Payment Allocation

In the Payment window, at the lower left, the paysplits are listed.

Payment Splits (paysplits) allow income to be allocated to adjustments, pay plan charges, procedures and providers, or mark a payment as unallocated (e.g. for prepayments, other unearned types).

Related Links:
Blog post: Patient Payments: Allocating Made Easy
Webinar: Entering Patient Payments

Paysplit Allocation Options

There are varying levels of allocation options and each are determined by a combination of the selected Account Module Preferences. Below is a description of each option and which preferences to select. Also, see Payment Preferences for another version of this discussion.

Allocate Paysplits by Procedure (recommended): The suggested paysplits will be allocated to procedures and the procedure's treating provider. Or as Unearned / Prepayment (e.g. prepayments, overpayments) to be allocated later (e.g. when treatment is complete or as a refund). We recommend this method of allocation so that reports and patient accounts are as robust and accurate as possible.

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 the answers.

Do you require payments to be split to procedures? Recommended Settings
Yes: All paysplits must be allocated to an adjustment, procedure or unearned type. Enforce Valid Paysplits: Enforce Fully
Recurring charges use primary provider: Uncheck
No: Paysplits will be allocated to an adjustment, procedure or unearned type, but staff need the flexibility to make splits not allocated to these items. Enforce Valid Paysplits: Auto-Split Only
Recurring charges use primary provider: Uncheck
Do you also attach adjustments to procedures? Recommended Settings
Yes: All of our adjustments (including any sales tax), must be associated with procedures too. Enforce Valid Adjustments: Enforce Fully
Auto-split payments preferring: FIFO
No: Some of our adjustments are not associated to procedures (e.g. sales tax, finance charges) and staff need the flexibility to create adjustments and not be required to attach them procedures. Enforce Valid Adjustments: Link Only
Auto-split payments preferring: Adjustments (then FIFO)
When an insurance overpayment is received, do you apply the payment to the claim? Recommended Settings
Yes: Insurance overpayments are applied to claims and then refunded back to the carrier with a negative supplemental insurance payment. Payment exceeds procedure balance: Warn
No: Insurance overpayments are not applied to claims, they are immediately returned to the carrier. Payment exceeds procedure balance: Block

*Enforce Fully will require staff to always allocate to adjustments or procedures.

**Auto-Split only will suggest paysplits, but staff is not required to always allocate to adjustments or procedures.

If you have not been allocating payments to procedures and would like to start follow the steps below.

  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.

Allocate to Providers Only (old behavior): The suggested paysplits will be allocated to the oldest procedure's treating provider with a patient portion due. Staff can manually create splits to allocate to procedures or unearned types (unallocated), but no suggestions beyond treating provider will be given. This method is only useful for small, single provider practices that do not track production or income.


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. As your business grows and 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.

When you have accounts where you have not directly (explicitly) allocated outstanding charges to payments in the past, Open Dental still implicitly associates outstanding charges and payments based on patient, provider, and clinic.