Collections After Conversion | Dentrix Training
Having been through a couple Dentrix Ascend conversions recently, I have some observations about handling collections after a conversion. Since patient balances do not convert, the office will be running two different dental software packages for some period of time.
Keeping up with collections in two dental software packages requires:
- Checking both systems for balances when the patient is in the office
- Making sure you continue to send statements from both systems
- Continuing to post insurance payments into both systems
- Working a collections process in both systems
The biggest challenge at first for the front desk team is checking both dental software systems for old balances. With the many steps already involved at the front desk, remembering to open the old software and check that patient for a past due balance can easily slip between the cracks.
Ideas to collect from two dental software systems:
- Print a schedule and write balances due from the old system and keep that at the front desk so the team has a quick cheat sheet right in front of them.
- For those who have a two monitor setup, just keep the old dental software system schedule up and check each patient as you go in both systems
- Make a note in the appointment of the new software regarding the balance in the old
- Check old balances at least one day in advance so you can clean up any insurance issues and have the best chance to collect day of
Beyond daily over the counter collections, dental office managers must be sure to run two collections systems as well. This means in the middle of learning the new program and working through the ‘how to’ for the wide variety of tasks in a dental practice, she also needs to remember to run statements in both systems. This can be easy to forget – so be sure that you have a calendar note to run statements every month.
One of the first things managers learn with new dental software is posting payments and handling adjustments. The challenge isn’t in which button to click, but which program has the balance?! When you receive a stack of insurance payments, the manager now begins a game of “Where’s Waldo?” to find which computer system has the open claim. And, some bulk checks may have open claims in both systems.
Finally, the manager is responsible to set up a collections process for both software systems. The sooner you can wrap up outstanding balances in the old system, the sooner you can save yourself time and effort doing double duty. To make sure that accounts receivable in the new system doesn’t get out of control, the manager needs to learn how to run a collections system in the new software as well. This may include understanding billing types, creating dunning letters, customizing statements and creating the proper adjustments.
Tracking for two systems collections is important as well. You should already be running an outstanding claims aging report and a total AR report every month to make sure you are staying on top of money due to the practice. Now, you need to run these reports in each software – and entering these into excel each month to track your progress just makes sense. This can be a great opportunity to show your dentist the progress you’ve made with the old system’s collections. If you are not happy with your collections, take a look at this comprehensive collections system.
As you consider making a change to a new dental software, talk with your administrative team so they understand that the balances won’t transfer and how this will affect their collections approach. Then, talk through a plan for how you will handle each piece of this collections approach to make sure everything runs smoothly.
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If you’re managing a dental practice and want organized systems for easier dental staff training, then check out my Collections System and how to Set Up a Recall System. Once these internal systems are in place, you may want to focus on marketing with a system for New Patient Referral Tracking and handling patient complaints.
And, if you’re interested in a comprehensive approach to run your dental practice and train your team, visit Dental Staff Training Levels.