Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Using Dental Plan Maximums in the Treatment Planner

In case you've missed it, the last couple of weeks we've been sharing tips about how to use the Treatment Planner more effectively present treatment cases to patients by using options to show dental insurance notes, and insurance benefits. Today we'll talk about how to consider a patient's dental plan yearly maximums when presenting cases.

The Treatment Planner provides insurance estimates and patient portions for the patient. These estimates are based on the set up of the coverage and payment tables in the Family File. You have the option to have the Treatment Planner consider the patient's yearly maximum when viewing these estimates.

To prevent the Treatment Planner from calculating an insurance estimate that is more than the patient's annual maximum, from the Treatment Planner, select Insurance > Use Dental Plan Maximums and Deductibles.

If this option has a check mark next to it, the annual maximums for this patient are reflected in the insurance estimates and the patient's portion. 
Note: This is a global setting and once this option has been checked, maximums are considered on all patients until unchecked.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Viewing Patient Insurance Benefit Information from the Treatment Planner

The Treatment Planner provides several options that make treatment case presentation easier and more effective. These options give your patients additional information about their treatment plans and may help patients decide to accept the treatment cases. Last week we talked about viewing primary and secondary insurance notes from the Treatment Planner. This week we'll tackle viewing patient insurance benefits. 

As you discuss financial considerations of a treatment plan with your patients, you may want to view the patient's insurance coverage, but don't want to have to switch to the Family File to do so. You can view summary information of the patient's coverage from the Treatment Planner.

To view a patient's insurance benefits:

  1. In the Treatment Planner, select a patient.
  2. Click the Insurance Benefits button on the Treatment Planner toolbar to open the Dental Insurance Benefits dialog box.

The following information is shown in the Dental Insurance Benefits dialog box:
  1. In the Primary Insurance Plan field, you can see the patient's insurance plan. If the patient has secondary coverage, the Secondary Insurance Plan field will list the patient's secondary insurance plan.
  2. In the Patient group, benefit information for the current patient is shown. The Family group shows benefit information for the entire family when View Family Benefits is checked.
  3. The Benefits Expire date shows when the plan benefits reset for the year.
  4. The Annual Plan Benefits shows the individual and family plan maximums for the year.
  5. The Paid Benefits YTD shows how much of the annual maximum has already been paid.
  6. The Pending Insurance Estimate YTD shows the amount still outstanding to insurance that we expect will be paid this year.
  7. By subtracting the Paid Benefits and Pending Estimates amount from the Annual Benefits, Dentrix calculates the Est. Benefits Remaining YTD.
  8. The Deductible Owed/Total shows the deductible amount(s) and then indicates whether the deductible has already been applied.
Having insurance benefit information easily accessible, and knowing how to interpret the information, you can make more compelling case presentations to your patients.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Viewing Primary (and/or Secondary) Insurance Notes in the Treatment Planner

The Treatment Planner provides several options that make treatment case presentation easier and more effective. These options give your patients additional information about their treatment plans and may help patients decide to accept the treatment cases. Over the next few weeks, our Tip Tuesday posts will show you how to use these options in your treatment case presentations including dental insurance notes, insurance benefits, and dental plan maximums.

If you have been careful about noting exclusions and plan limitations in the Insurance Plan Note, you can view this information from the Treatment Planner. Plan notes can provide helpful information about exceptions to coverage that a patient may not be aware of.

To view any notes attached to an insurance plan:

  1. In the Treatment Planner, select a patient.
  2. Click the Primary Dental Insurance Notes button on the Treatment Planner toolbar. The Primary Dental Insurance Note dialog box appears.

To view any notes attached to the secondary (if applicable) insurance plan, click the Secondary Dental Insurance Notes button. The Secondary Dental Insurance Note dialog box appears.

You can add and edit insurance plan notes from the Coverage Table information for the insurance group. To add or edit the note, go to the Office Manager and click Maintenance > Reference > Insurance Maintenance. Select the insurance group and click the Cov Table button. The Insurance Coverage dialog box appears. Click the Notes button.

The Insurance Plan Note dialog box appears. Add or edit the note for the insurance plan and click OK to save your changes for all patients assigned to that group plan.

