Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Insurance Co-Pay plan setup

I had a question the other day from an office who had a patient with a new type of insurance plan that she did not know how to setup in Dentrix. Over the last year or so, I have been seeing a lot of new and interesting dental plans popping up around the country. The plans I am seeing the most are patient co-pay plans so I wanted to take a moment to help you with the setup. 

Most of us are used to the traditional plans that pay 100% on Preventative, 80% Basic and 50% for major dental treatment. These traditional plans are being replaced with unconventional, harder to manage dental plans. With a co-pay plan, the patient will pay a fixed dollar amount toward certain procedures and then the insurance plan will pick up the difference. Once you get it set up, the computer will take over and calculate the patient’s out of pocket on the ledger and treatment plan estimates. 

From the Insurance window on the patient family file, click on Insurance Data and enter in all the insurance demographic information and attach the correct fee schedule if it applies. If you want more info on using fee schedules, CLICK HERE. Then click into the Coverage Table section and this is where most of the setup will happen. 



First, select a different coverage table so it will show all the procedures instead of the categories. Next, highlight the procedure code where there is a co-pay applied, enter the amount in the co-pay box and click on Add. Do this for every procedure where there is a patient co-pay and also make sure that the coverage percentage is 100% (it will default to 100% but it doesn’t hurt to double check). The final step is to select the co-pay calculation method. In my example, I have selected the (total fee – co-pay) x cov% because this is the most common.

Now, if this co-pay plan has procedures that are not covered, you can either change the coverage % for that procedure code to 0% or enter the procedure in the Payment Table. Remember that the Payment Table overrides the Coverage Table so it would also be good to check to make sure the Payment Table doesn’t have anything in it that might throw off your estimates.


I hope this helps. Let me know if I can assist with any other odd insurance plan setup. I am happy to help.

Monday, November 21, 2016

What are you thankful for and how do you show it?

What are you thankful for? As I spend time with dental practices this time of
year, I love listening to how they spend their holidays … not only with each other as a team but how they give thanks to their patients. Many dental offices have elaborate parties to celebrate the end of the year and some go out into their community and volunteer their time in a shelter helping those who need it more.

One of the topics I spend quality time discussing with my teams is Patient Retention numbers and how everything they do not only inside the walls of their practice but out in the community affect Patient Retention. Everything you do is marketing your practice, whether it is walking patients up to the front desk with a very choreographed handoff to the front desk or calling in the evening to make sure they are feeling well after a tough procedure that day.

I would like to hear from you. I would love to hear not only how you give thanks this holiday season, but also about those special things you do for your patients and team members to make them feel special. Make your comments on this post and share your stories.

I will start . . .

In my practice we would always celebrate our team member’s anniversary of when they started work at the office. Since I was the “techie” in the office, I would change that team member’s screensaver to be a message about how much I appreciated everything he or she did in the office.”

Our office always gave out flowers on Mother’s Day”


I understand if you don’t want to give out your marketing secrets but let’s have some fun and enjoy reading something other than a Dentrix How-To.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Your Personal To-Do list

Did you know that not only does every patient have an office journal but every team member has an office journal? You might be wondering why that is relevant. Let’s take a little test. Can you answer YES to any of these questions?

  • Does your doctor’s desk have sticky notes all over it?
  • Does your desk have sticky notes all over it?
  • Are you looking for a better way to communicate with your team?
  • Do you work best off a list to To-Do’s?


If you answered yes to any of these, then I have a solution for you. Not only can you use the Office Journal for documenting administrative conversations with patients and keeping track of all your notes with patients, but you can also use it as your own personal To-Do list. And your entire team can have their own To-Do list in the Office Journal. You can send a note to one of your team members and it will show up on their Office Journal. Let’s run through a few examples.

Let’s say you are talking to a patient about scheduling his or her treatment and the patient says, “Can you call me after the New Year?” You can enter a Reminder Office Journal entry with a future date and it will show up on the patient’s Office Journal and your Office Journal.

You are trying to send claims for the day but you are missing the narrative for the crown on your first patient of the morning. You need to have the doctor review the X-ray and document it for the claim. That means that, instead of putting a “sticky note” on his desk, you can send him a note on his Office Journal.

A letter came in the mail today from your implant specialist that the implant is ready to restore for one of your patients. You need to let your dental assistant know to order parts and let your doctor know to treatment plan the next visit. You can send an Office Journal note on both of their journals with the specifics to the case and let them know they will find the letter from the specialist in the Document Center.


These examples happen in the dental office every day. How do you communicate with your team? How would life be if you could keep your communication inside of your practice management software? Try it and see.

Read other articles about how awesome the Office Journal is . . .