Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Everything You Need to Make Collections Calls, All in One Place

Before you sit down to make collections calls, it's important to have all the information available that you'll need to talk to patients about their overdue balance.

First, use the Collections Manager to find the accounts you want to focus on, such as patients on payment agreements who have missed a payment.

Once you've got your list of patients to contact, you'll need information such as account balance, last payment amount and date, insurance estimate, and even notes from past conversations available for reference during your call.

Your secret weapon for these collections calls is the More Information dialog box. From within the Collections Manager, select a patient's name and then click the More Information button to access all the information you need for your phone call--all in one place.

All the information you need to talk to patients about their overdue balances is at your fingertips:

  1. In the Phone section, you have access to the phone number(s) you’ve entered for the patient in the Family File. 
  2. In Balance Information section, you can see basic information about the balance on the account, as well as last payment dates and amounts, and the last time the patient received a billing statement. If you need additional financial information, you can click the Ledger button to access the guarantor’s account.
  3. Once you have contacted the patient, use the Add Journal Entry button to document the phone call, who you talked to, and the information discussed, which can be reviewed later as needed.
By using the Collections Manager to find groups of patients to contact and the More Information dialog box to find the specifics about their overdue account, you have all the information you need make collections calls.

For additional information, see Simplifying Collections with the Collections Manager in the Dentrix Magazine online article archive.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Creating Appointment Book Views that Work for You

Almost everyone in the practice looks at the Appointment Book daily, but different people in the practice will need to see different information on the appointment. For example, a scheduling coordinator may want to see patient names, phone numbers, and procedures. A hygienist in the operatory may not want the appointments to show names or phone numbers for privacy reasons. And an insurance coordinator may want to see the patient name, primary insurance, and guarantor name on the appointment.

You can customize the information that is displayed on appointments by creating unique Appointment Book views. That way different staff members will have a distinct way of looking at the Appointment Book and only see the information they care about.

  1. From the Appointment Book toolbar, click View. You’ll see a list of existing views. 
  2. To edit an existing view, click Edit. To create a new view, click New.
  3. In the Appointment Display Info group box, use the drop-down list to set the information you want to view on the Appointment and the order in which you want to see it. For example, if you are the insurance coordinator who wants to see patient name, insurance, and guarantor information, set those options in lines 1, 2, and 3 respectively.

    Set other view options as needed, and then click OK to save. The view you just created will be highlighted in the Select View list, and assigned a corresponding function key. Click OK to return to the Appointment Book.
  4. Use the function keys (F1-F12) to change the Appointment Book view to the one you created. The appointment now shows the information you specified in the view.

  5. Based on the view we set up, this example shows the patient name, insurance carrier, and guarantor name on the first three lines of the appointment.

For additional information, read the blog post titled Wrapping Appointment Reasons on Appointments, or 10 Time-saving Tips for the Appointment Book in the Dentrix Magazine online archive.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Find the Procedure Code Statistics the Doctor Is Asking For

Has something like this ever happened to you? The doctor has a meeting this afternoon and wants a report that tells him these three things:

  1. How many times the practice completed any type of filling procedure this year

  2. The total production amount from completed fillings procedures this year compared to other procedures from the Restorative category

  3. A comparison of the number of amalgam fillings completed versus the number of composite fillings
Where would you even go to look for these numbers? The answers are all in the Practice Analysis Report…if you know how to look for them.

To generate the Practice Analysis report, from the Office Manager, click the Practice Analysis button. Then on the Practice Analysis screen, click the Reports option.

To answer the doctor’s questions, run the Practice Analysis Production Summary Report with a date range of January 1 through today’s date, and include the procedure code range of D2140 – D2999 (all the procedure codes in the Restorative category). Then print (or batch) the report.

To answer question A, tally the quantity of each filling procedure completed. The procedures will be sorted on the report by procedure code.

To answer question B, add up the total production costs for the filling procedures and subtract that from the total production charges listed at the bottom of the report.

And finally, to answer question C, compare the quantity of amalgam procedures to the quantity of resin and resin-composite procedures.

For more specifics, read Determine Production Totals with the Practice Analysis-Production Summary Report.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Using the Unscheduled Treatment Plans List

Can you believe the year is already half gone? Even though it’s only June, it’s never too early to start thinking about scheduling patients for their unscheduled treatment-planned work before the end of the year.  One tool you can use to find these patients is the Unscheduled Treatment Plans list.

This list will display patients and their treatment-planned procedures that have not been scheduled. And because this list also includes insurance information such as renewal month and benefits remaining, you can use this information to help you encourage patients to schedule their appointments before those benefits run out.

