My 2023 New Year’s Resolutions continue for all the office managers who are looking to clean up their Dentrix database. In my last two blog posts, I talked about cleaning up duplicate insurance plans, employers, and inactivating team members in your Dentrix software. Check both of those articles out.
Does it drive you crazy when you are posting a patient payment and it splits up the payment in a way that makes no sense to you? Or do you find yourself always having to fix the patient payment so it applies the payment to the correct provider?
Today we are going to tackle the issue of allocating payments properly on the Ledger and fixing the provider credits. In Dentrix, you can apply payments to the patient and allocate the payment to the different providers. However, most practices do not split the payments accordingly and then the patient balances and the provider A/R is not accurate. Fixing the patient’s ledgers can be bit of a project. However, if this is one of your 2023 New Year’s Resolutions, there are some things to consider before you jump in.
First, I want you to think about if it is important for the practice or just an annoyance for you. If you have providers who get paid on collections, then it is absolutely necessary to make sure you are allocating payments to the correct provider. There is no way you will be able to get an accurate provider accounts receivable report out of Dentrix if you are not applying patient payments to the provider’s production. The best report to use for paying your providers based on practice revenue in Dentrix is the Provider A/R Totals Report.
Now, if you are like me and you are a little OCD when it comes to organization, then the fact that your individual patient ledger balances might not be accurate drives you crazy. For me, this is enough of an annoyance to fix it. If nobody cares and you have never looked at the Provider A/R Totals Report, then don’t worry about it.
Once you have decided that you are going to take time and dive into it, there is a great report called the Provider Credits Balance Manager where you can get a list of every patient ledger where there has been misallocations of payments to the wrong provider. What this means is that the family ledger balance is not wrong, but either the individual patient balance or the provider balances are wrong. This report can fix it. This report gives you a tool to weed the garden. Right now, your garden might be overflowing with weeds and it is going to take a while to clean it up. However, after you do this initial sweep, you can just pull one or two per day and everything stays weed-free.
Before you start down this path, make sure you have a couple of things in place in your settings. Make sure you have two adjustment types for allocating balances (moving money from one patient to another or moving money from one provider to another). My recommendation is to use +Transfer Balance Charge and -Transfer Balance Credit. This will make it really easy to see when you look at the Adjustment Report because you know exactly what it is and these two adjustment types should always equal each other out.
Once you have your two adjustment types you want to use for allocating, assign them to the Allocation Options Setup as the default when using the Provider Credits Balance Manager list. This will ensure consistency for the team and peace of mind for the doctors.
After you have finished cleaning up your provider credits and feel confident that your patient ledgers are more accurate, you will want to make sure your allocation defaults are set up the way you want them and you can start looking at an accurate Provider A/R Totals Report. In 2023, you can start fresh with a clean slate and relieve some of the stress of looking at production and collection numbers.
In my next article, I will be helping you understand what default allocation is best for your office and give some recommendations to keeping your patient ledgers and provider balances more accurate.