Note: These insurance plan notes are only useful to you for treatment plan presentation if you are diligent about entering the information into Dentrix and keeping it updated. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Our 200th Tip Tuesday Post

In January 2012 we launched the Dentrix Tip Tuesday blog, hoping to give our customers a little Dentrix knowledge each week, and to share tips and tricks about the capabilities of the Dentrix software that people weren't always aware of.

Since then, we have given you a weekly dose of Dentrix 199 times, sharing a wide variety of tips and tricks spanning various Dentrix modules and features. When each tip is posted, in the fine print at the very bottom of the post there is a section titled Labels.  These labels indicate one or more of the eight Dentrix Mastery Tracks categories or sub-categories the tip fits into.

Each of the labels is a link to other tip posts that fit into the same topic category as the tip you've just read, helping you quickly find additional tip posts on related features and topics in Dentrix. 

So, for our 200th tip we thought we'd re-share the most popular Tip Tuesday posts in each Mastery Tracks category, based on the number of views, likes, and shares of our readers. Be sure to click on the Labels link(s) on each one to find even more related tips.

Most Popular Tip Tuesday Posts by Mastery Track Category

Billing and Accounts Receivable
Treatment Planning
We invite your feedback on our Tip posts. Leave a comment here on the blog post, or if you found the tip via our Facebook news feed, Twitter, or Pinterest, leave us a comment there. And don't forget to share the tips you like with other professionals in your social network.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Reviewing Patient Contact from the Office Journal

When you want to review the contacts you've had with a patient, you can see this information from the Office Journal display window.  However, this information will only be as accurate as the records you keep in your office. As a general rule, you should document every phone conversation you have in the Office Journal, even if you are just leaving a voicemail message.

This information is especially useful when handling billing disputes. For example, if a patient claims they were never notified they had an overdue balance before their account was sent to collections, you can review their Office Journal to identify the contacts you've had with them regarding their balance.

To view contacts for a patient or family in the Office Journal:

  1. From any Dentrix module, click the Office Journal button.

    The Office Journal launches with the current patient displayed.

  2. To switch to a different patient, click the Select Patient button and choose a patient. Information is displayed in the following ways:
    • Journal List: The Journal List displays a comprehensive list of contact made between your office and your patients. The list can be viewed by patient, family, or for a specific provider or staff member.
    • Show Info Panel: When the Show Info panel is turned on, you can see more detail on a selected journal entry.
    • Sort Order: Entries are sorted chronologically. When the Office Journal is opened, any entry with today's date is highlighted. Entries with a date before today are shown below today's entry.
  3. A plus (+) next to a date means there is more than one contact for that date. Click the Expand button (+) next to a date to list all the contacts for that date.
    Note: You can also expand the list by double-clicking the date.
  4. If it is not already open, click the Show Info button to activate the Show Info panel.
  5. Select an individual contact entry to view the details of the contact in the Show Info panel.
You can limit the kinds of contacts shown in the Office Journal (calls, billing statements, letters, etc.) by clicking View > Filters. Simply select the Journal Entry Types you'd like to include and click OK.

For information on using the Office Journal to document patient contact, see the "Adding Office Journal Entries Manually" topic in the Dentrix Help, or view the Office Journal webinar (article #44191) in the Dentrix Resource Center.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How to Send Insurance Claims Electronically

Sending claims electronically speeds up the process of getting the claim to the insurance company so that your office can get paid faster. When you use eClaims to send claims electronically, you can create the claims in Dentrix and send them electronically straight from Dentrix.

To send claims electronically:
  1. From the Batch Processor in the Office Manager, select the claims and attachments you want to send electronically. Click the Electronic Claims Submission button. The Electronic Claims Submission dialog box appears.

