Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Comparing Fee Schedules for Treatment Cases

When you present treatment to a patient, one of the inevitable questions is going to be about the cost of the procedure(s). Patients want to know what your office fee for the procedure is, the estimated insurance coverage, estimated portion they are expected to pay, etc.

When you print a treatment case, you have the option to compare your standard fee for procedures to a selected fee schedule. By comparing these fees, you give the patient the information they want to make their decision about the treatment.

For example, if you have a patient without insurance, you could compare your office fee with a fee schedule you’ve set up to give a discount for patients who pay at time of service.

To compare two fees on a printed treatment case:
  1. With a patient selected in the Treatment Planner, select the treatment plan case you want to print, and click Print > Print Treatment Case.

  2. Set the Print, Insurance, and Patient Privacy options to include on the report.
  3. In the Case Procedure Options group box, select the Compare to Fee Schedule checkbox and use the search arrow to select which fee schedule to compare.
  4. Check Print Preview to preview the report before printing, and click OK.
When you preview the report, you can see the following information:

A. Standard fee for the procedure
B. Selected fee schedule fee for the procedure

For additional information, read the article titled, Give Patients the Info They Need to Say Yes in the Dentrix Magazine online archive, or the following previous Tip Tuesday posts: Understanding How the Fee Schedule is Used in Dentrix and Preparing to Update your Fee Schedules

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Pop-Up Medical Alerts - New in Dentrix G7.1

Some medical information is too important to overlook. That’s why Dentrix G7.1 allows you to display a pop-up Health History Alert when you select a patient that has certain health history conditions.

When you attach a medical condition or allergy to a patient, look for the Display Pop-up Alert for this Patient option.

With this option activated, when you select this patient in other areas of Dentrix, a large Health History Alerts window will show you all of the medical alerts and conditions for the patient that have been designated as pop-up alerts.

Because we are so excited about this new feature, here are two more bonus tips:

Bonus Tip #1: Choose Where to Display Alerts

You can select which Dentrix modules these pop-up alerts are displayed in. For example, you might want to see them when you open the Chart, but maybe not when opening Continuing Care. In Health History, click the Setup button in the top right corner, click the General Settings tab, and highlight which areas you’d like the pop-up alert visible.

Bonus Tip #2: Make Pop-Ups a default for Certain Conditions

Also in Health History Setup, you can edit medical conditions and allergies to indicate whether the pop-up alert option is selected by default when added to an individual patient’s Health History.
Click the Medical Conditions (or Allergies) tab, highlight an item in the list, and click Edit. Check the box for Display as Pop-up Alert, and click OK.

Additional Information

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Deductibles, Benefits, and the Treatment Case Report

Do your Treatment Case Reports fail to address common insurance questions from your patients? For instance, it's the end of the year and you have a patient who wants to know what it would cost to have her treatment done now, with this year’s insurance payments factored in, as opposed to what it would cost next year after her benefits renew.

With a simple change in the report's setup, you can create two versions of the report: one that factors in deductibles and maximums paid, and one that doesn’t. So you can easily show patients what their benefits will cover this year, and what will be covered next year.

To create a report that factors in a patient's current deductible and/or benefits paid, in the Treatment Planner, select a treatment case, click the Print button, and select Print Treatment Case.

In the Insurance group box, check the Use Dental Plan Maximums and Deductibles box. Set other report options as desired and click OK.

Then, print a second version of the report with the Use Dental Plan Maximums and Deductibles option unchecked. You can then present both reports to the patient and use them to compare what the treatment would cost this  year and what it would cost next year, helping your patients decide which option works best for them.

For example, Adrian Farmer has dental insurance with a $50 annual deductible and a yearly maximum individual benefit of $2,500. Unfortunately, because of major dental work at the first of the year, she has maxed out her insurance coverage. It's now November, and her wisdom teeth are bothering her. She's wondering what it would cost to have them removed before the year ends; or, if she should wait until next year when her insurance benefits renew.

You create a treatment plan to remove her wisdom teeth, and you generate two Treatment Case Reports, to show Adrian the difference in price.

This first report incorporates the Use Dental Plan Maximums and Deductibles option. Because her insurance is maxed out, this report shows that her insurance won't pay for the treatment, and she would have to pay the total cost.

