When you update a treatment plan case status, you keep the whole team in the loop, which leads to increased case acceptance.
I’ve had some questions come up recently regarding tracking case acceptance in the office. I wanted to provide some tips on how to track the status of a treatment case in Dentrix, and which reports you should use to track treatment cases most effectively.
First, let’s talk about the different case statuses you can assign in the Dentrix Treatment Planner and when you should use them.
In either the Treatment Planner panel within the Patient Chart, or from the Treatment Planner module, select a treatment case and then click the Update Case Status button.
Select one of the following case statuses:
- Created – When a new treatment case is created for a patient, it will automatically be assigned a created status.
- Printed – When you print a treatment case, the status will automatically change to printed. In many offices this is a good indication that the patient has been provided with a copy of their treatment plan.
- PreAuth (Pri) – Update the case with this case status when sending a pre-authorization to insurance. This can be a good way to track which cases’ pre-authorizations have been sent, and can help to remind your team why the patient is waiting to schedule an appointment.
- PreAuth (Sec) – Use this case status to indicate when a pre-authorization has been sent to secondary insurance.
- Follow-Up Made – If you have followed up with a patient about their treatment case, you should change their case status accordingly. I would also recommend making detailed notes about what was said during the follow up call in the Dentrix Office Journal.
- Referred – If the entire treatment case has been referred to another provider outside of your practice, you should indicate that by changing the case status. I would use this in the case of extractions. If some of the treatment will be done in your office and the rest is referred, you could create a new treatment case for the referred treatment and change the status of that case.
- Proposed – This status indicates the case has been proposed to the patient, but they haven’t made a decision about whether or not to proceed with treatment. This would be a temporary case status until the patient accepts or rejects the treatment case.
- Accepted – Use this status when the patient has accepted the treatment case and scheduled an appointment.
- Rejected – Use this status when the patient has decided not to proceed with the treatment case. I would recommend adding detailed notes why the patient has rejected the case.
- Completed – Change the case status to completed once all of the procedures within the case have been set complete.
Keeping statuses updated is important because it is an easy for everyone on the team to see what is going on with a particular case. Also, you can run reports based on the status for an easy follow up system for outstanding cases.
My recommendation is to run the Practice Treatment Case Report on a monthly basis to keep track of your cases. It’s important to be informed about what’s happening with cases in your office so you can constantly evaluate office procedures.
When evaluating the Practice Treatment Case Report, ask yourself the following questions:
If cases are being rejected, why are they being rejected?
Is the office financial procedure inflexible? Are appointment times difficult for patients to schedule? Asking these types of questions can help you to make informed decisions about offering third party or in-office financing and offering earlier or later appointment times for patients with busy work schedules. If cases are rejected by patients, I suggest making a note when rejecting the case in order to keep track of why the case was rejected. You can view the note in the Case Status history.
Are insurance pre-authorizations being sent back to your office in a timely manner?
If you are sending pre-authorizations to insurance carriers, are they being sent back? If not, why? Is your office sending the required documentation with those pre-authorizations such as a narratives, X-rays or probe depths?
Are your follow-up attempts with patients working?
For your cases with a follow-up status, how are you contacting patients, and most importantly, is it working? For many patients, calling and leaving a voicemail during the day may not be a good way to reach them. Consider e-mail or another form of contact.
To generate the Practice Treatment Case Report, In the Treatment Planner, select the printer icon in the Treatment Plan Case Setup panel. Then select Practice Treatment Case Report.
You have many options in generating this report including limiting results by provider, billing type, and case status. You can choose to select a date range for the treatment planned procedures. There are several report options based upon what you would like to see on your reports. In the Report Options section, I recommend printing a condensed report because the report may be quite long. Also, I recommend excluding completed procedures from cases because for the examples I gave, I would not want to include completed procedures.
Tracking case statuses in your office can help to improve case acceptance and help you to evaluate office policies and procedures regarding patient financing and appointment times.
For additional information, read the following :
- Updating Case Status
- Viewing Case Status History
- Foolproof Steps to Increase Patient Case Acceptance
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.