  2. Click the Selected Dental Claim Forms option and click OK. The Validation Report dialog box appears.

  3. Dentrix eClaims performs checks on all the claims you are sending to help eliminate denials and rejections. After reviewing a claim, Dentrix eClaims assigns one of three statuses:
    • Validated: Dentrix eClaims has checked these claims and found no missing information. They are ready for submission. Note: Dentrix checks to make sure that all fields have been filled in, but cannot verify that the information is accurate. Inaccurate information can cause a validated claim to be rejected by the insurance carrier.
    • Warning: Dentrix eClaims has found a problem that could cause payment to be delayed. The report will list the specific problem that should be corrected (such as a missing Payor ID or missing attachments).
    • Rejected: Dentrix eClaims has found a problem with a claim that would cause the insurance company to reject the claim. The report will list the specific problems to be corrected (such as a missing subscriber number).
  4. If your claim is missing information that can be fixed without re-creating the claim, like subscriber address or subscriber ID number, the claim will have an Edit option available. Click the blue Edit link within the claim on the Validation Report to make changes to that claim. The Edit Missing Claim Information dialog box appears.

  5. Click the tab for the information that needs to be fixed. (For example, if the subscriber ID is missing, you would click the Claim Subscriber tab and then enter the number in the appropriate field.) Click OK to exit the Edit Missing Claim Information dialog box. Your changes will be saved and the Validation Report will be regenerated.
  6. Once you have corrected errors and are ready to submit, click the Send Selected Claims  button. After the claims have been submitted, Dentrix eClaims sends a copy of the Validation Report and a Transmission Report to the Batch Processor in the Office Manager.
  7. Review and fix any errors listed on the Transmission Report. Resubmit corrected claims.
    Note: You will need to wait 24 hours before resubmitted rejected claims.
  8. Delete Sent claims and the Validation Report from the Batch Processor.
Some insurance carriers allow the submission of electronic claims in "real time." If a claim is submitted in real time, a response from the carrier will be returned immediately, updating the claim status in the Ledger to indicate that the claim has been accepted or rejected.

Not using eClaims? Get more information here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Dunning Messages

Dunning messages are automatic payment reminders that print on a billing statement based on an account's aged balance. Dentrix includes the following four types of dunning messages:
  • Standard dunning messages - Prints for non-insured accounts.
  • Insurance dunning messages - Prints for accounts with insurance.
    Note: An account is considered insured if the head of household has insurance.
  • Last payment dunning messages - Prints for accounts that have not made a payment in the indicated amount of time.
    Note: The last payment dunning message overrides the standard and insurance dunning messages.
  • Payment agreement dunning messages - Prints for payment agreement accounts that have missed the indicated number of payments.
    Note: The payment agreement dunning message overrides the standard, insurance, and last payment dunning messages.
While the text of dunning messages is customizable, there is default text already assigned to standard and insurance dunning messages for some age ranges. See the Dunning Messages topic in the Dentrix Help for a list of the default wording for standard and insurance dunning messages in the 30-60, 60-90, and Over 90 aging categories.

If the default dunning messages do not meet your needs, you can add to or edit them. There is a 70 character length limit for dunning messages.

To add to or edit dunning messages:
  1. In the Office Manager, select Maintenance > Practice Setup > Dunning Messages. The Dunning Messages dialog box appears.

  2. Do one of the following:
    • Under Standard Dunning Messages, Insurance Dunning Messages, or Last Payment Dunning Messages, select the option that corresponds to the aging bracket for which you want to add, edit or delete a dunning message. The current dunning message for that aging bracket appears in the text box at the bottom of the dialog box.
    • Under Payment Agreement Dunning Messages, for the Missed Monthly Pmts, Missed Semi-monthly Pmts, Missed Bi-weekly Pmts, or Missed Weekly Pmts group boxes, select the option that corresponds to the number of missed payments for which you want to add, edit, or delete a dunning message. The current dunning message for the selected option appears in the text box at the bottom of the dialog box.
  3. Type, edit, or delete the dunning message for the selected option.
    Note: You can create a message of up to 70 characters. Click the spell check button to check the spelling of your message.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for any dunning message you want to use.
  5. Click OK to save your changes.
Once you have added, edited, or deleted dunning messages, they will appear on the next batch of account billing statements you print or send electronically as applicable and based on the hierarchy explained above.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Customizing Medical Alerts in Dentrix G6

Using Dentrix, you can assign medical alerts to patients. Medical alerts serve to remind you of any medical conditions your patients may have that you should be aware of before treatment--for your protection and theirs. In Dentrix G6, you have the ability to save medical alert notes in the notes history, copy medical alerts to clinical notes, as well as include medical alerts in the Patient Notes Report.

