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 to adjustments and procedures
  2. We want to allocate to providers only, not to adjustments and procedures (old behavior)
  3. Typical Enforce Fully Setup
  4. Typical Auto-Split Only Setup

See our video: Entering Patient Payments Webinar.

Setup Options

By default, Open Dental will automatically suggest paysplits allocated to the oldest adjustment, payment plan credit, or completed procedure (and their treating provider) with a balance remaining. 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 several default settings.

Payments and Adjustments

Insurance

Miscellaneous

Scenario 1: We want to allocate to adjustments and procedures

In this scenario, Open Dental will suggest paysplits allocated to adjustments, procedures or as unallocated income to be allocated later. You can additionally set whether staff is required to allocate to these charges, 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), must be associated with procedures too. Enforce Valid Paysplits: Enforce Fully

Enforce Valid Adjustments: Enforce Fully

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 Paysplits: Auto-Split Only

Enforce Valid Adjustments: Link Only

*Enforce Fully will require staff to always allocate payments to adjustments and procedures, and require adjustments to be attached to procedures.

**Auto-Split Only / Link Only will suggest paysplits, but staff is not required to allocate payments to adjustments and procedures, or be required to attach adjustments to procedures.

Are you a New Customer or an Existing Customer? Enter a Payment and Allocate Adjustments and 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 Transfer.
  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. 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 selected 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 should accurately be allocated to the correct outstanding charges.
Note: Reports prior to your allocation date may be inaccurate.

Scenario 2: We want to allocate to providers only, not to adjustments and procedures (old behavior)

You 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 adjustments and 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 adjustments and procedures or unearned types.
Enforce Valid Adjustments Enforce Fully Requires user to allocate adjustments to procedures.
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 paysplits to adjustments and procedures and unearned types, or only to provider.
Enforce Valid Adjustments Link Only User has option to attach adjustments to procedures.
Recurring charges use primary provider Uncheck Ensures that recurring charges use the same logic for paysplit allocations.