In my last blog post and podcast, we talked about why it might be important to keep your patient ledger balances clean and your provider account balances accurate in your Dentrix software. By now you might have already started working on “weeding the garden” and having a beautiful Provider A/R Totals Report to look at every month. I want to keep you on this path, so I have some recommendations for you.
One of the first things you should do is make sure your default settings for allocating payments and adjustments is set up the way you want it. This will make sure that your team won’t have to manipulate payments because Dentrix will use your default settings and, since your patient ledgers are more accurate, you can just let it do its thing.
If you open up the Office Manager and click on Maintenance > Practice Setup > Preferences you will find the Payment/Adjustment Options.
- Patients Primary Provider – This will allocate all patient payments to the PROV1 in the Dentrix Family File whether that provider did any work for the patient.
- Split by Provider – This will allocate the patient payment to the providers performing the treatment.
- Family Account – This will apply the entire patient payment to the guarantor ledger. If you want to keep your individual patient ledgers accurate, do not choose this one.
- Current Patient – This will apply the entire payment you are posting to the current patient ledger you are seeing. If you want to keep your individual patient ledgers accurate, do not choose this one.
- Split by Family – This option will allocate the patient payment to patients who have balances and/or to providers who have accounts receivable balances. Choose this option if you want your individual patient ledger balances to be accurate and you want your provider balances to stay accurate.
- Split Method
- Split Payment, Percentage – If the doctor did 75% of the work and the hygienist did 25% (based on production dollar value), the payment is divided into two payments, paying the providers 75/25. This is not the best choice because insurance may later pay the same providers for those services, creating imbalances.
- Split Payment, FIFO – FIFO is “First In, First Out” and attempts to pay the oldest debt first, paying providers until money runs out. This can be a good option if you want the system to always pay off the oldest balance first before considering the current charges.
- Split Payment, Guarantor/Account Estimate – This is generally regarded as the best choice. This uses FIFO, but also considers if there are insurance estimates. Additionally, it only pays the portion expected to be owed by the patient.
- Split Payment, Equal Payments – If two providers did work for the patient, the money is split 50/50 between the two. Not the best choice because insurance may later pay the same providers for those services, creating imbalances.
The other option you have here is to stop the system from allocating payments to inactive providers. In the past, Dentrix allowed for you to inactive providers if they had an accounts receivable balance. In current versions, the system is going to ask you what you want to do if a provider has a balance. In my opinion, I would not want the system to continue allocating payments to old providers if you have taken the time to clean it up. We can now start fresh and check this box.