    • Description -  Type a short description of up to 80 characters for the journal entry. For example, "Return patient phone call."
    • Note - Type a longer description of the journal entry of up to 4,000 characters. Click the Spell Check button to check the spelling if needed.
    • Date - The date you type should be the action date for the reminder.
  6. Click OK to save the reminder and return to the Office Journal.


Creating the reminders is only half of the task. A reminder doesn't do much good if no one reads it. Each provider and staff member should make a habit of checking their reminders each day. Dentrix can help in this respect by automatically launching the Office Journal each time you start Dentrix.

To set the Office Journal to automatically launch when you start Dentrix:


  1. From the Office Manager, select Maintenance > Practice Setup > Preferences.
  2. From the General Options tab in the Startup Options group box, check Automatically Launch Office Journal and click OK.
    *Note - this setting is workstation specific.

Once set, each time Dentrix is launched the Office Journal will open and the user will be prompted to click on his or her ID to see their Office Journal entries and reminders. Since there are other Office Journal entries besides reminders, you can filter the list to only show reminders. From the open Office Journal, click View > Filters, uncheck all options except Reminders, and click OK. Reminders are listed according to the date they were set to display when they were created. Expand the appropriate date's reminders by clicking the + sign, and click the reminder you want to view. The text of the reminder appears on the right side of the screen.



If you no longer need the reminder, you can click it in the list and then click Edit > Delete.

For more information about using the Office Journal for providers and staff, see the "Setting up daily reminders" and "Adding a reminder by provider or staff member" topics in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Viewing Documents in the Document Center

At times you may need to take a close look at a document that you have stored in the Document Center. For instance, you have recently begun storing copies of patients' billing statements automatically in the Document Center, and a patient calls with a question about his statement. From the Document Center, you can pull up a copy of the same document he is looking at.

The problem is that when you pull up the patient in the Document Center and click on the item you want to look at, the preview of the image may not be large enough to see the details. You can close down the thumbnail pane, making the preview window a little bigger, but sometimes you still can't see everything you need to on the document.

If the item you want to look at is a text file (such as a PDF), then you can click on the preview image and use CTRL and + (plus key) on your keyboard to zoom in on the document. CTRL and - (dash key) will zoom out.

Additionally, if the document you want to look at is an image file (such as a JPG) then when you double-click the preview image it will enlarge to full screen. Click the image again to return to the preview image.



There are also options at the bottom of the preview screen including zoom in/out options and a drop-down list of viewing options.