Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Two Reports to Focus on During Down Time

The world is experiencing challenging times. It can be especially difficult for dentists and dental office managers because dental offices have been ordered to close (other than for patient emergencies) for months. This can cause a lot of financial stress on your dental practice.

Although your practice is unable to generate production by seeing patients, you can still work on your collections to generate some cash flow for your office, using two key Dentrix reports.

The Insurance Aging Report

Use the Insurance Aging Report to identify outstanding insurance claims. This report can be generated based on an insurance claim aging date range. I would suggest selecting the Over 0 Minimum Days Past Due option when setting up the report in order to view all of your outstanding claims. After you review the information on the Insurance Aging Report, contact insurance companies to check on the status of outstanding claims. If you are using Dentrix Insurance Manager, you can quickly check on the status of the claim.

By taking the time to research outstanding claims, you can find out if the insurance company needs additional information to process the claim, provide that information to them, and then get paid for that claim. If you need to make notes regarding a claim status, you can do so within the insurance claim in Dentrix, in the claim status notes.


The Aging Report

Use the Aging Report to generate a list of all patient accounts receivable. With this report, you can view patient balances as well as see if any of the balance is estimated from insurance. After you review the information on the Aging Report, you can use this information to contact patients about their balances. 



Use this information to send individualized statements, generate collection letters, or contact patients by phone. While being compassionate to patients that may be experiencing their own financial hardship, you can create payment agreements for patients, all within Dentrix. Remember to keep notes in the patient’s Guarantor Notes in the Ledger for future reference. 

Using these reports, you can work on collecting outstanding accounts receivables to generate cash flow for your office during this time you are unable to generate production by seeing patients. E-mail me with questions at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.


Charlotte Skaggs, Certified Dentrix Trainer

Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for almost 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Things To Do When You Can't See Patients

The global pandemic, COVID-19, is affecting businesses dramatically. Dental offices have been ordered by state governors to postpone elective dental procedures. In my home state of Florida, elective procedures are postponed until May 8th. However, dentists must still be available to treat emergency procedures for their patients. For some offices this may mean having a limited number of staff in the office to answer the phone and assist the doctor in providing emergency care to patients.



Here are some other things that staff can do to be productive during this time when you aren’t providing regular patient care:

Run Software Updates

During a normal workday, it can be challenging to find time to have all computers out of Dentrix in order to run system updates. This may be a good time to update your software to the latest version.

Inactivate Old Providers and Staff

This process must be done when all workstations are logged out of Dentrix, so it can normally be difficult to find time to do this. The benefit of inactivating old providers is that there will be fewer providers to choose from in Dentrix, for example, when scheduling an appointment. This can make it easier and faster for team members to select the correct provider.

If you inactivate staff that no longer work for the practice, you won’t have to select from a long list of old employees when you generate timecards, which can save you time.

Clean Up Employers and Insurance Plans

Over time, offices tend to accumulate duplicate employers and insurance plans. This would be a good time to clean up your database by joining and purging employers and insurance plans. Dentrix will not allow you to purge an employer or insurance plan attached to a patient, so first you may want to generate an Employer List and Insurance Carrier List to identify which ones you want to purge.

Delete Duplicate Referral Sources

Just like employers and insurance plans, referral sources can develop duplicates. These can be cleaned up in Referral Maintenance in the Office Manager. You can’t delete a referral source attached to a patient. You can use the Referral Analysis to identify which patients are attached to a referral source you want to delete. These patients can then be moved to a referral source you want to keep, by adding that referral source to the patient’s Family File (remember to change the date of the referral) and deleting the referral attached to the duplicate source you plan to delete. 

Stay healthy and safe everyone! If you have questions about these topics or others, please email me at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.


Charlotte Skaggs, Certified Dentrix Trainer

Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for almost 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Coronavirus Protection for Your Team and Patients



With the current Coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to protect yourself, your team, and your patients. This is also an important time to communicate to your patients the plan for your office. Are you temporarily closing? Are you remaining open? And if you are staying open, you need to reassure them that your office is a safe place to visit.

