Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Making Last Minute Changes to Procedures

You probably all know that when you are creating an appointment in the Appointment Book, you can click the Tx button in the Appointment Information dialog box to pull up a list of treatment-planned procedures that you can use for the appointment. 

But did you know that after you have selected the treatment-planned procedure, you have the option to edit it?  Simply click the Edit button within the Treatment Plan window.

This will open the Edit or Delete Procedure dialog box where you can make changes to the procedure as needed. 

This can come in handy in a situation where, for example, you have treatment planned an MI amalgam but when you have the patient in the chair for the exam, it turns out that they are going to need an MID instead. You can use that Edit option to quickly update the appointment without having to go into the Chart or Treatment Planner, and it will be corrected before you post the appointment complete.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Making Your Billing Statements Easier for Patients to Understand

Do patients call your office with questions about their billing statements, and wonder what the charges listed as "Balance Forward" actually are?

When you generate billing statements, the balance forward date defaults to one month ago. Any patient balance prior to this date gets grouped into a lump sum labeled as "Balance Forward' on the billing statement.

If you want to be able to see a more itemized list of charges on your billing statements, change your balance forward date to something different, such as three months ago.

Be judicious about how far back you set the balance forward date, because if you move it back too far, some patients may receive statements with several pages of itemized procedures. Work to find the "sweet spot" with the balance forward date, where you give patients as much recent data as they need but not so much that they get confused or overwhelmed by the number of pages included in their billing statement.

To adjust the balance forward date on billing statements:
  1. From the Office Manager, click Reports > Billing. The Billing Statements dialog box appears.

  2. The Balance Forward Date field defaults to one month ago. Change this date as needed.
  3. Modify other settings and filters as needed.
  4. In the Statements group box, select whether to send statements to Batch, Print, or Send Electronically.
  5. To save your changes as the default settings for future billing statements, check the Save as Default box.
  6. Click OK to generate the statements.
For additional tips on generating billing statements, view these other Tip Tuesday posts:

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What does OPEN mean in the Appointment Book?

Do you have patients with flexible schedules? Willing to come in sooner than scheduled, or maybe even be willing to be rescheduled to accommodate another patient? If so, you're in luck. Dentrix has a special place for this kind of patient, and it's called the Open List.

To move a patient's appointment to the Open List, in the Appointment Information dialog box, set their Schedule Type to OPEN.

This places the patient's appointment on the Open List but does not remove it from the Appointment Book. Patients on the Open List are patients who you know ahead of time have a flexible schedule, and could be moved around. When you have a patient who has limited flexibility and you are having a hard time finding an opening for them, you can check the Open List to see if you can create a space for that patient, by moving a more flexible patient.

The Open List is part of the ASAP List. When you open the ASAP List, you can toggle between ASAP and Open.

To reschedule an appointment from the Open List:
  1. From the Appointment Book select Appt Lists > ASAP List. The Dentrix ASAP List window appears.

  2. Select the View menu. The Dentrix ASAP List View dialog box appears.

  3. In the Types of Search group box, select Open.
  4. Change the Span of Search and other filters as desired, then click OK. The Dentrix ASAP List window will display the Open appointments.

  5. When you contact the patient and he or she agrees to reschedule, you can either drag the appointment from the ASAP List to the Appointment Book to fill a hole, or drag it to the Pinboard while you find an open spot. Dentrix will ask you to confirm that you want to move the appointment. Moving the appointment creates an opening in the Appointment Book, which you can then fill with an appointment for a less flexible patient.

For additional information on other Appointment Book Lists, see the "Appointment Lists Overview" topic in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

What Are You Waiting For? Finding Unreceived Preauthorizations

One of the questions frequently seen by our support team recently asks, "Is there a report we can run that tells us which insurance preauthorizations haven't been received yet?"

The answer is YES!

It's called the Preauthorization Aging Report (prior to Dentrix G6, this report was called the Pre-Treatment Estimate Aging Report), and you can generate it from the Office Manager

To generate this report:
  1. From the Office Manager, select Reports > Ledger > Preauthorization Aging Report. The Preauthorization Aging Report dialog box appears.

  2. Enter a Report Date, if needed. The current date is the default.
  3. In the Select Report Type group box, select whether to include Dental or Medical insurance preauthorizations.
  4. In the Select Patient group box, select the range of patients you want to include. Click the From and To buttons to select the starting and ending patient, respectively, or leave <ALL> selected in both fields to include all patients.
  5. In the Select Insurance Carrier group box, select the range of insurance carriers you want to include. Click the From and To buttons to select the starting and ending carrier, respectively, or leave <ALL> selected in both fields to include all carriers.
  6. In the Select Provider group box, select the range of providers you want to include. Click the From and To buttons to select the starting and ending provider, respectively, or leave <ALL> selected in both fields to include all providers.
  7. To include only preauthorizations sent within a set number of days, select one of the following in  the Minimum Days Past Due group box:
    • Over 0 - All preauthorization estimates
    • Over 30 - Preauthorization estimates over 30 days old
    • Over 60 - Preauthorization estimates over 60 days old
    • Over 90 - Preauthorization estimates over 90 days old
  8. Click OK to generate the report and send it to the Batch Processor.
The printed report contains the following information:

A. Insurance Carrier - Insurance carrier name and phone number.
B. Estimates - The preauthorization estimates submitted to the insurance carrier.
C. Aging Totals - The aged balances or preauthorizations included in the report.

For additional information, log in to the Dentrix Resource Center and view the Insurance Estimates webinar (knowledgebase article #60441).

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Punching the Clock: Start Getting Paid in 4 Easy Steps

In last week's Tip Tuesday post, we talked about how to set up the Dentrix Time Clock, by setting up the information needed for each employee.  Once that information has been set up and saved for each employee, they can begin using Dentrix to clock in and out for their shifts.

