Thursday, May 27, 2021

More Dentrix G7.4 Insurance Features to be Excited About

Last week, I wrote about some of the exciting new features in Dental Insurance Benefits and Coverage in Dentrix G7.4. There’s honestly so many awesome new features, I couldn’t write about them all in just one blog post. This week, I’m going to tell you about how you can use the new Deductibles/Maximums window and (my favorite) the Exceptions window!

In Dentrix, there has always been a place to enter in patients’ maximums and deductibles. However, you’ve never had the option to customize that information, until now.

Insurance plans are constantly changing the way they consider patients’ benefits. There are plans that now consider different procedure categories under different maximums. For example, an insurance plan may have no maximum for diagnostic and preventative procedures, but will have a maximum for basic and major procedures. 

A patient could have insurance coverage that has a separate orthodontic maximum that’s not considered part of their general calendar year maximum. Plus, there could also be a separate orthodontic deductible. 

Now, in Dentrix G7.4, you have a designated place to enter that information. And best of all, you can track the maximum used and deductible met. It’s important to note that this information won’t be factored into estimates in Dentrix, and you will still need to manually enter the amounts used. And the Deductibles/Maximums window is the place to do that.

For example, let’s say a patient has a standard annual deductible of $50, and an annual maximum of $1500.  They also have a lifetime orthodontic deductible of $100 and a lifetime orthodontic maximum of $1000. It’s so exciting to now have a dedicated place to enter this information and track how much has been used. Now, when your patient comes in for a prophy and exam, fillings, and/or clear aligner, you can track those maximums used accurately. Before this new feature, offices found creative ways to track this information in places like the guarantor notes, patient notes, or insurance claim status notes, which wasn’t ideal or consistent from staff member to staff member. Now you have a single place to document that information that’s very easy to use. 


You can also document detailed plan information like frequency limitations and age limitations in the Exceptions window. I love this new feature because I always used to suggest to offices that they enter this type of information into the Insurance Plan Notes. I recommended doing that instead of simply referring to an insurance breakdown in the Document Center, because Insurance Plan Notes apply to all patients covered under that plan, so you wouldn’t have to type those notes again if it’s an existing plan in your system. The Exceptions window has made huge improvements to that process. 

Here are three of my favorite things about the new Expectations window. 

  1. You no longer have to type long sentences. There’s an easy-to-use menu to allow you to select applicable plan details, like tooth limitations (primary, permanent, anterior, posterior), age limitations, frequency limitations, downgrades, and waiting periods.  
  2. Exceptions apply to all patients covered under that plan, so once you’ve entered the information for the plan, you’re good to go!
  3. By clicking the Insert Exceptions Template button on the right side of the Exceptions window you can quickly import a template that is pre-populated with common procedures and plan details that you can easily customize. 

Team members responsible for entering exceptions in to Dentrix can simply work their way through this template and enter plan details. No more excuses for forgetting to enter the information. I’ve had a situation where the hygienist wanted to do scaling and root planing for a patient in the office, but the administrative team hadn’t entered in the information pertaining to how often the procedure could be performed, or how many quadrants could be done in a day. This promptly brought the day to a halt while the hygienist had to wait while the front desk contacted the insurance company in order to provide the patient with an accurate estimate. By using the Exceptions Template, things can’t be missed. 

The new features in the Dentrix G7.4 Dental Insurance Benefits and Coverage are so exciting because they not only help you track customized deductibles and maximums, but they also allow you to enter customized exceptions details in a designated place in Dentrix. By using these features, you can provide patients with more accurate estimates with less time contacting insurance companies because you’ll have all the information you need in one place. 

Register for the 2021 Dentrix Insights Digital Summit and attend the session titled “Reduce Coverage Surprises and Claim Delays with New Tools in Dentrix” for a more in-depth look at updated insurance features in Dentrix.

If you have questions about the new insurance features in Dentrix G7.4, 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, May 19, 2021

Some of My Favorite New Insurance Features in Dentrix

One of my favorite Dentrix G7.4 new features is the Insurance Benefits and Coverage window. I wanted to share with you what some of these new features are, and why I think they are going to make things so much easier in your office. 