View the following video to see how to use and manage medical alerts and medical alert notes:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Dealing with Interruptions When Using the Batch Insurance Payment Entry

In a previous post we outlined the process for entering a batch insurance payment.  But did you know that you can "pause" in the middle of entering a large insurance check and come back to it later? You can have an insurance check for several thousand dollars come in that needs to be posted in Dentrix for multiple patients, and inevitably you get interrupted (sometimes multiple times) in the middle of entering those claim payments.

In such a case, you should close the Batch Insurance Payment Entry dialog box in Dentrix to save your progress. To do this, click the Close button in the upper right corner of the dialog box.  A warning message appears stating that the amount you have posted does not match the insurance check amount you entered, and asks if you want to save this session to post additional claims later.

Click Yes. The Batch Insurance Payment Entry dialog box closes and saves your progress*.  When you are ready to resume entering claim payments on this check, from the Ledger, click File > Enter Batch Ins. Payment (Pending)... to re-open the unfinished claim.  

All previously entered claims are still intact, and you can begin from where you left off, without having to start over.

*Note: While you can close the Batch Insurance Payment Entry dialog box and have your progress saved, your work will NOT be saved if you close the Ledger entirely. If you attempt to close the Ledger, you will get a warning that you have a pending Batch Insurance Payment Entry session, and that by closing the Ledger all payment entries will be lost. You can however, switch patients in the Ledger without fear of losing your progress.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Setting the Recommended Treatment Plan Case

When you create treatment plan cases for patients, at times you may give the patients treatment alternatives (where they could have either a root canal and crown or a bridge, for example). Once you have created alternative treatment cases, you'll want to set one of the cases as the recommended case. The recommended case should be the case that the clinician feels offers the patient the best care. By default, the first case created will be set as the recommended case.

To set a case as recommended:

  1. In the Treatment Planner, select the treatment plan case you want to set as recommended.
  2. Click the Link button and select Link Alternate Cases. The Linked Cases dialog box appears.

  3. Select the case(s) that you want linked to the recommended case by checking the corresponding box(es), and click OK.

You can easily see the recommended case in the Treatment Plan Case Setup window. Linked cases are identified by a link symbol in a colored box. The recommended case includes a yellow star to help you identify it.

There are a couple of things you should be aware of when it comes to the recommended treatment plan case, and how it is displayed in Dentrix:
  • If you have multiple linked cases, only the treatment-planned procedures within the recommended case will be visually represented in the graphic Patient Chart.
  • In the Treatment Plan view of the Ledger, only treatment-planned procedures within the recommended case will be displayed.
  • When creating an appointment, in the patient's Appointment Information dialog box, the procedures listed under the Tx button in the Reason group box, will only correspond with those in the recommended case.
For additional information about working with treatment plan cases, search for the following topics in the Dentrix Help: Creating Alternate Cases, Linking Alternate Cases, and Setting or Changing a Recommended Case.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Understanding How the Fee Schedule is Used in Dentrix

The Fee Schedule is the basis of the insurance estimate calculation. Patients can be assigned a fee schedule in one of three ways:

  • By provider settings
  • By patient settings
  • By assigned insurance carrier settings

By default, the patient is assigned their primary provider's UCR fee schedule as set up in the Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Practice Resource Setup dialog box by selecting a provider and clicking Edit to open the Provider Information dialog box.

You can also manually assign a fee schedule to the patient in the Family File's Patient Information dialog box, by double-clicking the Patient Information block.

Note: Use the patient fee schedule option if the patient is assigned a special fee schedule for any reason other than insurance (for example, if the patient is a family member or a VIP patient.)

You can also manually assign a fee schedule to an insurance group from the Office Manager > Reference > Insurance Maintenance, by selecting an insurance carrier and clicking Ins Data to open the Dental Insurance Plan Information dialog box.

If multiple fee schedules have been assigned to the patient, Dentrix uses the following hierarchy to determine which fee schedule should be used:
  • If the patient has been assigned an individualized fee schedule in the patient information block of the Family File, that fee schedule is used.
  • If the patient has not been assigned an individualized fee schedule, but has been assigned an insurance plan where a fee schedule is attached, then the insurance fee schedule is used.
  • If the patient has not been assigned an individualized fee schedule or insurance fee schedule, then the patient's primary provider's fee schedule is used.

