Payment Plan

A Payment Plan is essentially a loan to a patient.

In the Account Module, the Payment Plans grid lists all payment plans associated with the family.

Note: The grid can also include Installment Plans, Dynamic Payment Plans, and Insurance Payment Plans.

In the toolbar, click Payment Plan, Patient Payment Plan, or double-click an existing plan to edit.

To set when payment plan payments will be due, see Manage Module Preferences, Days in advance to bill payment plans amounts due.

See Dynamic Payment Plan to create an open ended repayment agreement.

Related Links:

Category: Assign a category to this payment plan (e.g. Ortho, Implant). Useful to distinguish one payment plan from another when families have many plans. Customize the category options in Definitions: Payment Plan Categories.

Patient: The person who was treated. Click Go To to switch to their account. Patients can have multiple payment plans, and each plan can have a different guarantor.

Guarantor: The person who will make the payments. It does not have to be in the same family as the patient. It also can differ from the account's guarantor. Click Change to select. Click Go To to switch to their account.

Provider: Defaults to the patient's primary provider. Click the dropdown or [...] to change. If using clinics and providers are restricted to clinics, only providers available for the selected clinic are options.

Clinic: If using clinics, defaults to the patient's clinic. Click the dropdown to change.

Insurance Plan (insurance payment plans only): The insurance plan this payment plan is for. To edit, click Change, select the plan, then OK. Insurance payment plans can be used to track installment payments for a single claim.

Date of Agreement: Defaults to today's date.

Terms that affect the Amortization schedule.

Create Schedule: Create the amortization schedule based on the terms. A description of the terms will show in the Note field.

Recalculate: Recalculate payments and interest (optional) when a patient prepays, pays on principal, or overpays. See Payment Plan Recalculate.

Note: Added adjustments will not be recalculated. Manually edit any payment plan adjustments in the patient account, amortization schedule, and in the Payment Plan Procedures and Credits window.


View Tx Credits: Click to attach procedures in Payment Plan Procedures and Credits. Credits will be created for each procedure that determine how much will be subtracted from the patient's balance.

A procedure can only be attached to one payment plan. It cannot be attached to both a patient payment plan and a dynamic payment plan.

If a procedure's provider is different than the payment plan's provider, Open Dental will warn you. If you proceed (click Yes) the payment plan provider will be assigned to the payplan charges, however, future payment splits will be allocated to the procedure provider when the Paysplit, Account Module Preferences, is set to something other than Rigorous. Income transfers may also be incorrect. See Payment Plan Q and A.

Once the schedule is created, these calculations are automatic:

Amortization Schedule: The amortization schedule is generated based on the terms. Principal and interest are calculated automatically. Due dates are based on the Date of First Payment and the frequency selected for More Options.

Double-click individual charges to edit, or click Add to add a new charge. The payment plan charge interest field is read-only. If APR is included in the plan terms, charges cannot be added or edited; however, users with the Pay Plan Charge Date Edit Permission may edit the charge due dates.

Add Adjustment: Enter a negative payment plan adjustment to discount a portion of the payment plan balance (e.g. for a courtesy discount).

Adjustments automatically reduce the Terms Total Amount, apply credits to future due amounts, and reduce the Total Tx Amt (via an adjustment in the Payment Plan and Procedures and Credits window). To also include an adjustment in the Patient Account ledger with today's date, check Also make line item in Account Module (not recommended when using Account Module Preference Pay Plan Charge Logic, Do Not Age (Legacy).


Note: When you create the schedule, a detailed note of the terms shows for future reference. Other notes can be added as needed.

Delete: Delete this payment plan and clear any Authorized Recurring Charges attached to the plan. You cannot delete payment plans with payments attached.

Close Plan: Close Payment Plans that are no longer being paid on. Any remaining charges will become due immediately.

Print / Sign & Print / View & Print: The button label will change depending on options that have been set up for printing and signing payment plan terms. See Sign and Print Payment Plan.

Interest Logic

Interest is applied to the principal balance as a whole, and does not change, even if payments are made ahead of time. Open Dental automatically calculates interest (APR) using the following method. Most online calculators use the same method, but some may differ (e.g. assume down payment is first month's payment).

  1. Subtracts the down payment from the payment plan balance.
  2. Calculates the number of payments, or the payment amount, based on the new balance (balance minus down payment).