Here are some things I will be doing in my office during this time, and that I suggest you do as well:
  • Encourage patients and staff to wash their hands frequently. Have hand sanitizer dispensers located throughout the office to make it more convenient for staff and patients to use.
  • If you use iPads or tablets for patient paperwork, be sure to sanitize them with a disinfectant wipe between each patient. It's important for patients to see you do this, as it will reassure them that you office is taking necessary precautions to protect their health.
  • I also like to wipe down my office's computer keyboards, each computer mouse, and the telephones frequently. This is something I normally do on a regular basis anyway because these are areas the entire team tends to touch.
  • Disinfect the front desk, countertops, and commonly touched surfaces frequently.
  • Consider removing magazines and newspapers from the lobby as these tend to be handled by many people and could be contaminated. Also, if you have toys in your lobby for children, consider removing them during this time.
  • Using Dentrix Communication Manager, you can create email newsletters. This is a good way to communicate with your patients. You can communicate with them if your office is open, closed, or is changing office hours.
  • Email newsletters are also a good way to reassure your patients that your office takes their health and safety seriously. Explain to them that your team will (as always) be using universal precautions such as wearing gloves and masks, as well as being diligent with hand washing and the disinfecting of common areas.
  • For your patients' confidence, have your clinical staff open sterilization packs in front of the patient in the operatory. This will help to reassure the patient that everything in your office is clean and sterile.
  • And finally, if a team member isn't feeling well, make them stay home! Don't risk the health of other team members or your patients.
Stay healthy and safe! If you have questions, email me at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.


Charlotte Skaggs, Certified Dentrix Trainer

Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for almost 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

4 Dentrix Features for Saving Time in Your Office

Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day! That’s something I find myself saying frequently and as a dental office manager. I’m sure you can relate.

There are so many things that need to be done throughout the day including patient management, HR duties, accounts receivable, insurance management, dental equipment maintenance, etc. And while I can’t create extra hours on your workday clock, I can tell you about some time saving tips using Dentrix features.

Flip Tabs

Flip Tabs in the Dentrix Appointment Book can help you more easily navigate your Appointment Book.

You can use flip tabs to take you to a specific date on your schedule or a date relative to today. For example, you can set up flip tabs to quickly jump to a date 2 weeks from today or 6 months from today. Flip tabs are workstation specific, so you can set them up based on individual team member’s scheduling needs.

Fast Check Out

When you use the Fast Checkout button in the Ledger, three things happen at once. You are prompted to enter a patient payment, an insurance claim is created for today’s procedures, and a patient walkout statement is printed.

This saves you time by not having to select each individual toolbar icon and do these tasks separately. Fast checkout options are workstation specific and customizable.

Screen Capture

Using the Screen Capture option in the Document Center and within dental insurance claims for attachments, can save your team members a lot of time.


This feature gives you the ability to capture a picture of your screen. I like to use this feature instead of importing documents from a file, because I find that it’s much faster.

Print to the Dentrix Document Center

Instead of printing a document and then scanning it into the Document Center, you can select the Send to Dentrix Document Center option when choosing a printer.


This sends a copy of the document to the Unfiled Documents area within the Document Center where it can be assigned to a patient. This eliminates the step of printing and then scanning, therefore saving you time.

These are just a few Dentrix features that can save you valuable minutes every day. If you have questions about these features, email me at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.


Charlotte Skaggs, Certified Dentrix Trainer

Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for almost 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Customizing the Patient Chart to Work For Your Team

When your clinical team is treatment planning in the operatories, it’s best to give them tools to help them do so quickly and accurately. Hygienists and assistants have limited time during patient appointments and need to be able to enter treatment-planned procedures quickly. It’s also very important that it’s done accurately by selecting the correct procedure codes. If the correct procedure codes aren’t selected during the treatment planning, you risk charging the patient the wrong procedure code.

Here are some ways you can customize the Patient Chart in Dentrix to give your clinical team the tools they need to be successful.

Customizing Procedure Buttons

Customizing procedure buttons in the Dentrix Patient Chart can help to ensure that the correct procedure codes are entered. You can control the code that is being treatment planned by setting up procedure buttons. For example, there are several codes for a crown, but you want your staff to only select the codes for the types of crowns you do in your office. Set up a procedure button for the correct code and assign it an icon that looks like a crown. This way you can ensure the correct code is used. 


Utilizing Multi-Codes

I love multi-codes! They make it so much faster to treatment plan procedures that involve more than one procedure code. For example, I have a multi-code set up for an implant (D6010), abutment (D6056), and implant supported crown (D6058). I only have to post that one multi-code and all the individual procedures are treatment planned in the patient's Chart. Multi-codes can be set up in the Office Manager, and they can also be used for procedure buttons.