You can get more information about how Dentix calculates insurance by attending the Creating More Accurate Insurance Estimates with Dentrix course at this week's Business of Dentistry Conference. We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Finding the information you need on the Insurance Aging Report

Unless you are looking at an individual patient's Ledger, there is no way of knowing whether an insurance claim has been paid, or if there is something delaying the payment. 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. This report contains a lot of useful information, but can be overwhelming to look at. Below is a sample report that identifies the information you should be looking for:

The Insurance Claim Aging Report consists of the following information:

  1. Aged Balances - The claim balance is displayed in aging brackets.
  2. Service - The service date (the date of the procedure) is pulled from the Primary (or SecondaryInsurance Claim dialog box which can be accessed by double-clicking a claim in the Ledger. The service date is automatically entered when a claim is posted.
  3. Dates associated with the claim - If you have entered dates in the Insurance Claim Status dialog box, the corresponding dates appear on the report (seen in pink in the image):
    • Sent - The date the claim was sent. If you send a claim electronically, the Sent date is automatically entered in the Insurance Claim Status dialog box.
    • Tracer - The date the tracer was sent (if any)
    • On Hold - Indicates the date the claim was placed on hold (if any)
    • Re-Sent - The date the claim was re-sent to the insurance carrier (if applicable). If you re-send a claim electronically, the Re-Sent date is automatically entered in the Insurance Claim Status dialog box.
  4. ID Number - This is a unique number that Dentrix assigns to the claim. This number is not the same number the insurance carrier assigns to the claim.
  5. Claim Status Notes - If you select Print Status Note when setting options for this report, claim status notes entered in the Insurance Claim Status dialog box appear on the report.
Once you better understand how to interpret the information on the report, it becomes more useful to you.

For more information on how to generate this report, see the "Insurance Aging Report" topic in the Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Adding and Editing Continuing Care Views

The Dentrix Continuing Care module gives you the ability to see patient continuing care information in a variety of different ways. A key component not only of viewing this information, but being able to use it as an interactive list to contact patients, is creating views which show you specific groups of patients. The Continuing Care Views Setup dialog box allows you to create customized lists of patients, based on filtering criteria.

By default, Dentrix comes with the following continuing care views:

Note: The defaults may have been changed since the installation of Dentrix and as a result, the list of views in your office may not match what is shown here.

In addition to the default continuing care views, you can add and edit continuing care views to create views that meet your specific needs.

To add  a continuing care view:
  1. From the Appointment Book, click the Continuing Care button. The Dentrix Continuing Care window appears.
  2. Select the Views menu and click Continuing Care Views Setup. The Continuing Care Views Setup dialog box appears.
  3. Click New to add a continuing care view. (Or, select an existing continuing care view and then click Edit to edit the view.) The New/Edit Continuing Care View dialog box appears.

  4. In the View Name field, enter a name for the view.
  5. Set up desired filters:
    1. Type - To view all continuing care types, leave <ALL> selected in the Type list. To display a list for only one continuing care type, in the Type list, select the desired type.
      • Select With CC to view patients who have an assigned due date for the selected continuing care due type.
      • Select Without CC to view patients who have not been assigned the selected type.
    2. Status - To view patients with a certain continuing care status in their Status field, select a desired status. Leave <ALL> selected to include all statuses.
    3. Sched Appt? - You can filter the list according to whether a patient has continuing care scheduled.
      • To view patients due for continuing care, both with and without a scheduled appointment, leave <ALL> selected in the Sched. Appt? field.
      • To view only patients with an attached appointment, select Only WITH.
      • To view only patients without an attached appointment, select Only WITHOUT.
    4. Due Date - To view patients by a filtered due date, choose Use Due Date Range or Use Due Date Span.
      • To generate a list for a specific range, select Use Due Date Range. Enter the date range you want to see.
      • To generate a list for a generic time span (such as one month), select Use Due Date Span and set the span in the Before and After fields.
    5. Billing Type - To filter the list by patient billing type, under Billing Type, click the From field search button to select the beginning billing type for the range. Click the To field search button to select the ending billing type for the range.
    6. Prior Treatment Date - You can filter the list by the patient's continuing care prior treatment date. Under Prior Treatment Date Span, enter a date span in relation to today's (or the set) date. The date you set here looks at the date the patient was last seen for the continuing care reason.
    7. Last Treatment Date - To filter the list by a last visit date span, enter a date span in relation to today's (or the set) date in the Last Visit Date Span field. The date you set here looks at the date the patient was last seen for any reason.
    8. Provider - To filter the list by a provider, range of providers, or all providers, under Provider, click the From field search button to select the beginning provider for the range. Click the To field search button to select the ending provider for the range. 
  6. The Sort Order field allows you to define how the list organizes its information. To change the sort order, highlight the option you want to re-order and use the Page Up or Page Down button on your keyboard to move the highlighted option up or down in the list.
    Note: The Sort Order field looks at the sequence of options in the field to organize the view in tiers. The view groups patients together according to the first option listed. Then within that group, the view will sort the group according to the second option listed, and so on.
  7. Click OK to save the view
Once you have created a view, use the information it displays to contact patients about their overdue continuing care and schedule appointments.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Understanding the Continuing Care Module