This second report has turned off the Use Dental Plan Maximums and Deductibles option, so the report ignores the maximum benefit limit and deductibles owed. This allows you to show her the coverage breakdown for the procedures and gives her a ballpark estimate of what the insurance will likely pay, next year.

One simple change in how you set up the Treatment Plan Report can give Adrian the information she needs to make an informed decision.

For more information about using his helpful option:

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

How to Quickly Create Perio Exam Notes

Not only can Dentrix help you record perio probing measurements, but it can also help you document the patient's periodontal condition. The Exam Information panel gives you a quick and easy template for creating perio exam notes.

In Perio Notes, click on each note and select a value from each drop-down menu.

Select a Periodontal Case Type, Patient Status, Perio Status, and add Miscellaneous Notes as needed.

After filling in these values, you can easily turn these answers into a clinical note. Click Copy to Clipboard.

Open the Clinical Notes panel (If you don't see it at the bottom of the Perio window, click the View menu and select Clinical Notes Panel). 

Create a new note, and select the Paste button.

The perio exam information is added as a clinical note and can be seen from the Patient Chart as well.

For additional information, read any of the following help topics:

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Share A Great Idea

We have all had those moments when you think “Dentrix would be so much easier to use if...”
The developers and programmers at Dentrix want to hear those great ideas! Your input can truly help make Dentrix even better.

When inspiration strikes, click the Help menu and choose Enhancement Request. It doesn’t matter where in Dentrix you are working– every Dentrix Help menu will have this option. (If you are away from the office, you can access the website directly at http://myvoice.dentrix.com/.)

You’ll be whisked away to the Dentrix My Voice website, where you can search to see if others have the same idea. If someone has already submitted the idea, add your vote or add comments to promote the concept.

If you don't see your idea there already, add it!

Here area few examples of recent user-requested-turned-into-new-features:

The Dentrix development team is excited to learn what you want to see happen next!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Add Patient-Reported Medications to Health History

One of the new features in Dentrix G7.1 is the ability to record and track your patient’s medications. When you track patient medications, not only can you create a better understanding of your patients’ overall health, but you can also help to avoid the possibility of prescribing contraindicated medications.

When a patient fills out a questionnaire with the medications they are taking, you can take that information and add it to their Health History in Dentrix. Here's how:

  1. With a patient selected in the Family File, double-click the Health History block.
  2. Click the Add button from the Health History toolbar, and select Medication.

  3. Enter the following information:
    • Reported Date - Defaults to the current date, but you can edit it if needed.
    • Start Date - Defaults to the current date, but you can edit the date to reflect when the patient began taking the medication.
    • Inactivated Date - The date the patient stopped taking the medication.
    • Display Pop-up Alert for this Patient - Check this option to have an alert appear when you create a new appointment, open the Family File, etc.
  4. To add a medication, click the Medication search button and do one of the following:
    • Select a medication from the list and click OK.
    • To add a medication to the list, click the Setup button, select the Medications tab, and click the Add button. Enter the medication description and click OK. The medication is added to the list, then click Close. Now select the medication from the list and click OK.
  5. Click OK to attach the medication to the patient.
Once you have added a patient's medications, they are visible whenever you open the patient's Health History.

You can also get more information by reading You Asked For It! Patient Health History in Dentrix, in the latest online version of Dentrix Magazine.

For additional help, read the following topics in Dentrix Help: Adding patient reported medicationsEditing patient reported medications, and Inactivating patient reported medications

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Adding Emergency, Physician, and Pharmacy Contacts in a Patient's Health History

Have you ever had a patient emergency, but you didn’t know who to contact for them? Or, have you needed to contact a patient’s physician or pharmacy, but you didn’t have contact information for either one. Now available in Dentrix G7.1, you can add information for an emergency contact, physician, and preferred pharmacy to each patient’s Health History.

Here's how:

  1. Select a patient and click the Health History button.
  2. In the Contacts group box, click the > button next to the type of contact information you want to add.

  3. Click the New button, add the information for the contact, and click OK to save it.

For additional information about the new Health History module, read the Patient Health History article in the latest Dentrix Magazine.

