Knowing which types of adjustments are being made and why they are being used is important information office managers should understand.
It is so important to properly document and track any adjustments made to patient accounts. Arguably, the most important information for office managers is to know why money is being adjusted off patient accounts. In Dentrix you can run reports for adjustments, but if your team doesn’t know how to categorize adjustments properly, then those reports will be inaccurate.
Suggestions for Setting Up and Using Adjustment Types in Dentrix
- Create or customize adjustment types in Dentrix that are easy for everyone in the office to understand, and make sure they are specific. For example, I have seen an adjustment type in an office simply called “Write off”. In my opinion, this is too vague. Is it an insurance write off, a bad debt write off or a patient discount? Creating specific adjustment types allows you to analyze the adjustments being made in your office. You can customize adjustment types in the Office Manager. I would suggest you meet with your team to discuss the adjustment types you currently have in Dentrix and talk about adjustment types you would like to add or change.
Note: It’s important for me to mention that if you delete an adjustment type, you must choose a replacement for it. This will affect patients who have this adjustment type on their account already. Similarly, if you change the name of an existing adjustment type, it will change the adjustment type on patient accounts where it has been previously used.
- Limit the team members that have access to make adjustments. Clinical team members should not be making account adjustments, so they do not need password rights to do so. You can assign password rights in the Office Manager.
- Train your financial team members on how to correctly make adjustments, and when it is appropriate to do so. Show them the adjustment types you created or customized and let them know in which situations to use them.
- Have your team get in the habit of adding a clarification note (along with their initials or staff ID) for each adjustment they create in the Ledger. That way you know what’s going on and who to ask additional questions if needed.
- Run an Adjustment Only Day Sheet on a daily basis and take the time to review it carefully to check which adjustments were made. This allows you to catch errors quickly and take steps to correct them in a timely manner.
Features added in Dentrix G7.3 have made the process of making adjustments easier to do. When you are making a credit adjustment, only the credit adjustment types will be available to select from. If you are making a charge adjustment, only charge adjustment types will be available to select from.
Additionally, you can now split adjustments by patient and by provider for more accurate accounting.
Understanding which types of adjustments are being made in your office and why they are being made is an important part of being a dental office manager, because it is money your practice will not collect.
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By Charlotte Skaggs
Certified Dentrix Trainer and The Dentrix Office Manager columnist
Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for over 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at firstname.lastname@example.org.