To clock in/out:

  1. Right-click the Dentrix Quick Launch icon, and from the menu, select Time Clock > Employee Clock In/Out. The Select Provider/Staff dialog box appears.

  2. Select the appropriate employee and click OK. The Time Clock dialog box for the selected employee appears.

  3. The Current tab displays the current date, current user ID, last punch, and the current time. If the last punch was to clock out, the button is labeled Clock In. If the last punch was to clock in, the button is labeled Clock Out.
  4. Click Clock In or Clock Out and record any notes in the Note field if necessary.
For additional information on other time clock features, see the following "Viewing Clock In/Out Histories" and "Printing Time Clock Reports" topics in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tick-Tock, Set Up Your Time Clock

An often overlooked feature in Dentrix is the Time Clock. The Time Clock in Dentrix enables office employees to punch in and out for their shifts and provides reports containing information on hours worked and wages earned.

Each employee needs to be set up in the Time Clock individually, including entering their regular and overtime pay.

To set up the Time Clock for employees:
  1. Right-click the Dentrix Quick Launch icon in the notification area of the Windows taskbar.
    Note: If you can't see the Dentrix Quick Launch icon, go to the Office Manager and click Maintenance > Practice Setup > Preferences. In the Preferences dialog box General Options tab, make sure Start Quick Launch on System Startup is checked.

  2. From the menu, click Time Clock > Time Clock Setup. The Time Clock Setup dialog box appears. Note: If you enabled passwords, users must have password rights to "Time Clock, Setup" to access this dialog box.

  3. In the Select Employee group box, select the employee you want to set up. (All providers and staff members defined in the Practice Resource Setup dialog box appear in the list.)
  4. In the Auto Punch Out Settings group box, do one of the following:
    • Do Not Use Auto Punch Out - Select to require the employee to punch out each day. If the employee forgets to punch out, all hours will be included.
    • Auto Punch Out Time - Select and then select a time when Dentrix will automatically clock out for the employee (for example, 5:00 p.m.). Use the up and down arrows to set the appropriate time, or type a time in the field provided.
  5. If needed, check the Include Employee on Time Punch/Payroll Reports option.
  6. In the Regular Pay group box, do one of the following:
    • Salary (Annual) - Select if you pay the employee a salary or annual amount. Type the annual amount in the Annual Pay Rate field.
    • Hourly - Select if you pay the employee by the hour. Type the hourly rate in the Hourly Pay Rate field.
  7. In the Overtime Pay group box, do one of the following:
    • Do Not Calculate Overtime - Select if you do not want Dentrix to calculate overtime hours and wages automatically.
    • % of Pay Rate - Select and type the percentage you want Dentrix to automatically calculate for overtime hours and wages. For example, if the employee is to be paid "time and a half" for overtime, enter 150%. 
      • When you select this option, you must select how overtime is defined, either daily or weekly. You must enter either a) the number of hours in the workweek (for example, 40), or b) the number of hours in the day worked (for example, 8). Hours worked beyond what you enter will be considered overtime.
        Note: The percentage of pay rate must be between 100 and 1000. A valid workweek value must be between 0 and 168. If you enter an invalid figure in either of these fields, a blinking red arrow appears. This indicator remains until you enter a valid number.
  8. In the General Settings group box, select whether to use a 12- or 24-hour time clock, and whether time should be recorded as hours and minutes or decimal hours.
  9. Click OK to save your changes and exit.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

2 Tiny Preference Choices That Can Make a Big Difference

Many of you have upgraded to Dentrix G6, and that's great! We've posted tips in the recent past about new features available with this release. And while it's nice to tout the "latest and greatest" when it comes to software features, sometimes it's the little things that can get people excited, too.

There are two new options available in the Preferences dialog box that are just that: little things to get excited about.

First, in Dentrix G6.1 a new feature was added which automatically opens the Select Patient dialog box when a patient-specific module is opened for first time and no active patient is currently selected. This feature saves time because you don't have to click File > Select Patient every time a new module is opened. This feature assumes that when you open a patient-specific module, your next step will be to select a patient.

In Dentrix G6.1 this option is turned on by default, but you can easily customize it for each workstation to accomodate your personal preferences.

To enable or disable the feature:
  1. In the Office Manager, select Maintenance > Practice Setup > Preferences. The Preferences dialog box appears.

  2. In General Options tab, under the Additional Options group box, check or uncheck the box for Automatically Launch Select Patient.
    • If checked, the feature is active.
    • If unchecked, the feature is inactive.
  3. Click OK to save your changes and exit.
A second new feature, added in Dentrix G6.1, allows you to automatically see patient notes in the Family File. In previous Dentrix versions, patient notes were hidden by default, and you would have to open them for individuals on a patient-by-patient basis. With this new feature, you can turn them on (or off) for all patients as the default, depending on your office preferences. 

This option by default is turned on, meaning patient notes will automatically be visible, but you can easily customize it for each workstation in your practice, depending on your patient information protocol.

To enable or disable the feature:
  1. In the Office Manager, select Maintenance > Practice Setup > Preferences. The Preferences dialog box appears.

  2. In the General Options tab, under the Additional Options group box, check or uncheck the box for Auto View Patient Note in Family File.
    • If checked, the feature is active. Note that if you hide the patient notes in an individual record, the notes will be visible again the next time you open the Family File for that patient.
    • If unchecked, the feature is inactive and you must click the View button in the Family File to see the patient's notes.
  3. Click OK to save your changes and exit.
Take some time to review how the workstations in your office are set up, and whether you need to adjust these default settings to better fit your specific needs.