Sunday, April 8, 2012

Redefine and Improve your Reports

If you know how Billing Types are used in your Dentrix software, please raise your hand. Okay, I see a few hands out there, but not many. Billing types are typically defined at the initial training session during the practice setup; however, I would like all of you to re-evaluate your billing types and see if they are working effectively for you.
First of all, what is a Billing Type? A Billing Type is used to define a group of patient accounts for billing purposes, filtering of reports, and categorizing patient accounts. Most offices I encounter have either left the Billing Types as the Dentrix default or maybe added one or two, but never truly understood how they could help the practice. I believe this simple little tool can reshape and improve your accounting and reporting at your office.
What are some examples of how Billing Types are used?
·         Orthodontics – If your office is treating patients with orthodontics, billing the dental insurance, and setting up payment plans, I would highly recommend using a separate billing type for these accounts. Why? These accounts are usually setup on a monthly payment plan and do not get billing statements like the general population. Also, ortho insurance benefits have a lifetime maximum and you don’t want the ortho payments to subtract from the general dental insurance benefits (remember, for this to work properly you would also have a separate ortho account setup).
·         Medicaid, DSHS, or many other government-assisted plans – These patients typically do not receive billing statements, so having a separate billing type will allow you to withhold these accounts from your regular statement runs. Also, if the doctor wanted a report of what he or she has produced in Medicaid, he or she would be able to filter the report to show this information.
·         Sent to Collections – This is one of the Dentrix defaults, but I just brought it up to remind all of you to use it. J
·         Sent to Department of Revenue – I don’t know about your state but, in the state of Washington, if you have a credit balance on a patient’s account and you cannot locate that patient to send him or her the refund check, you must send the money to the Department of Revenue’s unclaimed property department. Therefore, it would be a good idea to create a new billing type for these accounts so you can keep track of how much was sent. If you want to get more information about this search the internet for Department of Revenue Unclaimed Property for your state.
Where in Dentrix are billing types used?
·         Billing Statements – You can filter down a statement run to a certain group of patient accounts.
·         Reports – Most of the reports in Dentrix can be filtered to include or exclude certain billing types.
·         Family File – This is where you can change the billing type for the family.
·         Payment Agreement – This is another place you can change the family billing type.
How do you edit your existing billing types?
Go to the Office Manager > Maintenance > Practice Setup > Definitions > and it is the first one in the list. Remember, if you are going to edit your billing types and you have been on Dentrix for a while, if a family account has been assigned to a billing type you are editing, it will be changed to the new type, so be careful. I recommend keeping it simple. You don’t want so many that you are constantly changing them.
Once you grasp the concept of how Billing Types can help you define the patients in your practice, you will find them to be a very simple yet powerful tool in your front office.

Dayna Johnson, Certified Dentrix Trainer
Dayna loves her work. She has over 25 years of experience in the dental industry, and she’s passionate about building efficient, consistent, and secure practice management systems. Dayna knows that your entire day revolves around your practice management software—the better you learn to use it, the more productive and stress-free your office will be. In 2016, Dayna founded Novonee ™, The Premier Dentrix Community, to help cultivate Dentrix super-users all over the country. Learn more from Dayna at and contact Dayna at