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Questions & Answers about Patient Payments

Below are questions and answers about Patient Payments. Patient Payment Preferences also has some examples and scenarios you may find helpful.

Q: Why can’t I rigorously attach pay splits to adjustments?
A: Open Dental does not directly link adjustments and pay splits by design. Users who want to do this should instead attach adjustments to procedures (see Adjustments). Pay Split Manager will use the adjusted value of the procedure when suggesting splits.

Q: When creating a payment split, I chose an adjustment, so why do I still see the adjustment as an outstanding charge?
A: Because there is no direct link between adjustments and pay splits, the adjustments remain as 'outstanding' unless they are attached to procedures. Another option is to change the Auto-Split preferring preference to 'Adjustments' (See Account Module Preferences, Pay/Adj tab). Then the logic used to suggest pay splits will prioritize the oldest positive adjustment, then follow FIFO (First In First Out) accounting logic for the remaining outstanding charges.

Q: My payment amount is $35 and my procedure fee is $35, but a pay split is only created for $15. Why?
A: A previous credit may have been applied towards the procedure's balance (e.g. adjustment, partial payment, pre-existing credit).

Q: Can I set up multiple recurring charges for the same patient in one month (e.g. one for the 1st of the month and one for the 15th)? 
A: No. Each patient can have only one recurring charge per month.

  • To fix allocations, transfer income. See Income Transfers.
  • After a Final Data Conversion: Sometimes the income in your prior software isn't allocated to the correct patient. In these cases, once a family balance is zero, you can make patient balance zero by Cleaning up Income Transfers.

Q: In version 17.2 and earlier, why does my guarantor have a large credit and other patients in the family have a balance owed.
A: This means that excess income has been allocated to the guarantor (and probably a provider).

Q: What are some examples that explain the logic used to suggest pay splits?
A: The following examples explain the logic Open Dental uses to automatically suggest pay splits when FIFO is the Auto-Split Preferring preference. These examples assume there are two patients in a family: Pat 1 and Pat 2.

  • Pat 1 had a $30 procedure completed on 5/1/2015.
  • Pat 2 had a $50 procedure completed on 5/10/2015.

Example 1: There are no payments on their account and the payment amount is $80.

  1. The amount due is calculated for both procedures. Each procedure owes $30 and $50.
  2. One pay split is created for $30 for Pat 1's procedure because it came first. There is $50 remaining.
  3. One pay split is created for $50 for Pat 2's procedure since it came next. There is $0 remaining.

Example 2: A previous $30 payment was entered on 5/15/2015 with a single $30 pay split attached to Pat 1's procedure. The current payment amount is $50

  1. Pat 1's procedure is determined to have a balance of 0.
  2. One pay split is created for $50 for Pat 2's procedure since it comes next. It's balance is now 0.

Example 3: A previous $30 payment was entered on 5/15/2015 with a single $30 pay split attached to no procedures. The current payment amount is $50.

  1. The previous $30 payment/pay split is associated it to Pat 1's procedure because this procedure came first (FIFO by date). The procedure will not actually be linked or attached to the payment, however the balance for this procedure will now be 0.
  2. One pay split is created for $50 for Pat 2's procedure since it comes next. It's balance is now 0.

Example 4: A previous $40 payment was entered on 5/15/2015 with a single $40 pay split attached to no procedures. The current payment amount is $50.

  1. The previous $40 payment results in one $30 pay split associated to Pat 1's procedure because this procedure came first (FIFO by date). The procedure is actually linked or attached to the payment, however the balance for this procedure will now be 0. $10 remains.
  2. The remaining $10 is used to create a pay split towards Pat 2's procedure because this procedure came second (FIFO by date). There is still a remaining balance of $40 for Pat 2's procedure.
  3. A pay split is created for $40 for Pat 2's procedure since it comes next. The procedure's balance is now 0. There is $10 remaining in the payment.
  4. The remaining $10 is used to create an unallocated pay split.

 

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