For more information about adding contact information to a patient's health history, read the Setting a Patient’s Emergency Contacts, Setting a Patient’s Physician Contacts, and Setting a Patient’s Preferred Pharmacy topics in Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Creating a Default Treatment Plan Note

When you present treatment cases to your patients, you probably have standard information that you want every patient to understand. These may include financial terms, a disclaimer about insurance estimates only being an estimate, a time limit explaining how long your office will honor the prices quoted, or perhaps even a line for the patient’s signature on the printout.

You can include this information in a Case Note Template, and then designate that template as the default for all Treatment Plan Case Notes.

To create (or edit) case note templates, open any patient’s Treatment Planner, and from the lower-left corner, choose Settings (A). Then select Template Setup (B).

Type a short Template Name (you will use this to find your template from a menu later), and in the Template Text field, the note. Click Add to save it.

If you want to modify an existing template, select the template name, alter the Template Text, and click Modify to save the changes.

Back in the Treatment Planner's Settings panel, locate the Default Case Note Template menu. Select the template that contains the default information you created.

Going forward each new treatment plan case you create will have this message automatically added to the case note.

Additional Tips

  • You can also create or modify case note templates in the Office Manager. From the Maintenance menu, select Practice Setup > Custom Notes > Case Notes Setup.
  • Learn more about this topic by reading Adding Supporting Information to a Case in Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Using eDex to Find Insurance Subscribers

Your practice owner is debating whether to continue to accept insurance carriers with fewer than 50 patient subscribers. He wants to know how many patients subscribe to each insurance carrier you currently accept.

To find this information, you could create a custom report (by filters), but that would involve having to spend time setting multiple filters, enabling data fields, and then generating the actual report.

But did you know there’s a faster, easier way to accomplish this task using eDex? In fact, it's a simple five-step process:
  1. From any Dentrix module, select the eDex button.

  2. Click the Set Filter icon (top right corner icon with a funnel image).
  3. Uncheck all the filters except Insurance Carriers, and click Close.
  4. From the list of insurance carriers that appears, select a carrier.

  5. On the right side of the screen, review the list of Insured Patients, which gives you the number of patients insured by the carrier, followed by individual patient names.
That's it! You can easily see the number of insurance patients for the insurance carrier that you selected, and can easily choose another carrier from the list to see its number of insured patients, without having to generate a report.

For more information about using eDex:

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Just the Way You Like It - Setting the Batch Processor Preview Options

Chances are, you send multiple reports, billing statements, insurance claims, etc. to the Batch Processor during your workday. But did you know that before you print anything, you can preview these batched items and save your favorite preview settings for viewing documents in the future?

To preview your document from the Batch Processor, you can simply double-click the document in the list. You don’t have select the document in the list and then click the Preview button. Just double-click it!

Once you’re in the Print Preview screen, click Options.

Listed in the Options menu are the following settings you can select and use for all future previews:

  • Save Defaults on Exit – When checked, this option will save all the preview settings you’ve made as the default and open with these settings the next time you preview a document.
  • View One Page – This option displays the selected document one page at a time.
  • View Two Pages – This option displays the document two pages at a time.
  • Zoom – This option lets you specify how large the preview is displayed on your screen.

If your document preview consists of multiple pages, you can quickly jump to the first or last page of the document using a keyboard shortcut. Just press the SHIFT + End keys, to jump to the last page, and to return to the first page, press SHIFT + Home.

Take some time to explore these options in the Print Preview window. Discover what works best for you, and then be sure and click Save Defaults on Exit to save your settings, but note that these preview settings are workstation-specific, and will only be saved for the computer on which they were selected.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Switching from a 12-Hour to a 24-Hour Time Clock in Dentrix

Does your payroll system require you to report hours worked as a decimal rather than in hours and minutes? And are you tired of having to convert times after noon to the military version, or having to divide the minutes worked by 60 to get the necessary decimal equivalent?

With Dentrix, you can easily fix these problems by changing your payroll setting from a 12-hour clock to a 24-hour clock.

Use the following steps to change your time clock setting.

  1. Locate the Dentrix Quick Launch icon in the notification area of the Windows taskbar, at the lower-right corner of the screen. You may need to click the Show Hidden Icons arrows to display the icon.

