Take the time to find patients in need of treatment using the Dentrix Treatment Manager.
When you aren’t busy checking in patients at the front desk you can take time to concentrate on updating outstanding treatment plans. Use this time to clean up old treatment plans which tend to clutter your database. I would consider an “old treatment plan” to be any procedure within a treatment case that was diagnosed over a year ago. After a year, the treatment required has probably changed. For example, if a tooth needed a MOD filling over a year ago, at this point, it may need a crown. You can also use this time to check on the status of insurance pre-authorizations and to contact patients to get them scheduled when your office re-opens.
The first step is to find patients who have outstanding treatment. When searching for patients with outstanding treatment plans, I like to use the Treatment Manager. You can access the Treatment Manager from the Appointment Book. There are two reasons I prefer using this report. First, there are so many options to filter the report! You can completely customize it to display the types of patients you want to view.
The second reason I like using the Treatment Manager is because you can easily access other Dentrix modules right from the list.
While viewing the list, you can highlight a patient and go directly to their Treatment Planner to view their case. If the treatment plan is old or if you know the patient is not going to proceed with their treatment-planned procedures, you can update the case status in the Treatment Planner to Rejected. The reason you should reject treatment plans instead of deleting them is to keep a record of the procedures having been treatment planned.
Once you have worked to clean up patients’ outstanding treatment plans, refresh the Treatment Manager so patients with rejected cases are removed from the list. You can easily do this from the Treatment Manager by clicking File > Refresh. Once you are looking at an updated Treatment Manager list, you can highlight a patient on the list, open their Ledger, and go to Options > Treatment Plan to see if a pre-authorization was sent.
If your office uses eServices for claims, you can also check the status of the pre-authorization by clicking the red “e” within the claim status.
Once you’ve cleaned up old treatment plans and checked on the pre-authorization status (as needed), you can begin to contact patients and schedule appointment(s) for their outstanding treatment. Remember to make detailed notes regarding contact with patients in the Office Journal.
When you are ready to schedule an appointment for outstanding treatment, you can access the Appointment Book from the Treatment Manager. When scheduling outstanding treatment plans, select TX in the Appointment Information dialog box to schedule their treatment-planned procedures.
The task of cleaning up outstanding treatment plans is much easier when you use the Treatment Manager because you can access the Treatment Planner to reject cases, access the Ledger to check on pre-authorization status, access the Office Journal to record patient contact, and get appointments scheduled for those patients.
For additional information, read “Mining for Gold: Three Reports for Searching Out Unscheduled Treatment.”
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 email@example.com.