First, there’s a new option to enter a web page for the insurance company. Double-click a patient’s Insurance block in the Family File to open the Insurance Information window, and click the Insurance Data button.

The reason I really like this option is because I often find myself going on the insurance website to verify coverage or check the status of a claim. By having the web page address entered and saved as part of the Primary (or Secondary) Insurance Plan Information, I don’t have to look somewhere else for it. 


Next, there’s the Insurance Plan tab within the Dental Insurance Benefits and Coverage window that provides you with specific, dedicated places to enter lots of important insurance information.


  1. You can enter the date that benefits begin for both the subscriber and the patient. The reason this information is important is because it will help you to know when any applicable waiting periods have been met.
  2. There is a field to enter when the carrier was last contacted and who in your office contacted the carrier. This is important because if you notice the last update was three years ago, you’re definitely going to want to re-check the insurance benefits and update them in Dentrix. It’s also helpful to know who in your office contacted the carrier. Sometimes you may have a team member that finds entering and understanding insurance to be challenging. If that team member updated the insurance plan, you may want to double-check her work to see if she needs some more training.
  3. You can now make note where the insurance plan has out-of-network benefits, and which providers in your office are participating and non-participating with the insurance plan. I really like this new feature for offices with more than one doctor, when one doctor is participating, and one is non-participating. In a practice I worked with recently, the father and son are both doctors in the same office. The father is on his way to retiring and working less hours. He doesn’t want to participate with any insurance plans. However, the son is just beginning to build his practice and so he’s signed contracts with several insurance plans. The option to enter in- and out-of-network benefits would be a great new feature for this office because Dentrix will now have the ability to calculate patient estimates correctly for both doctors.
  4. New appointment-related details are going to make a huge difference in your day-to-day workflow. You now have the option to enter whether there’s a waiting period, if there’s a maximum age for dependents, if there’s a missing tooth clause, and if crowns and bridges are paid on prep date or seat date. Although these details won’t be factored into estimates, a new and exciting warning system will help you to avoid scheduling appointments that conflict with the plan details. For example, if you’ve entered that an insurance carrier has a missing tooth clause and you try to schedule a bridge appointment for a patient who has this insurance, Dentrix displays a warning right in the Appointment Book, to alert you to the insurance plan details. I’m sure we can all think of dozens of times during our dental careers that this new feature would have been such a huge benefit! I think this will make a huge difference to our work lives on a daily basis!
I’m excited about all of these new features. Being able to enter an insurance carrier’s web page will save you time instead of having to look for it outside of Dentrix.

The information found under the Insurance Plan tab in the Dental Insurance Benefits and Coverage window provide you with a dedicated place to enter important plan information. The ability to enter non-participating benefits will be especially helpful for multi-doctor practices. 
And the new appointment warnings are going to make a huge difference when scheduling patients’ appointments.

Register for the 2021 Dentrix Insights Digital Summit and attend the session titled “Reduce Coverage Surprises and Claim Delays with New Tools in Dentrix” for a more in-depth look at updated insurance features in Dentrix.

Please join me again next week when we’ll take a look at the new features for maximums and deductibles, and my personal favorite, the exceptions window! If you have questions about the new insurance features in Dentrix G7.4, 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, May 12, 2021

Reduce Claim Denials and Delays with Automatic eClaims Attachments

It’s always a challenging part of a dental office manager’s job to get dental insurance companies to pay for procedures in a timely manner. Insurance companies will use any excuse to delay paying, and there’s often additional information and/or attachments that are required for certain procedures to get them to process a claim. 

With the constant changes in dental insurance, knowing what types of information are required for each insurance company and for each procedure code can be difficult to keep up with. 

For eClaims customers, Dentrix G7.3 added a new feature that will automatically attach images to claims whenever it can, or notify you that an attachment is required if it cannot attach the files automatically. Each insurance company can have its own attachment requirements, which can be entered and saved in Dentrix. 

The Automatic eClaims Attachments feature can benefit your office in a couple of different ways. 

You may have administrative team members that don’t have the experience to know exactly which types of attachments are needed for each procedure. Even with seasoned team members, constant changes in insurance requirements make it difficult to keep up with requirements.  