It's important to keep your hygiene schedule full. Regular cleanings and oral cancer screenings promote a healthy mouth for patients, and much of the doctor's production is diagnosed during hygiene visits. Because of this, it is important to know which of your patients are due (or overdue) for these routine hygiene visits.

The Continuing Care module provides a way to monitor your patients' due dates for individual recall reasons, such as when they are due for a prophy or bitewings. The Continuing Care module displays a list of the information you need to contact a patient concerning their continuing care including due dates, whether they have an appointment scheduled, and the last time they were seen for their continuing care reason.

To access the Continuing Care module, from the Appointment Book, click the Continuing Care button.

Dentrix loads the module based on the Continuing Care View (filter settings) used the last time the module was opened. Patient information that matches the filters is displayed in the module window:

    1. The Due Date Span indicates the date range showing in the current view. (In the example above, the list is showing patients with continuing care due between September 10 and December 11.)
    2. The View Name displays to remind you which set of pre-defined view filters you have selected.
    3. The Date column indicates the patient's continuing care due date.
    4. The Type column indicates the continuing care type they are due for.
    5. The Appt? column indicates the date (if any) of  a scheduled appointment for the continuing care type. A plus "+" sign in this column indicates that the patient has a scheduled appointment for something other than the indicated continuing care type.
    6. The Status column indicates the last contact the office had with the patient.
    7. The Prior Treat. column indicates the date the patient was last seen for the continuing care reason.
    8. The Name column lists the patient's name. An asterisk "*" next to a name indicates the head-of-household for a family.
    9. The Age column indicates the patient's age.
    10. The Prov. column indicates the patient's assigned continuing care provider.
    11. The Phone column indicates the patient's home phone number.
Once you understand how to interpret the information on this list, you can begin to use it more effectively to contact patients and schedule them for overdue hygiene appointments.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

New Features in the Dentrix G6 Document Center

Dentrix G6 includes new features and enhancements to the Document Center that make it easier for you to store and organize your important documents.

One new feature is the ability to rename Document Types even when those types contain documents that have been signed. 

Note: You cannot delete a document type if there are signed documents attached to that type, but you can rename it.

To rename a document type:
  1. From the Document Center, click Setup > Document Types. The Document Types Setup dialog box appears.

  2. Select the document type you want to rename.
  3. Click Change. A text box will appear around the description of the document type. 
  4. Rename the document type and then click Close.
  5. Click Yes to the confirmation message that appears.
Another new feature in the Dentrix G6 Document Center is the ability to sort documents in the Unfiled Documents folder either by the date they were scanned or by the time they were scanned/printed to the Document Center. This makes it easier to find documents if you know the time of day or the date you scanned it.

To sort the documents in the Unfiled Documents window:

  1. From the Document Center, click the Unfiled Documents button. The Unfiled Documents window appears.

  2. Click the Time column header to sort the window by the time the documents were scanned or printed to the Document Center. Click the Date column header to sort the window by the date the documents were scanned or printed to the Document Center.
  3. Select a document from the list and edit the Document Information and attach the document to a patient as needed.
Bonus Tip: With Dentrix G6, when you have more than 40 files in the Unfiled Documents folder, you receive a pop-up message when you open the Document Center letting you know you have a number of unfiled documents.

