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Practice Changing Ownership

If your practice is changing ownership, the following information will help you make informed decisions that affect your use of Open Dental. The information below is not intended to be legal advice, nor is it a complete set of instructions.

Note: Both old and new owner can remain on Open Dental support with current payment terms and/or count consecutive months toward Open Dental's reduced monthly support payment.

Basic Guidelines

  • The new owner should verify or develop their own backup solution.
  • All database ties should be cut from the selling dentist (e.g. no replication settings to old system should remain).
  • If the selling office is a large corporation, notify the Open Dental support technicians so they can check the database for enterprise settings and, if necessary, change settings to prevent issues for the new owner.

Please review and complete the Change of Ownership form if one of the following is true for you:

  • If you bought the practice from another provider and you want patient balances to be set to zero.
  • If a database split was completed to separate a provider from the practice, and you want to start patients with a zero balance on their account.
  • If you have not entered any payments in your old software and your aging balance is an unreasonably large amount.

Accounts Receivable (A/R)

At the time of the sale, it is inevitable that patients and insurance companies will owe money to the outgoing dentist. You must address how the money owed will be handled.

If A/R is NOT included in the sale: This is a typical scenario and usually means that patients owe the outgoing dentist money. The new owner needs to decide how to handle outstanding patient balances. We recommend that all patient balances are set to zero. This process can be performed by our Conversions department. Contact us to schedule ahead of the date of sale.

  • If outgoing dentist and new dentist both use Open Dental: We will make a backup of an existing Open Dental database, then set all patient balances to zero and all outstanding claim balances to zero. Patient charts will remain the same.
  • If converting from another software to Open Dental: If you request this prior to the final conversion, the patient balances will be set to zero at the time of the conversion.

If A/R is included in the sale:

  • If outgoing dentist and new dentist both use Open Dental: No changes are needed. The new doctor can continue to use the patient accounts in the Open Dental database with the existing account balances.
  • If converting from another software to Open Dental: After the final conversion, manually check all account balances (Aging of Accounts Receivable (A/R) Report) in Open Dental to ensure they are the same as the balances in the old software.

Selling Doctor Remains as an Associate

Sometimes the selling dentist stays on at the practice as an associate for a set amount of time. This can complicate things. It is easy to confuse the role of the selling dentist before and after the sale (specifically the production and income of selling dentist).

  1. Determine a way to differentiate the selling dentist's production BEFORE the sale versus the production AFTER the sale.This is important because the production after the sale belongs to the new owner, produced by an employee (the selling dentist).
    • Once the sale is finalized, create at least one new provider (representing the selling dentist) in Open Dental.
    • Associate all new appointments and procedures with the new provider(s). This will allow for simplified reporting. If you need assistance associating future appointments to the new provider, contact a conversion specialist.
    • We recommend changing the appointment color of the selling provider to a glaringly obvious color (e.g. lime green or bright orange) so if appointments are mistakenly scheduled, they can be easily identified and changed.
  2. How long will the selling dentist stay on at the practice? Once the selling dentist leaves, what will be done with the A/R?
    • If the practice will keep the A/R, no additional steps are required.
    • If the selling doctor will collect his own A/R after he leaves, the new owner must zero out associated balances. Run an Aging of A/R report for the selling provider, then manually zero out aging for all affected accounts.
  3. New owner receives a percentage of selling doctor's A/R. If the new owner will collect A/R on behalf of the selling doctor and receive a percentage amount, transfer income as needed. See Tracking Income by Provider. For example, if new owner receives 5% of selling doctor A/R, a $100 payment would equal $95 transferred to selling provider and $5 transferred to new owner.

Data Merge

We can also merge a practice's current Open Dental database with a new Open Dental database. Contact a conversion specialist.

New Owner Setup

Before starting to use Open Dental, the new owner should update information in Open Dental. Refer to the General Setup Checklist (PDF).

Open Dental Software 1-503-363-5432