Customize Procedure Codes

You can also edit procedure codes in the Office Manager. The Paint Type you select within the Procedure Code Editor determines how the procedure code is displayed on the patient’s graphic Chart. I’ve found that having paint types set up properly can help clinical staff to visualize a treatment plan. For example, a bridge procedure should have a Bridge paint type in order for it to look like a bridge as opposed to a single unit crown on the graphic Chart.


Also, in the Procedure Code Editor, you can uncheck the box next to Show in Chart, which will remove the procedure code from the Procedure Code List in the Patient Chart. I find that the Procedure Code List can be intimidating for some team members, so it can be beneficial to remove codes that you never use in your office. 

As a dental office manager, I feel that its my responsibility to provide my team with the tools and training to help them be their best. Customizing and simplifying the Patient Chart to help them treatment plan more efficiently can help them to do this process more quickly and more accurately. 

For more information on this topic, e-mail me at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.


Charlotte Skaggs, Certified Dentrix Trainer

Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for almost 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Handling Staff Changes

Staff changes in your dental practice are inevitable. People move, have life changes, and sometimes, just aren’t a good fit for your practice.

Make a habit of keeping records of your interactions with employees that aren’t a good fit for your office, so you have a paper trail.  When needed, it’s important to counsel staff on what they’re doing wrong and how they need to improve. Offer additional training in areas you find them struggling with, and keep a written record of these meetings and what was discussed.



It’s also a good idea to have the staff member sign off on this written record. This way you can protect your practice if you end up having to let the employee go. You’ll have written proof that you gave them chances to improve and gave them the necessary tools, but they ended up not meeting the expectations of your practice.

If a staff member makes the decision to leave your office, request their notice in writing. This way you will have proof the team member left by their choice, versus being let go, to avoid any repercussions to the practice, like having to pay unemployment. Remember to request that the staff member return property belonging to the practice, like keys to the office and uniforms.

When it comes to your Dentrix software, be sure to inactivate staff members (or providers in the case of hygienists and doctors) who no longer work at your office. Each user in your practice should have their own user ID for Dentrix. Never re-use a user ID! I’ve seen an office that had a dental assistant leave the practice, and instead of creating a new user ID for the replacement assistant, they simply changed the staff member’s name in Practice Resource Setup to the new assistant’s name. A user ID should be unique to each staff member because there is history associated with each user ID to allow you to see who did what in Dentrix.

I’ve also seen previous employees complain that they weren’t paid for the correct number of hours. If you use the Dentrix Time Clock, and each employee has their own unique user ID, it will be easy for you to view their clock in/out history to prove that your practice paid them correctly.

Keeping accurate employee records can help you to protect your practice.

For additional information, read these related articles about team management:
If you have questions about this topic, email me at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.


Charlotte Skaggs, Certified Dentrix Trainer

Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for almost 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

3 Dentrix Tools To Help You Accurately Collect Payment At Time of Service

I always recommend collecting from patients at the time of service. If you don’t collect from patients when they are seen for treatment, it ends up costing your practice more money. It costs you money to send out statements. It also costs you money when your staff spends time contacting patients regarding their balances. And if patients don’t pay and you have to send the account to a collection agency, there are costs involved in that too.

Here are three of my favorite tools in Dentrix to help you collect accurately from patients at the time of service.

Coverage Table

Every insurance plan in Dentrix should have a coverage table associated with it. The coverage table is used to enter how much the insurance plan will cover for a particular procedure or group of procedures.


My favorite feature of coverage tables is that they are completely customizable. You can create your own procedure code ranges based on trends you see in your office. For example, if you notice a full mouth series of X-rays is being covered with a deductible applied, you can customize the coverage table to reflect that. This customization can be done for each individual insurance carrier or you can change your default coverage table in the Office Manager.

Payment Table

The payment table is one of my favorite features in Dentrix. It allows you to enter in the dollar amount that an insurance company will pay for a specific procedure code. This is extremely helpful for procedures that typically have an alternate benefit applied, like a posterior composite filling. It’s also extremely helpful if your office is out of network with an insurance company when the co-insurance percentages may not be accurate. Procedure codes and payment amounts can be entered in the Family File.


Or updated when posting insurance payments, using the Itemize by Procedure option. 


