Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Never lose your original treatment plan estimates

I remember when I was working in a practice and, at the time, we were still primarily using paper charts. However, we were dabbling in going paperless. Our protocol with treatment planning was to print out two copies of the treatment plan estimate — one for the patient and one for the chart. This worked well because we always seemed to write notes on the treatment plan estimate so it was nice to be able to look back on that print out in the chart to see what we had talked about with the patient.

Then, one day, a patient asked me for a copy of his original treatment plan at the completion of his dental work because he had lost his copy. I am not sure what happened to our protocol, but I could not find our original copy. There was nothing in the paper chart and I was stuck. Once all the treatment is completed, you can never retrieve that original estimate and be able to re-create it for the patient record. This was a good learning lesson for me and something I pass on to clients every day.

Now, I always print one copy of the treatment plan estimate for the patient and print one to the Document Center for safe keeping. This way, I know that it will always be available to look back on and print it again if the patient requests it. I also found out that there is a note box on the digital copy within the Document Center where I can make notes about the financial arrangement or any other special notes that I want to remember.

This is one of the most brilliant features of Dentrix is the ability to do a “virtual print” with any kind of document to the Document Center without having to scan. This saves time and storage on your server drive. This feature is simple to use and I can send you a tip sheet as a reference guide if you would like. Just email me directly at and I will send it to you.

When you are printing a document or a treatment plan estimate, select the printer called “Print to Dentrix Document Center” and your document will then be stored in the Unfiled Documents folder on the Document Center. Now you can attach that document directly into the patient’s Document Center for safe keeping.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

It's Tax Time! Here is Help on Printouts for Patients

Don’t you just love this time of year . . . tax season!  Patients are calling in asking for a printout of their account to send along with their taxes and receipts to prove they spent money using their HSA account.  It has been over a year since the last time you had to generate these printouts for your patients, so you might have forgot.  

I want to try and make it easy for you.  Instead of printing an account ledger, which can be extremely confusing to patients and usually does not give the government what they want, I am going to show you two alternative options. You can also use the second option for patients who are looking for statements to report to their HSA accounts.
  1. The first option is if the patient does not need the year-end statement to have ADA codes. Open the Ledger > File > Search Payments. This will open a new window where you will select the parameters for your search (date range, guarantor name, payment types, etc.), then select Print.
  2. The second option is if you need a payment history that includes ADA codes (most HSA plans want the ADA codes included). First, go to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Preferences and make sure the “use ADA codes in description” is checked. Next, from the Office Manager > Reports > Billing, we are going to create a customized billing statement as a year-end print out.
    • Change the Statement Date to the end of the report year (12/31/2017) and the Beginning Balance Forward date to the beginning of the year (1/1/2017)
    • Select the Guarantor family only
    • Set the Minimum Balance to Bill to 0
    • Uncheck all options
    • Clear out the Statement Message
    • Uncheck Save as Default

Don’t forget April 17th is tax deadline for filing your own taxes, UGH!