Payment Allocation

Payments collected from patients are divided into one or more payment splits (paysplits).

In the Payment window, under the Current Payment Splits area, the paysplits are listed.

Paysplits allow income to be allocated to providers and procedures, 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

Setup Options

By default, Open Dental will automatically suggest paysplits allocated first to the adjustments, then to procedures. This means they are allocated to the oldest adjustment (and its treating provider), then the treating provider of the oldest completed procedure with a balance remaining (patient portion due). Below are the default settings that determine the allocation behavior.

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

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.

Allocate Paysplits by Procedure (recommended): The suggested paysplits will be allocated to procedures and the procedure's treating provider. Or as Unearned / Unallocated Income (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: Staff can modify allocations, but all splits must be allocated to a procedure or unearned type. Enforce Valid Paysplits: Enforce Fully
Recurring charges use primary provider: Uncheck
No: Paysplits will be allocated to a procedure or unearned type, but staff can also make splits not allocated to procedures (e.g. splits for finance charge adjustments). 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. We allocate all paysplits to procedures or as unallocated paysplits to be allocated at a later time. 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 where adjustments are not attached to procedures. 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.

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.

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. 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.