Override Insurance Estimates

If you know a procedure won’t be covered by insurance, (for example,  a replacement crown less than five years old) you can override the insurance estimate for the procedure. 


That way the patient is aware that the insurance won’t pay for the procedure and you can collect from the patient at the time of service.

Collecting accurately from patients at the time of service can reduce costly accounts receivables for your office. Using the features in Dentrix to help you calculate patient’s payment amounts can keep healthy cash flow and reduce accounts receivables. E-mail me if you have questions at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.


Charlotte Skaggs, Certified Dentrix Trainer

Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for almost 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Understanding the Reasons Behind Missed Appointments


Last week I wrote about a couple of different ways to handle missed appointments in your office. This week, let’s talk about some of the reasons why patients may miss appointments. Missed appointments can be costly for your practice. Not only do they cause lost production, but you are still paying overhead costs, like staff wages, with no production being generated to offset those costs.

If you can come up with solutions to these problems, you can reduce the number of missed appointments in your office. Here are some ideas of why patients may miss appointments, as well as some possible solutions:

Ineffective Communication

If your office is only leaving a voicemail on a patient’s home phone number, this may not be an effective way to confirm appointments. Consider using a service like Dentrix Patient Engage which offers alternate ways to confirm patient appointments via text message and e-mail reminders which are more convenient for your patients.

Unenforced Policies

In last week’s post, I mentioned having a clear written policy to communicate with patients the ramifications of missed appointments, such as a missed appointment fee. It’s important to have these policies in place, and to train your team to enforce them. If your administrative staff allows patients to cancel appointments without repercussions, it will undermine your policy. Train your team to be firm and professional when a patient calls to cancel an appointment. They need to reiterate the office policy to the patient and post missed appointments to the patient’s Ledger. With that being said, life does happen. Your administrative team should be compassionate in extenuating circumstances like a patient’s car breaking down or having a serious illness.

Under-valued Time

If you expect patients to respect your practice’s busy schedule, then you should extend your patients the same courtesy. Always strive to stay on schedule for your patients. You can’t expect them to show up on time and keep their appointments if you don’t do the same. 

Despite your best efforts, you will still have last-minute cancellations. As a way to combat this, keep a current ASAP List to fill those open time slots quickly. Add appointments to the ASAP List by changing the Schedule type in the Appointment Information dialog box in the Appointment Book.

Reducing missed appointments in your office can result in higher production for your practice. Understanding why patients are missing appointments and addressing these issues can help to resolve the problem. If you have questions on this topic or others, please e-mail me at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.


Charlotte Skaggs, Certified Dentrix Trainer

Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for almost 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Missed Appointments - What's Your Approach?

A common concern among dental office managers is how to handle appointment cancellations and no-shows in the office. This is a challenge that is important to address because missed appointments can mean lost production and revenue for your office.



Here are some of my suggestions on how to deal with cancellations and no-shows.

Have Policies in Place

Have a clear policy regarding no shows and last-minute cancellations. Include this policy in your new patient paperwork to communicate it to your patients. Some examples of what you could include in your cancellation policy are fees applied to missed appointments and an office policy that patients with three or more missed appointments will be dismissed from the practice.

Use Dentrix Tools

Train your team how to use the tools in Dentrix to properly remove an appointment from the Appointment Book. No show appointments or appointments that are cancelled with less than twenty-four hours’ notice should be considered a broken appointment in Dentrix. Break appointments to move them to the Unscheduled List. Use Wait/Will Call for appointments that are cancelled with adequate notice. When you break  an appointment, it is tracked as a missed appointment in the patient’s Family File and the Office Journal. However, a mistake I’ve seen offices make, is rescheduling a cancelled appointment by simply moving it to another day. Doing this would not count it as a missed appointment in the patient’s Family File or the Office Journal. 

Document Missed Appointments on Reports

Post a procedure code for a missed appointment to the patient’s Ledger. You can use the American Dental Association procedure code D9986 (missed appointment) for this. You can choose to charge the patient, or not based on your written office policy. But it can be beneficial to post the code to the patient’s Ledger for several reasons:
  • Posting the code gives you the ability to run reports on how many missed appointments you've had within a particular date range.
  • The missed appointment will be posted on the Day Sheet so the office manager and the doctor can easily see which patients missed appointments that day.
  • When sending billing statements, patients will see the missed appointment posted to their Ledger. It lets them know your office is tracking this and it’s an issue you take seriously.
Once you have posted the code to the patient’s Ledger, add a procedure note with the details of what happened. You can easily do this by double-clicking a procedure in the Ledger to open the Edit or Delete Procedure dialog box and entering the note in the Notes field. Having missed appointments listed on the Ledger with the date and notes of what happened, make it an easy place for everyone in your office to look for this information.