To generate the Unscheduled Treatment Plans List, in the Office Manager, click Reports > Lists > Unscheduled Treatment Plans.

Use the following settings to make it easy to use the report.
  • Make the size of the report more manageable by entering a specific Treatment Plan Provider or Treatment Plan Amount.
  • Make sure you select the Detailed Report type. That will print insurance benefit information on the report.
  • Exclude Referred TO Procedures since those will be completed by another doctor.
  • Exclude Continuing Care Procedures if you do not want to call patients for treatment like scaling and root planing. 
For additional information about finding patients with unscheduled treatment, read Mining for Gold: Three Reports for Searching Out Unscheduled Treatment in the Dentrix Magazine online article archive.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Assigning Visits to Treatment Plans

When a patient has an extensive treatment plan, you can organize the individual procedures within a case into visits. By ordering the procedures within the treatment plan, you can make it easier for the patient to understand the treatment and make it easier to schedule procedures in the order they need to be completed.

For example, let’s say you have a patient whose treatment plan includes a root canal and crown on tooth 17 and two fillings on anterior teeth. You can assign these procedures to different office visits based on when the procedures need to be completed. Tooth 17 needs immediate attention, so you want the first visit to include the procedures for the root canal and the crown build-up, the second visit to include the procedure for the crown placement, and the third visit to include the fillings.

How To
  1. In the Treatment Planner, expand the treatment plan case that contains the procedures to be assigned into visits.
  2. Select the procedure(s) to be included in the first visit and click the Create Visit button.

  3. Repeat step 2 for procedures to be assigned to the next visit. As visits are created, the number of the visit increases chronologically.

Additional Tips

  • After you have ordered procedures by visit, you can make edits to the different visits as needed. Right-click the procedure(s) you want to change, and select an appropriate Move to Visit __ option from the list.
  • To remove a visit from a procedure, right-click the procedure and select the Delete Visit option.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A Chance to Update the Contact Information for Patients Being Seen Today

We live in a modern age. Just about everyone has a cell phone or an email address, and it is probably part of your new patient forms to gather this information. But what about your current patient base. Do you have that information for them?

One quick way to know which of your current patient records need this information updated is by using the Daily Huddle Report. Because this report is based on the patients being seen for today’s appointments, you can set this report to flag patients who don’t have an email address or mobile phone number entered in Dentrix. Then you can ask for that information when they check in for their appointment later today.

How To

  1. In the Office Manager, select Analysis > Practice Advisor, and then click the Daily Huddle Report button.
  2. Set filters for the Daily Huddle Report as needed, and click Scheduled Patients Setup.
  3. In the Select Report Sections & Order group box, make sure that the Patients who have No Email Address and Patients who do not have a PHONE # boxes are checked.

  4. In the Select PHONE Number Types group box, select Mobile.
  5. Set other options and filters as needed, and click OK.
  6. Click Preview to view the report.

The Scheduled Patient Summary page of the report will list all of today’s patients and identify which of those patients don’t have email addresses and/or mobile phone numbers in Dentrix. When those patients come in for their appointments today, you can gather that information and add it to their Family File.

For more ideas about how to use the Daily Huddle Report, read Secrets of a Successful Daily Huddle and Supercharge Your Daily Huddle in the Dentrix Magazine article archive.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Changing a Patient Status in Dentrix - What Happens?

In the Family File, you have the option of setting a patient’s status to one of four settings: Patient, Non-Patient, Inactive, or Archived. But do you understand what happens in Dentrix when you choose a status? Do you know when you should change a status?

Here are a couple of guidelines about patient statuses:

  • Someone with a Patient status is an active patient in your practice and will be included in search results and reports.
  • Someone with a Non-Patient status is not seen as a patient in your practice, but can be a guarantor or insurance subscriber for another patient. For example, the father of one of your patients who is not a patient himself would be entered in the family’s account as a non-patient guarantor.
  • Patients are most often changed to an Inactive status when they have not been seen in more than a year and you have tried to contact them without results. Inactive patients are removed from continuing care lists and can be filtered out of reports.
  • The Archived status is best for patients who have notified you that they will no longer be seen as a patient in your practice, or patients who have died. Archived patients are removed from all search results and continuing care lists, all future appointments for the patient in the Appointment Book are deleted, and all insurance information in the Family File is deleted.

By making an effort to keep patient statuses updated and current, you will improve the accuracy of reports that include active patient numbers.

For more information about archiving patients, read the Archiving Patient Records tip.