These and other new features in Dentrix G6 are part of the “What’s New in Dentrix G6” course offered at this year’s Business of Dentistry Conference. Visit www.businessofdentistry.com for more information on how to register.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Determining the Last Time a Patient Received a Billing Statement

Did you know Dentrix keeps track of the last time you billed a patient and lists that information for you in the Ledger and the Office Journal?

In the Ledger, the Last Statement Date field reflects the last time the selected patient was sent a billing statement. Each time you print a billing statement for a patient or send a statement electronically, the Last Statement Date field is updated.

Note: The Last Statement Date field is NOT updated if you generate a billing statement and send it to the Batch Processor. The date is only updated after you print the statement or send it electronically. This is true both of statements generated from the Office Manager and individual statements generated from the Ledger.

You can also view the last statement date in the Office Journal, which gives you the advantage of seeing the amount billed in addition to the statement date. To view the date the last billing statement was sent, open the Office Journal and select the appropriate patient. Look through the recent Journal entries to find the last billing statement, or from the Office Journal menu select View > Filters > Billing Statements to limit the display only to billing statements. Click the most recent billing statement journal entry to view the statement date and amount billed.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Stop Scheduling Fake Appointments to Block Off Time in Your Schedule

Are you still scheduling "fake" appointments for John Doe in order to block out time in the operatory to keep patients from being scheduled there?  Well, it's time to stop! Schedule an event in Dentrix instead.

You can schedule an event (a non-patient "appointment") to block out time in the Appointment Book to close an operatory for a single day or up to a year. Events can include such things as staff meetings, vacation schedules, or holidays. Events can be manipulated much like appointments, for example adjusting the start time, the length, or even moving to the Pinboard.

Get a quick overview of how events work, including the steps to setting them up in Dentrix by watching the video below:

Scheduling events is one of the topics covered in our Dentrix Appointment Book Basics course taught at this year's Business of Dentistry Conference. Designed for new-to-Dentrix users, or those wanting to cross train between front and back office, we are offering Basics courses that focus on the Appointment Book, Family File, Document Center, Ledger, Patient Chart, Treatment Planner, Office Manager, and Continuing Care modules. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Insurance Claims Setup

Wouldn't it be nice if all insurance companies asked for the same information on claims? Sadly that's not the case, and you have to give the insurance companies exactly what they want, and how they want it, if you don't want those claims delayed or rejected. 

It may be that a specific carrier likes you to use a certain font size, date format, or the patient's social security number to appear in place of the Chart number. Then there are those PPO companies you contract with that want to see your billing provider fees rather than the contracted fees. 

In Dentrix, the Claim Setup option allows you to change your claim form to accommodate these requirements.

Watch the video below for a step by step demonstration on how you can customize your claim forms to meet the needs of the individual insurance carriers you work with.

If you really want to understand the ins and outs of working with insurance, attend one of the insurance classes we're offering at this year's Business of Dentistry Conference, including Creating More Accurate Insurance Estimates, Setting up and Maintaining Insurance Plans in Dentrix, and Streamlining Insurance Processes in Dentrix.  

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Attaching and Signing Consent Forms for Treatment Cases

Did you know Dentrix allows you to sign consent forms electronically and keep track of signed consent forms by attaching them to treatment plan cases? This is another step toward becoming paperless because you don't have to scan a signed document form into the Document Center.

To sign and attach a consent form to a treatment plan case:
  1. From the Treatment Planner, select a treatment case for a patient.
  2. Click the Supporting Information button in the Navigation panel.

  3. In the Informed Consent group box, expand the Select Consent Form drop-down and select the desired form.

  4. Click Add. The Consent Form dialog box appears.

  5. Once the patient has read over the form, have him/her sign in the Patient/Representative signature box using the electronic signature device you have setup, and verify that the Relationship to patient information is correct.
  6. Have a representative from your practice sign the Practice signature box using the electronic signature device, and select their name from the Name search field.
  7. Click Print to give a printed copy to the patient.
  8. Click Save to save the form.
  9. Click Close to return to the Supporting information section of the Navigation panel. The form is added to the Informed Consent group box along with the date it was signed and by whom.

