Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Update your treatment plan fees with the click of a button


It seems like the dental practice is busier than ever these days and one of the biggest challenges for the front office is making sure the patient’s insurance is updated and accurate before he or she is seated in the treatment room. Another benefit many dental practices are starting to promote is in-office membership plans where they might offer a reduced fee structure.

What I see happening is the treatment plan will be entered in the clinical room during the exam, then the patient will be handed off to the front office team member to review the treatment plan estimate and make financial arrangements. It is at this point when patients might reveal that they have new insurance, no insurance at all, or they join the office’s membership plan. All of these situations would require an update in the patient’s fees being changed.
You do not need to delete and re-enter the treatment plan.

You can update the patient’s treatment plan fees at any time. First, update the patient’s Family File with the updated information. Next, open the Treatment Planner module from the Appointment Book or the Patient Chart. Click on the icon “Update Tx Plan Fees,” make sure the dropdown menu
at the top is for Current Patient and click on update. This will update the patient’s entire treatment plan without having to delete and re-enter all the procedures. This keeps the original treatment planned dates the same but makes a note in the Case History when the fees were updated.

This feature can also be helpful if you have a patient who hasn’t been in for a while and your office has updated its fees. Keeping your patient’s treatment plan fees up to date and accurate helps make sure you are proposing the correct fees to your patient and generating the revenue based on today’s fee schedule.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Electronic signatures . . . a must have for going paperless


Since I wrote the blog on March 23, I have been receiving a lot of questions about integrating electronic signature devices, how they work in Dentrix, and which one I recommend. The good news is that I can answer all these questions and I am excited that the shift toward going paperless is growing. 


Electronic signature pads can work in several places inside of the Dentrix software from patient forms to clinical notes.
  • Questionnaire Module – If you are looking to be completely paperless, then this module is where all your patient forms (such as new patient forms, consent forms, financial arrangement forms, and HIPAA consent) will be located. You can capture up to three signatures (patient, provider, and witness) on a form.
  • Clinical Notes – After the doctor or clinical team member has finished writing his or her clinical note for the patient, he or she can sign and lock up the note for security purposes.
  • Document Center – If you scan, import, or send a letter to the Dentrix Document Center, you can lock up this document using an electronic signature to prevent any accidental deletion.
  • Treatment Plan consent forms – There is a consent forms section where you can customize your own consent forms for treatment. When you sign a consent form here, it will be attached to a specific case and will copy to the Document Center.
  • Microsoft Word – If you are using Quick Letters or Letter Merge, you can use an electronic signature device inside of MS Word as well.

I recommend using the ePad II signature device. They are super easy to use and they integrate beautifully with the Dentrix software. You can purchase the ePad II directly from Dentrix by calling the regular support number (800-336-8749) and being directed to sales. I have checked the pricing online and going through Dentrix is less expensive.

Once you have received your new ePads, you can install them very easily by following the instructions in the box. Plug them into the USB port and inside your Dentrix software click on the ePad II in the list. You can find this list by opening up the Questionnaire Module, click Edit, Questionnaire Setup and in the upper right corner drop down menu, select your signature device.

Since the ePad II signature device is a USB connection, it is easily moved from one computer workstation to another just like a sensor or IO camera. My recommendation would be to install one ePad for every four treatment rooms and then one for each front office workstation that patients are in contact with.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Dentrix G6 launch . . . . be amazed!

I had the pleasure of talking with Brad Royer, the Dentrix product manager, about the release of Dentrix G6.  The launch date is scheduled on April 30, 2015 during the California Dental Association meeting.  Stop by the Dentrix booth during CDA to see all of the amazing features but you can watch our interview now to hear about the highlights.



Dentrix G6 demonstrates our commitment to listen to our customers. We have been gathering customer feedback via our online suggestion box, social medial polls, and industry conferences. One of the messages we have heard is that you are looking for easier upgrades and thoroughly tested software. We believe that Dentrix G6 addresses this request.

We are also committed to providing new and improved features and functionality to our Dentrix customers on a consistent basis. With Dentrix G6, we are pleased to offer customers exceptional new tools, features, and functionality.  Brad Royer, Dentrix Product Manager

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Oops! What to do when the wrong tooth was posted


Have you had a patient in your chair for his or her 6-month checkup and, while you are perio charting, you notice that the wrong tooth is missing. After further investigation, you realize that the patient was in for an extraction three months ago, but the wrong tooth was set complete. You don’t know what to do, but the tooth chart needs to be fixed.

This happens more than you think. Sometimes the mistake is caught before month end is run and the procedures are locked up in history so it can be fixed with just a change of the tooth number. But what do you do when the procedure has been posted, sent to the insurance company, paid, and put in history? Do you leave it? No, that is not the right answer. You must correct it and, if the patient has insurance, you should correct it with the insurance carrier as well.

The correct way to fix this situation after the procedure is to invalidate the procedure in history, post the correct procedure and tooth number, and then adjust the ledger as necessary. There are two steps here . . . invalidate and the adjustment. When you invalidate a procedure, it only takes the procedure off the tooth chart. It does not change the ledger. You can invalidate the procedure from the patient chart or the ledger. From the ledger, double click on the procedure and click on the Invalidate Procedure in the upper left corner of the edit procedure window. From the patient chart, you can highlight the procedure, right click and select invalidate, or highlight the procedure and click on the invalidate icon on the toolbar.

After you have invalidated the procedure, then you can repost it on the ledger and make an adjustment to correct the patient balance. You will also need to fix the history with the patient’s insurance company … but this can be challenging. More than likely, you will need to send in clinical notes to prove the mistake and even send in X-rays.

In the end, having an accurate clinical record for your patient is the recommended option. Your patients’ clinical histories will follow them when they move or change insurance companies so it is best to keep their records as accurate as possible.