If you do post the missed appointment code to the patient’s Ledger, it’s important to note that posted procedures will update the patient’s last visit date. In Dentrix G7, there is an option in the Procedure Code Editor, called Do Not Update Patient Visit Dates, which I recommend enabling for this procedure code. Otherwise reports and your active patient numbers will be affected.

Missed appointments are a concern for office managers and can negatively affect the production and revenue of the practice, so it’s very important to have clear policies and procedures to handle them.
Another important question to ask is “Why are patients missing their appointments?” If you can address this question, you will be well on your way to minimizing the number of missed appointments in your practice. 

If you have questions on this topic, please e-mail me at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.


Charlotte Skaggs, Certified Dentrix Trainer

Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for almost 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

New Dentrix G7.3 Feature: Add Required Attachments to Claims Automatically

One of the things that can be difficult for administrative team members to remember is which procedures require attachments in order for insurance companies to process your claims.

If a claim gets sent to an insurance carrier without a necessary attachment, it can cause a delay in receiving insurance payment, or a denial altogether. You generally have to wait for the insurance to send you an explanation of benefits and a request for the required attachment.

Once you send the required attachment, you have to wait another four to six weeks before you finally receive payment. These types of payment delays can be costly for your office and unnecessarily increase your accounts receivable.

Dentrix G7.3 offers a new Automatic eClaims Attachments feature to automate your workflow by automatically including required eClaim attachments for certain procedures, and warning you if the required attachments can't be found.


Once set up, this exciting feature will help to eliminate errors like the one I described above, and it also saves you the time of adding necessary attachments manually. The quicker your office can be paid by insurance companies, the better, and this new feature can really help to speed up the process of getting paid. 

This new feature in Dentrix G7.3 could also be hugely beneficial if you have team members that are not familiar with which procedures require attachments or who have limited experience or dental knowledge. As you work with different insurance payors and learn their requirements, you can customize Dentrix by adding or updating which procedures require attachments, and what those attachments should be.

As you customize Dentrix with the required attachment information your carriers are looking for, you can work to towards eliminating delayed and denied claims, and help your office get paid faster.

Watch this short video that introduces the new feature, and make sure you upgrade to Dentrix G7.3 and put it to use!

If you have questions, please e-mail me at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.


Charlotte Skaggs, Certified Dentrix Trainer

Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for almost 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Setting up and Using Adjustment Types in Dentrix

It is so important to properly document and track any adjustments made to patient accounts. Arguably, the most important information for office managers is to know why money is being adjusted off patient accounts. In Dentrix you can run reports for adjustments, but if your team doesn’t know how to categorize adjustments properly, then those reports will be inaccurate.


Suggestions for Setting up and using Adjustment Types in Dentrix

  1. Create or customize adjustment types in Dentrix that are easy for everyone in the office to understand, and make sure they are specific. For example, I have seen an adjustment type in an office simply called “Write off”. In my opinion, this is too vague. Is it an insurance write off, a bad debt write off or a patient discount? Creating specific adjustment types allows you to analyze the adjustments being made in your office. You can customize adjustment types in the Office Manager. I would suggest you meet with your team to discuss the adjustment types you currently have in Dentrix and talk about adjustment types you would like to add or change.
    Note: It’s important for me to mention that if you delete an adjustment type, you must choose a replacement for it. This will affect patients who have this adjustment type on their account already. Similarly, if you change the name of an existing adjustment type, it will change the adjustment type on patient accounts where it has been previously used. 
  2. Limit the team members that have access to make adjustments. Clinical team members should not be making account adjustments, so they do not need password rights to do so. You can assign password rights in the Office Manager.
  3. Train your financial team members on how to correctly make adjustments, and when it is appropriate to do so. Show them the adjustment types you created or customized and let them know in which situations to use them.
  4. Have your team get in the habit of adding a clarification note (along with their initials or staff ID) for each adjustment they create in the Ledger. That way you know what’s going on and who to ask additional questions if needed.
  5. Run an Adjustment Only Day Sheet on a daily basis and take the time to review it carefully to check which adjustments were made. This allows you to catch errors quickly and take steps to correct them in a timely manner.
Dentrix G7.3 has made the process of making adjustments easier to do. When you are making a credit adjustment, only the credit adjustment types will be available to select from. If you are making a charge adjustment, only charge adjustment types will be available to select from. 