When a treatment case has a signed consent form attached to it, an icon appears on the left side of the case to indicate that a signed consent form is attached.

For additional information, see the various Dentrix Help topics related to consent forms, and join us for the "Managing Treatment Plans with the Dentrix Treatment Planner" course at this year's Business of Dentistry Conference, October 7-10.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Running Billing Statements for Patients on a Payment Plan

One of the questions often asked our Dentrix Tech Support team, is "Can I run billing statements just for the patients on a payment plan?"

The answer is yes. The key to making this possible is to assign those patients who are on a payment agreement to a billing type reserved for that purpose. 

Dentrix comes with two payment agreement billing types already set up: one for payment agreements with a finance charge, and one for payment agreements without a finance charge. If these options have changed since you installed the software, you can create and edit billing types in the Office Manager. See the "Customizing Billing Types" topic in the Dentrix Help for more details.

Because nearly every report and list you can generate in Dentrix (including billing statements) can be filtered by billing type, assigning patients to an appropriate billing type  is essential. Just remember that only one billing type is allowed per family, and changing the billing type for any family member affects the entire family.

To assign a billing type to a family:

  1. From the Ledger, select any member of the family for which you want to change the billing type.
  2. From the File menu, select Billing/Payment Agreement. The Billing/Payment Agreement Information dialog box appears.

  3. At the top of the Billing/Payment Agreement Information dialog box, select the billing type you want to assign to the family.
  4. Click OK.
Once a family has been assigned a billing type associated with a payment agreement, you can generate billing statements as you normally would, and select that particular billing type to be included in your statement run.  For more information on generating billing statements, see the "Generating Billing Statements" topic in the Dentrix Help.

Everything related to setting up payment agreements is discussed in the "Managing Financial Arrangements in Dentrix" course at this year's Business of Dentistry Conference.  This 90-minute course offers insight into setting up payment plans, setting up payment agreement terms, posting payments towards payment agreements, adding finance and late charges to accounts, and much more. If your office offers payment agreements, be sure to sign up for this course at the conference.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Generating the Unscheduled Treatment Plans List

Did you know you could have hundreds if not thousands of dollars in production lying in unscheduled treatment plans?  With the Unscheduled Treatment Plan List, you can quickly identify patients with treatment-planned procedures that have been posted to the Patient Chart or Ledger, but not scheduled in the Appointment Book. You can also identify patients who will soon lose insurance benefits for the year if they aren't seen. Once generated, this list can be used to fill holes in your schedule, too.

To generate the Unscheduled Treatment Plans List:

  1. From the Office Manager menu , click Reports > Lists > Unscheduled Treatment Plans. The Unscheduled Treatment Plans dialog box opens.

  2. In the Select Patient group box, select the range of patients you want to include in the list.
  3. In the Select Provider group box, select either Prov 1 from Family File to generate the list by the patients' default providers in the Family File, or Treatment Plan Provider to generate the list by the providers assigned to the patients' treatment plans. Then select the range of providers you want to include.
  4. In the Select Treatment Plan Amount group box, enter a minimum value in the From field, and a maximum value in the To field to include only treatment plans with a specific value. To include treatment plans of any amount, select All Amounts.
  5. In the Select Report Types group box, select the type of report to generate. The Detailed Report will list information about the treatment plan and insurance benefits. The Condensed Report will only list the patients' name, amount of the treatment plan, and the phone number. 
  6. In the Select Date Range group box, enter a date range for the treatment-planned procedures in the From and To fields. (Meaning treatment-plans created for patients within this date range.)
  7. In the Referral Procedures group box, select which treatment plans to exclude from the list. 
  8. Click OK to send the report to the Batch Processor.
For help interpreting the list once it's generated, please view the following video:

The Unscheduled Treatment Plans List is just one of the reports discussed in the "10 Basics Dentrix Reports Every Office Should Use" course at this year's Business of Dentistry Conference.  This 90-minute course offers insight into generating and interpreting the data on common Dentrix reports you should be running an regular basis. Be sure to sign up for this course at the conference.