  2. Select Time Clock > Time Clock Setup.
  3. In the General Settings group box, open the Time drop-down menu and select either Use 24 Hour Clock or Use 24 Hour Clock [decimal Totals].

  4. Click OK to save your settings.
That's it! Your office's time clock will now display and calculate based on a 24-hour clock. And your employee Time Punch/Payroll reports will display in the 24-hour format of your choice.

Additional Tips

  • If passwords are enabled, to perform time clock setup tasks, the user must have the password rights to "Time Clock, Setup."
  • If you select the Use 24 Hour Clock option, the time will display with the military version of the hour, and be based on 60 minutes per hour. For example, 2:30 pm will display as 14:30.
  • If you select the Use 24 Hour Clock [decimal Totals] option, the time will display with the military version of the hour, and be based on a decimal version of the minutes: 15 minutes = .25, 30 minutes = .50, etc.
  • For additional information, read Setting Up Time Clock in Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Choose Which Patient Details Are Visible When Selecting a Patient

Whether it be in an operatory or the consulting room, you have that one workstation where the monitor is more easily viewable by patients. Have you mastered the “hurry up selection” technique on that computer – getting in and out of the Select Patient dialog box as fast as you can so that (you hope) your patient doesn’t have time to see the personal details of other patients as you change to their file?

To alleviate this worry, on each computer you can customize the Select Patient dialog box to remove columns of information. That will cut down on the amount of information visible to patients.

In the Select Patient dialog box, right-click a column header. Select or clear the columns as needed, leaving the search results and Recently Selected Patients list as uncluttered (or as detailed) as you'd like.



The customization only takes effect on this computer, so while this computer shows minimal columns of information, you other stations can still view all of the details.

Additional Information

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Let the eDex Filters Do the Work for You

Did you know that you can use eDex to pull up lists of information from your Dentrix database? That’s the power of filters!

For example, if you ever need to see a list of archived patients you could either scroll through the Select Patient dialog box looking for “Archived” to show up in the Status column, or you could quickly pull that information from your database using eDex.

How To

  1. From any Dentrix module, click File > Switch To > eDex.

  2. Then click the Set Filters button, and check the box next to the type(s) of information you want to view, such as Archived Patients
  3. Click Close. eDex produces a list that matches your filtering criteria.
If you want to see a list of all of your inactive or non-patients, check those filters. Want to quickly see if an employer has already been entered in Dentrix so you avoid duplicates? Set that filter.

Depending on the filters you selected, once the list is generated you can click any item and see additional information: 
  • If you selected a patient filter, click on a patient and see patient information.
  • If you selected the an employer filter, click an employer and see a list of patients and insurance plans assigned to that employer.
  • If you selected an insurance filter, click on an insurance plan and see that plan's coverage table, insurance plan note, and a list of insured patients.
  • Click on the different Dentrix module icons along the bottom of the screen to easily open that module for the selected patient. 
There's a lot of information available to you in eDex, and using built-in filters can help you access it!

Read Managing Your Contacts in eDex for more information.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

How to Make Treatment Plan Estimates Less Overwhelming for Patients

When a patient needs extensive treatment but can’t afford to complete it all at once, it makes sense to break the treatment out into several visits. It makes it easier for the patient to plan for the expense and to spread the cost out over time.

If you’ve worked with a patient to complete their treatment in stages like this, it’s important to present that information to the patient with clear information about which procedures will be included in each visit and what the estimated total for each visit will be. You accomplish this with one click by printing subtotals by visit on the Treatment Case Report.

To print subtotals by visit on the Treatment Case Report:

  1. Arrange the patient's treatment into separate visits as needed.
  2. Select the case you want to print, click the Print button, and then select Print Treatment Case.
  3. In the Case Procedure Options group box, enter the number of visits you want to include on the printout. (If you want to include all the visits, clear out any number in that field and Dentrix will include all visits.)

  4. Check the Print Subtotals by Visit option to print a subtotal of the price estimates for each visit. Set the other report options as desired and click OK.
For more tips about making treatment case printouts easier for patients to understand, see the Dentrix Magazine article titled, Give Patients the Info They Need to Say Yes.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

What's the Difference?

Have you ever been curious what the charges for a day would have been if everything had been charged out at your full office fee schedule?