Failing to provide required information to insurance companies can cause delays in payment. These delays can be significant. If a claim for a crown usually takes four to six weeks to be paid by insurance, and the necessary attachments aren’t provided when the claim is initially submitted, the insurance company can often take an additional four to six weeks once they receive the attachments to process and pay the claim. It’s best to provide the information when the claim is originally submitted to avoid these delays. 

The Automatic eClaims Attachments feature eliminates the need for team members to have to remember which insurance company requires certain types of attachments for procedures by having automatic attachments set up by insurance company and by procedure code. 

Having this information attach automatically ensures it is sent with the original claim, avoiding payment delays. Plus, you’ll save time by not having to add these attachments to claims manually. 

As you discover other procedure codes that may require an attachment, you can customize and add attachment requirements based on the needs of your office and trends that you notice with the insurance companies you work with. 


For example, I worked with an office recently that said they have to send an X-ray for an occlusal filling for a particular insurance company. It would be a good idea for them to add this information into Dentrix so that when a claim for an occlusal filling is created, the X-ray will automatically be attached.

Having Dentrix automatically add required attachments can save time by automating the process for you. It eliminates the need for team members to know the different types of attachments required by insurance companies, which may be very challenging, especially for newer employees. Most importantly, by automatically adding attachments, you’ll know all required attachments are sent with the initial claim to avoid delays in claim payment. 

Register for the 2021 Dentrix Insights Digital Summit and attend the session titled "Reduce Coverage Surprises and Claim Delays with New Tools in Dentrix" for a more in-depth look at this topic.

If you have questions about automatic claim attachments, 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, May 5, 2021

Reports You Can Generate to Find Insured Patients

There are different reasons you may want to analyze which dental insurance plans patients have in your practice. 

Maybe you are considering dropping one of the plans you are in network with due to a low fee schedule. It would be important to first evaluate how many active patients have that dental insurance plan, and if you would be losing those patients if you were to drop that plan.

Another reason you may want to evaluate how many patients have a particular dental insurance plan is if a specific plan has competitive fees and a great payment history. You may want to try and attract more patients with this insurance plan. You could find out where the covered patients are employed and do some marketing to try to gain more patients from that employer. 

There are several different reports you can run in Dentrix to find the number of patients that are covered under a particular insurance.

Insurance Carrier List

One report to consider is the Insurance Carrier List. This list will provide you with options to view basic insurance plan information including maximum and deductibles, a list of subscribers, a list of all insured patients, or a combination of this information.


Letters and Custom Lists

If you prefer to generate a list for a range of insurance plans you could use the Patient Report (by Filters) in Letters and Custom Lists. By using this report, you could get a number of patients for a range of plans within an insurance carrier. For example, if you wanted a number of all MetLife patients, you could generate a list by a range of insurance plans beginning with the first MetLife plan and ending with the last MetLife plan entered in your system. 

If you only want to include active patients on this report, and not inactive patients or non-patients (which may be the insured but not a patient), be sure to only select the Patient option under Status in the Letter or Custom List Setup dialog box. 


The results from this type of report can be shown in the List Manager. The List Manager is a great way to view the information because you can select a patient from the list, and then open other Dentrix Modules from the list and view additional patient information.

However, in the example I gave earlier, if you are simply looking for a number of patients with a MetLife plan, I would suggest opening the list in Excel. That way you can scroll to the bottom of the list and quickly find the number of patients (by looking at the spreadsheet row number). 

Utilization Report for Dental Insurance

The Utilization Report for Dental Insurance is a great report to evaluate your office fee compared to the fee an insurance plan is allowing you to charge. This may be a good report to generate if your practice is considering dropping an insurance plan. 



The Utilization Report shows you detailed information regarding procedures performed, the total number of patients seen (based on the date range you enter) and the fees charged. 

There are several reasons you may want to view reports regarding what insurance plans patients have. Your office may be considering dropping an insurance contract due to low reimbursement, or you may want to attract more patients with another plan if their insurance has competitive fees and is easy to work with. 

With Dentrix, there are a few different reports you can generate to obtain the information and evaluate the data to make the best business decisions for your practice. 

Email 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.