I recently created an online course called “Show me the Money,” which ties in perfectly to today’s article. As you may have figured out, my online course is all about accounts receivable. Managing your accounts receivable takes into account many factors, including the new patient phone call, treatment planning, follow up, and collection letters. One thing you can do to manage your accounts receivable is to create the appropriate payment plan when needed. There are two different types of payment plans in Dentrix that can help you with the management of your accounts receivable.
The Payment Agreement is one type of payment plan in Dentrix. Use this if patients have already completed their treatment and have an existing balance you want to extend for a period of time. Entering in the payment agreements into Dentrix will help you manage your accounts in three huge ways.
- If you have read my articles about patient collections, you know that I use the Collection Manager Report for managing accounts receivable. This report allows you to enter columns of information that will show you Payment Agreement Balance, Payment Agreement Amount Due, and # of missed payments. Having this information at your fingertips can be extremely helpful on this report because you don’t have to do any research about the account balance. You can see that the patient is on a payment plan and if he or she is current with payments. Read More . . . on the Collection Manager Report.
- When you create a Payment Agreement, it will light up the Payment Agreement Summary section on the Ledger so anyone who opens the ledger will see that the account is on a payment plan as well as the status of the payments. If there are missed payments, this will show up in red in the Past Due section. This will be extremely helpful if the financial coordinator is on vacation and relying on other team members to collect money at the time of service or field phone calls.
- When you send billing statements, if you have entered in the Payment Agreement, it will accurately reflect the amount due from the family. The billing statement will show the total account balance and, in the PLEASE PAY THIS AMOUNT box, it will show the agreed payment amount. Also, if the patient has missed a payment, the billing statement will show a past due amount at the top of the statement to draw attention to this missed payment. If you are not using this feature, you might be writing on the statement … and that takes more time out of your schedule.
The second option for setting up a payment plan is using the Future Due Payment Plan feature. Use this when the patient is going to incur charges over a period of time in the future, such as orthodontic treatment. The Future Due Payment Plan helps you manage your accounts receivable in three ways as well.
- In a similar manner as discussed above, you can filter your Collection Manager Report to search for patients with a FDPP so you can focus on those accounts and see if any of these accounts have missed a payment.
- When you create a FDPP, it will remove the balance out of your accounts receivable and bill it out at increments you decide on. For example, if a patient is going to schedule a $5,000 12-month ortho treatment and put $1,500 down, then you can set up the payment plan to “hide” the $3,500 and bill out $291.66 each month automatically. Additionally, you can set it up so it will automatically create an insurance claim to go out to the insurance company as well.
- Finally, you can print out a coupon book if the patient would like a reminder for their payments.
If you would like more information on my online course titled “Show me the Money” . . . CLICK HERE.