Additionally, you can now split adjustments by patient and by provider for more accurate accounting. 



Understanding which types of adjustments are being made in your office and why they are being made is an important part of being a dental office manager, because it is money your practice will not collect. 

For questions on this topic or others, e-mail me at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.


Charlotte Skaggs, Certified Dentrix Trainer

Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for almost 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Using Electronic Prescriptions

I live in Florida, and as of January 1, 2020, a new law became effective that requires prescribing doctors to send all prescriptions electronically. Arizona, Iowa, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island also have mandates that took effect January 1, 2020; and in September 2018, California passed a law that requires electronic prescribing for all medications.

Check the laws for your state. Is your practice required by law to send prescriptions electronically? It may be time to think about how your practice is going to implement this requirement into your daily workflow.

You will need to use a service to electronically submit prescriptions to pharmacies. I recommend using Henry Schein One ePrescribe, which allows you to send electronic prescriptions directly through Dentrix.



Some of the benefits of using ePrescribe include:

  • Great fail-safe features to prevent drug interactions and dosage problems.
  • You can set up team members as users and your doctor can determine rights for each user.
  • There are special procedures for narcotic prescriptions.

Another feature I really like about ePrescribe is the ability to view a list of all prescriptions a patient is taking, including those prescribed by other doctors. This allows you to view patient’s current and past prescriptions.

ePrescribe is very easy to set up and you don’t need to purchase any additional hardware.

As more states are mandating electronic prescriptions, you need to come up with a plan for how your office will handle these requirements. Become familiar with the laws in your state.

If you have questions about ePrescribe, you can contact an ePrescribe representative at (833)907-1747.

If you have questions about this topic or others, please e-mail me at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.


Charlotte Skaggs, Certified Dentrix Trainer

Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for almost 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Planning for the New Year


Happy New Year! As you are preparing your practice for the upcoming year, I suggest you reflect on the previous year. What worked for your office and what didn’t, and what does your practice hope to achieve in 2020?

First, have a meeting with the practice owner. What do they hope to achieve this year? By gathering that information, you can come up with a game plan to help them achieve those goals. Here’s some ideas of common practice goals and some thoughts on how you can achieve them.


Attract More New Patients To Your Office

  • Plan a new marketing campaign. This could consist of many things including a mailer introducing your practice or a referral reward program.
  • Consider becoming contracted with an insurance company to attract more new patients with that insurance plan.  Make sure you review the fee schedule carefully to be sure it will work for your practice.

Develop a More Productive Hygiene Department

  • Extend hygiene hours. Having an appointment available early in the morning or later in the evening can be very popular with patients because it’s more convenient with their work schedule. Adding just one additional appointment per day will increase your overall hygiene production.
  • Encourage your hygienists to do more procedures during each appointment. Hygienists can do many procedures to manage and improve the patient’s oral health:
    • They can place an antimicrobial agent like Arestin in periodontal pockets.
    • They can offer the patient a fluoride treatment. Even if insurance won’t cover the fluoride treatment, patients are often willing to pay for it.
    • They can regularly record patient’s periodontal probe depths and treat periodontal issues with scaling and root planing.
    • They can even place sealants for children.
  • Remember that your hygienists are producers in your practice, and there are many procedures they can do to increase their daily production.

Build a Solid Online Reputation

  • Use a reputation building service, such as Reputation Manager to send patients surveys to review their experience with your office. Requesting feedback can help to increase patient satisfaction and loyalty.

Reduce Cancellations and No Shows

  • Use a confirmation service, like Dentrix Patient Engage to conveniently send appointment reminders by text, e-mail or automated phone call. This saves staff time from making confirmation calls, and gives patients an easy option to confirm appointments. 
Once you’ve had a conversation with the practice owner and come up with your 2020 goals and how you want to implement them, have a meeting with the entire team. It’s important to have everyone on the same page and understand the direction the practice is heading.

If you have any questions, e-mail me at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com. I wish you all a productive and prosperous 2020!


Charlotte Skaggs, Certified Dentrix Trainer

Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for almost 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.