Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Throw a party with those unclaimed credit balances . . . not so fast

There is so much going on in the dental office in the fall. In September, I got my letter off to all my patients who have a treatment plan and still have unused insurance benefits. Did you? If not, CLICK HERE to point you in the right direction. This month, we have already started looking ahead to 2014 and planning out our office goals (CLICK HERE for more information on goal setting in Dentrix). Then, just this week, I sent off my annual check to the Department of Revenue for those credit balances for patients I cannot locate. What? You don’t know what the heck I am talking about? Every state has a law regarding what to do with unclaimed money. Check your state’s Department of Revenue website to find out the steps to take in order to be compliant with this rule. Since I live in Washington state, I am going to use that state’s information for today’s blog.

Let’s start from the beginning. Each July, I print a credit balance only Aging Report (this is the only time I ever print an Aging Report). The best policy is to take care of patient credit balances when they happen by applying them to the next visit, encouraging the patient to schedule treatment, or writing the patient a refund check. However, there are times when patients end up with a credit balance and you have attempted to reach them without success. In the state of Washington, these patients must receive a letter of due diligence by August 1. I created this letter in Quick Letters so it would merge in the patient’s information and balance.

After you have sent the patient a letter informing him or her of the credit balance and the date by which it needs to be collected, go through your credit balance report again and mark any patient you are going to send to the Department of Revenue, then total it up and write one hopefully not too big check. On each patient ledger, make an adjustment (I created an adjustment type called Sent to Dept of Revenue) to their account to bring their account to zero, change their billing type (I created one called Sent to Department of Revenue), then make sure their account is inactivated or archived. I created a billing type to get a report on all the accounts I have sent to the Department of Revenue and I don’t have to remember all the names.

This check to the Department of Revenue must be sent in by November 1 (state of Washington requirement). I adjust all the patient accounts on the same day, then run an Adjustment Only Daysheet to get the list of names. Next, I print a Patient List for each patient individually to send with the check. This will give the Department of Revenue the information needed to put on their unclaimed property website. To print this Patient List, go to the Office Manager > Lists > Patient List > then select each patient individually.

For those of you reading from the state of Washington, go to http://ucp.dor.wa.gov and click on “You are holding unclaimed property, report it to us.” Then click on the Detail Report form, fill out the information, total amount you are sending, and print the form. If you are reading from another state, I would search for Unclaimed Property (state name here).

Dayna Johnson, Certified Dentrix Trainer
Dayna loves her work. She has over 25 years of experience in the dental industry, and she’s passionate about building efficient, consistent, and secure practice management systems. Dayna knows that your entire day revolves around your practice management software—the better you learn to use it, the more productive and stress-free your office will be. In 2016, Dayna founded Novonee ™, The Premier Dentrix Community, to help cultivate Dentrix super-users all over the country. Learn more from Dayna at www.novonee.com and contact Dayna at dayna@novonee.com.

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