Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get the info out of your head and into the computer

When you have worked in the same dental practice for many years, you have a tendency to store a lot of information in your head, right? I find that is especially true when it comes to your accounts receivable. Being a financial coordinator in the practice, it is your responsibility to know the status of the accounts … but so often when I am teaching on collections, I hear, “Oh, I just know this family is making payments” or “The doctor said it was OK for him to make payments”. What if this information was in your practice management software so you could easily manage it? What if this information was in your practice management software so you, the financial coordinator, could take a vacation and not worry about someone else managing the accounts receivable while you were gone? What if your patient’s billing statement reflected his or her agreed payment arrangement? This can all be a reality.

Using the Dentrix Payment Agreement feature allows you to get the information out of your head and into your practice management system where it belongs. If your office accepts payments (even if your office does not accept payments, patients often slip into a payment plan out of necessity), this information will streamline your collections.

Entering in the payment agreements into Dentrix will help you manage your accounts in three huge ways.
  1. If you have read my articles about patient collections, you know that I use the Collection Manager Report for managing accounts receivable. This report allows you to enter columns of information that will show you Payment Agreement Balance, Payment Agreement Amount Due, and # of missed payments. Having this information at your fingertips can be extremely helpful on this report because you don’t have to do any research about the account balance. You can see that the patient is on a payment plan and if he or she is current with payments. Read More . . . on the Collection Manager Report.
  2. When you create a Payment Agreement, it will light up the Payment Agreement Summary section on the Ledger so anyone who opens the ledger will see that the account is on a payment plan and the status of the payments. If there are missed payments, this will show up in red in the Past Due section. This will be extremely helpful if the financial coordinator is on vacation and relying on other team members to collect money at the time of service or field phone calls.
  3. When you send billing statements, if you have entered in the Payment Agreement, it will accurately reflect the amount due from the family. The billing statement will show the total account balance and, in the PLEASE PAY THIS AMOUNT box, it will show the agreed payment amount. Also, if the patient has missed a payment, the billing statement will show a past due amount at the top of the statement to draw attention to this missed payment. If you are not using this feature, you might be writing on the statement, which takes more time out of your schedule.

Use the features that Dentrix has to offer. Get the information out of your head and into the computer. Let the computer do the work for you and free yourself from being the keeper of information. I realize that being the keeper of the information might sound like job security, but it holds you back from pursuing other adventures like going on vacation, taking on new roles in the practice, or training new employees.

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

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