Tuesday, December 27, 2016

New Associate? Get the setup right from the start

Do you have a new associate in your practice and not quite sure how to make sure the provider settings are correct? Let me help.


There are a couple of settings that you need to make sure are correct to avoid any delayed claims, rejected claims and provider payment allocation. Depending on if your new associate is paid on production or collection will determine how you should setup your default payment allocation. Also, it is important to know how Dentrix looks at the provider with some of the management reports.

  • The first thing you will set up is the provider ID in the Practice Resource Setup. This is where you will enter the NPI, Tax ID, DEA and provider license number. The doctor’s personal (Type I NPI) number will go here and the office tax ID number.
  • After you have the provider setup finished, then double check that the claim is set up the way you want it. The claim setup in located in the Practice Defaults, go to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Practice Defaults. This is where you want to double check that the Billing/Pay To Provider and the Rendering/Treating Provider is set up the way you want it. The information here makes up the bottom two boxes on your insurance claim form and the insurance companies use this information to know who to send the check to and if the rendering provider is a contracted provider.
  • Depending on how your associate is being paid may prompt you to double check your default payment allocation setup. Go to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Preferences and look in the upper left corner of this window to see how it is set up now. There are four choices and you can read a blog I wrote recently about these options by CLICKING HERE. If your new associate is being paid on collections, this is going to be extremely important.

The above list are the critical things to makes sure the billing and claim form is set up correctly for your doctors.

You will also need to setup your new provider with the appointment days, hours and a special color for the appointment book.  You can read more about how to set up the appointment for your new doctor by CLICKING HERE.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Why do I need to run Month End?

January is right around the corner and that means we are coming up on Year End.  I get asked a lot of questions about what the process is this time of year.  Is there a special report I should run?  Is there anything I need to know about running Year End?  The fact is there is nothing different to running Year End as there is to running Month End. 

Month End is a very important process to keeping your system running smoothly and making sure all your data is as accurate as possible.  It is also a very important security feature and should not be ignored.  I am surprised how many offices have not run a Month End for months, or even years.  Let’s go through exactly what the Month End process does so you have a clear understanding of how important it is. 

The Month End process does four main things . . .

  • It will age your account balances.  This will move your current balance into 30 days, 30 days into 60 and so on.  On many reports, including the Provider A/R Totals report, it will move your ending accounts receivable balance into the beginning balance for the new month.
  • Your ledger for that month will now be placed into history, which means that you cannot edit or delete anything on the patient’s ledger.  You will need to make an adjustment if you want to fix something on the ledger.
  • The Month End will lock up any clinical notes that have not been signed so there can be no editing to your clinical documentation.  If you need to change a clinical note, you can do an addendum. 
  • It will reset any insurance benefit used back to zero if the insurance plan is scheduled to renew.  This becomes very important for your December Month End because so many plans renew in January. 

For more information about the Month End process, please check out these other blog posts.

CLICK HERE for some sample reports to run



Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Top 10 Blogs of the Year

What an amazing year it has been. The Dentrix Office Manager blog continues to grow and this year we topped over 17k page views each month . . . . thank you so much! Thank you for sharing your favorite posts with your friends and colleagues.

Enjoy the top 10!

  1. Checking insurance benefits will suck the life out of you unless you change your system  Dental insurance benefits are the thorn in our side every day. Checking benefits, eligibility and maximums for our patients is a great benefit … and it also sucks the life out of us to the point where we don’t have time for other things during the day. There needs to be a balance between it being a customer service task and a hand-holding task. The insurance benefits belong to the patient. They do not belong to the practice and we need to put the verbal skills in place to help our patients understand this . . . 
  2. Give your scanner a break . . . two ways to eliminate scanning  Does your front office have a basket over flowing with papers with a sign on it that reads “TO BE SCANNED?” No one in the office wants to touch it because it is one of those tedious tasks that no one wants to do … so it just grows and grows. I know how you feel and many practices I work with say that scanning is one of the biggest pain points they deal with every day . . .
  3. Health History Update . . . it's about being prepared for anything  If your patient had a medical emergency and your team had to call 911, how long would it take you to pull up his or her most current medical history? Is the list of current medications and allergies buried among all your clinical notes or does your most recently scanned health history form have the words “no changes” all over it, forcing you to continue searching back to the next scanned document … only to find the words “no changes” all over this one as well. It’s not just about being prepared for an emergency … it’s about being prepared for anything . . .
  4. Protect yourself from an insurance audit with proper documentation  Have any of you been noticing your X-rays being denied more frequently than usual or have you been subject to an insurance audit on excessive X-rays? It is happening and if you have not seen it yet, you will soon. I want you to be as prepared as possible when the insurance companies come knocking on your door . . .
  5. Must Reads for Doctor, Assistant, Hygienist and Admin team  . . . So I thought for the holiday weekend I would put together a priority list for the doctor, hygienist, dental assistant and admin team.  Here are the top three posts in each category . . . 
  6. Three tips for an accurate list of patients with unused insurance benefits  We have all heard the phrase “Garbage in, Garbage out.” This phrase comes into play especially when you and your team are trying to generate a list of patients who have unscheduled treatment and unused insurance benefits. Since this is typically the time of year when you want to start reminding patients to use or lose their unused insurance benefits, you want to make sure that this amount used is not a bunch of garbage . . . 
  7. It's the little things . . .  It’s the little things that matter.  I hear that statement all the time being out in the dental industry working with dental practices from all over the country. I love it when I show clients something and their eyes light up because they now know something that is so simple but makes such a huge impact on their day . . .
  8. Hygienists . . . you are one of the primary educators in the practice  We all know that research shows the systemic links between oral health and the rest of the body, especially the relationship between periodontal disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and respiratory disease. As oral health providers, it is our responsibility to educate our patients about the significance of periodontal disease and how it will affect the rest of their body . . . 
  9. Accurate Family Balance or Accurate Patient Balance . . . you choose  In my last post, I talked about the fact that I love how many things in Dentrix can be customized to fit the needs of the practice, from the toolbars to colors on the patient chart. In addition to visual customizations, you can also change the way payments are handled in the ledger as they are applied to the providers and specific patients. You would think that every office would want to handle payments and track collections the same, but this is not the case . . . 
  10. How to generate an Unscheduled Treatment Report for patients who have already said "Yes" to treatment.  Back in February, I wrote an article on using visual tools to help communicate the status of the treatment plan with your entire team. If you want to re-read it, CLICK HERE. If you have implemented some of these visual aids, did you know that you can filter one of the Treatment Plan reports to give you a narrower search?