For example, when your office is contracted with an insurance plan, you probably post the lower insurance fee to the Ledger. What is the difference between what you actually charged and what you would have billed if that insurance fee had not existed?

You can spot the difference between the charged fee and full fee in your Day Sheet report grand totals. In your Day Sheet report options (found in the Office Manager > Reports > Management > Day Sheet), select Compare to Fee Schedule and choose your UCR fee schedule.

This option adds two additional lines to the Day Sheet Report:
  • Compared To (the selected fee schedule) - if all procedures listed were billed out at the selected fee schedule price, this is what the total production would be
  • Net Difference - the difference between "Charges" and "Compared to (the selected fee schedule)

The numbers may be more useful if you run the report for certain billing types only, rather than for the entire practice. For example, select billing types that represent accounts with PPO plans only.

For additional information, see the Dentrix Office Manager Blog post: How Much Money Am I Writing Off?

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

A Solution for Shared Dentrix Passwords

Have you ever wondered if someone – perhaps a coworker, or even a former-coworker - might know your Dentrix password? Or maybe they know several peoples’ passwords, and you can’t be certain how far the knowledge has been shared.

Let’s say you are the office password administrator and you suspect that password sharing has gotten out of hand. Dentrix G7 now includes an easy option that allows you to instantly expire everyone’s password.

In the Office Manager, go to Maintenance > Practice Setup > Passwords > Practice Passwords Setup, and select Expire All User Passwords.

Click Yes, and the next time each user logs on, they will be required to set a new password. Hopefully they will hold this one a little closer to the vest!

For additional information, watch the New Feature Overview video for passwords, or read the Expiring User Passwords topic in Dentrix Help.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

What To Do When You Hear, "Oops! I Forgot to Clock In!"

If you’re using the Time Clock to track employee time in Dentrix, chances are good that you or one of the other staff members have forgotten to punch in/out once or twice (or more). It happens.

It’s okay! Don’t let missing punches stress you out. You don’t have to manually calculate that person’s time for the pay period. It’s easy to add the missing punch in Dentrix so that your time clock reports are accurate.

To add a punch to an employee’s clock in/out history:
  1. Right-click the Dentrix Quick Launch in the Windows taskbar and then click Time Clock > Employee Clock In/Out.
  2. Select the employee who missed a punch, and click the History tab.

  3. Find the date of the missing punch. Click in the space next to In or Out where you need to add a punch, type the time in the text field that appears, and then hit the Enter key.
  4. A note is added automatically whenver you make manual changes to the Time Clock history. Click the note icon to edit or supplement this note.
NOTE: If you’re using passwords, staff members won’t be able to edit their own clock in/out history unless you give them the “Time Clock, Edit Punches/Notes” password rights. If you want to limit who can edit time clock history, only give that right to the office manager or payroll specialist.

For more information about setting up the time clock, see the Dentrix Tip Tuesday post titled Tick-Tock, Set Up Your Time Clock. For more information about editing time clock history, see Viewing Clock In/Out Histories in the Dentrix Help

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Out With the Old (Expired Codes), and In With the New!

From time-to-time, the ADA expires old procedure codes and creates new ones. Recently they did just that with occlusal guards by replacing one code with multiple possible replacement options. You know that there are patients out there with the old code charted on their treatment plans, but how to do you find them all?

The Dentrix Treatment Manager can help you identify those patents! You can access the Treatment Manager from many areas in Dentrix. One popular way is to open the Appointment Book and select Options > Treatment Manager.

In the Treatment Manager View dialog box, locate the Procedure Code group box. Enter the old occlusal guard code in both the From and To fields.

Set other view options to be as inclusive as possible (notice in the screenshot how other settings are set to <ALL> or with low minimum amounts). Click OK to view the list.

Once you have generated a list of patients, select a name on the list and use either the toolbar buttons or the right-click menu to open the patient’s Ledger or Chart, where you can make changes to the treatment plan and update the procedures to the current code.

Additional Information

  • Read Dr. Charles Blair's article titled, New Codes in the CDT 2019 Update in the online edition of Dentrix Magazine.
  • Log in to the Dentrix Resource Center and search Knowledgebase Article #92369 which lists the changes to the code set and provides information about using the CDT 2019 Update Utility.