Patient Payment Preferences

How Open Dental behaves when entering Patient Payments is based on your selected preferences and setup options.

When deciding how to set up the system, here are a few questions to think about:

Once you have an idea of how you want the software to behave, select the preferences and options in Open Dental. If you don't know where to start, see the bottom of this page for typical scenarios and examples for the following:

  1. We want to allocate procedures
  2. I want it to work like before (single split to providers only, no allocation to procedures)
  3. Typical Enforce Fully Setup
  4. Typical Auto-Split Only Setup

Blog post: Patient Payments: Allocation Made Easy.

Webinar: Entering Patient Payments

Setup Options

Definitions: These definitions determine the options available as payment types and unearned types.

Account Module Preferences: These preferences determine the level of allocation and logic used for allocations, as well as a several default settings.

Pay/Adj tab

Misc Account tab

Scenario 1: We want to allocate to procedures

In this scenario, Open Dental will always suggest paysplits allocated to procedures or as unallocated income to be allocated later. You can additionally set whether staff is required to allocate to procedures, or have more flexibility. Here are some questions to ask, and the settings and steps we recommend based on your answers.

Do you also attach adjustments to procedures? Recommended Settings
Yes: All of our adjustments (including any sales tax, finance charges, etc.), must be associated with procedures too. We allocate all paysplits to procedures or as unallocated paysplits to be allocated at a later time. Enforce Valid Paysplits: Enforce Fully or Auto-split Only.

Enforce Valid Adjustments: Enforce Fully

Auto-split payments preferring: Adjustments (then FIFO)

No: Some of our adjustments are not associated to procedures (e.g. sales tax, finance charges), however in most cases staff will allocate paysplits to procedures or as unallocated income to be allocated at a later time. Since we have adjustments not associated with procedures, our staff needs the flexibility to complete payments that are not allocated to procedures. Enforce Valid Paysplits: Auto-Split Only

Enforce Valid Adjustments: Link Only

Auto-split payments preferring: Adjustments (then FIFO)

*Enforce Fully will require staff to always allocate to procedures. The only way to allocate to adjustments will be to attach the adjustment to a procedure. Paysplits will be suggested for adjustments, but you cannot edit the suggestion and they will not be explicitly allocated to adjustments.

**Auto-Split only will suggest paysplits, but staff is not required to always allocate to procedures. Paysplits for adjustments will be suggested and you can change the adjustments they are associated to.

Are you a New Customer or an Existing Customer? Enter a Payment and Allocate Procedures
New Customer with a blank database
  1. Select the settings.
  2. Begin entering payments.

Suggested paysplits should be accurately allocated to the correct outstanding charges.

New Customer with a converted database
  1. Set payment preferences.
  2. As balances come due, fix family balances using income transfers, see Income Transfers.
  3. Begin entering payments.

Suggested paysplits should be accurately allocated to the correct outstanding charges.

Current customer who has been allocating payments to procedures
  1. Set payment preferences.
  2. Begin entering payments.

Suggested paysplits should be accurately allocated to the correct outstanding charges.

Current customer who has not allocated payments to procedures in the past, but wants to start
  1. Select a date to start allocating (Allocation Date). All procedures completed on and after this date will be allocated. Procedures completed before this date should be ignored.
  2. Set payment preferences.
  3. Begin entering payments. Ignore all outstanding procedure charges dated prior to your Allocation Date.
  4. Manually re-allocate paysplits as needed until the patient's family balance is 0.
  5. Once the patient's family balance is 0, the paysplits suggested by Open Dental should accurately be allocated to the correct outstanding charges.

Note: Reports prior to your allocation date may be inaccurate.

Scenario 2: I want it to work like before (single split to providers only, no allocation to procedures)

You do have the option of setting Open Dental to work as it did in version 17.2 and earlier. We only recommend this method if you have no intention of ever paying providers by income, are not concerned about the detail in your production and income reports, or you want to manually create every paysplit.

Open Dental will only suggest paysplits allocated to the procedure's treating provider. Staff can manually create splits to allocate to procedures or unearned types (unallocated), but no suggestions will be given. Only useful for small, single provider practices that do not track production or income. If you decide to track/allocate later, using this method will cause problems.

Beware: When you do not allocate payments to procedures, some reports/user queries may be useless and inaccurate.

Settings:

Note: Even if you don't want to allocate to procedures, having Open Dental do the work of allocating to procedures (Auto-Split Only) will set you up for success if you ever want to allocate in the future. We suggest hiding paysplits and outstanding charges on the Payment window (see Account Module Preferences), then letting Open Dental allocate behind the scenes. Then, as your business grows, you decide you do want to pay providers by income, or want to have more details in your production and income reports, you can quickly transition to procedure allocation.

Scenario 3: Typical Enforce Fully Setup

The system will suggest paysplits allocated to procedures (outstanding charges) or to the default unearned type (unallocated). Staff can modify allocations, but all splits must be allocated to a procedure or unearned type. This method is often used by large or multi-clinic offices who require users to allocate all income, including adjustments, to procedures.

Account Module Preference Select... Why
Patient Payments Use Any Sets the payment's default clinic.
Default unearned type for unallocated paysplits Prepayment Prepayments will default to this unearned type.
Enforce Valid Paysplits Enforce Fully Requires user to allocate paysplits to procedures or unearned types.
Enforce Valid Adjustments Enforce Fully Requires user to allocate adjustments to procedures.
Auto-split payments preferring Adjustments The logic for split suggestions will consider outstanding adjustments first, then FIFO logic.
Recurring charges use primary provider Uncheck Ensures that recurring charges use the same logic for paysplit allocations.

Scenario 4: Typical Auto Split Only Setup

Open Dental will still suggest paysplits allocated to procedures (outstanding charges) or to the default unearned type (unallocated), but staff can also make splits not allocated to procedures (e.g. splits for adjustments).

Account Module Preference Select... Why
Patient Payments Use Any Sets the payment's default clinic.
Default unearned type for unallocated paysplits Prepayment Prepayments will default to this unearned type.
Enforce Valid Paysplits Auto-split Only User has option of allocating to procedures and unearned types, or only to provider.
Enforce Valid Adjustments Link Only User has option to link adjustments to procedures.
Auto-split payments preferring Adjustments The logic for split suggestions will consider outstanding adjustments first, then FIFO logic.
Recurring charges use primary provider Uncheck Ensures that recurring charges use the same logic for paysplit allocations.