Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks #42

Using Open Dental is even better with a few pro tips & tricks! Learn how to set up per-visit copays, how to use the ABC0 field, searching Preferences when customizing Open Dental, and we’ll discuss the topic of using an image as a background for a sheet.

How do I set up a per-visit copay?

For some insurance plans, the patient or insurance will pay a copay amount for each appointment. This can now be set up so you can be sure to remember to collect or bill the copay amount when creating the appointment.
NOTE: This setup is only used when the copay amount should be included in the practice’s production.

First, determine the codes used in Preferences.

  • For the Patient copay procedure code, use a custom procedure code marked as Do not usually bill to Ins.
  • For the Insurance procedure code, typically use D9430.

Next, in the patient’s Insurance Plan, enter the per-visit copay amounts.

When an appointment is scheduled, the appropriate code is automatically added.
NOTE: The copay code will not display until OK has been clicked on the appointment. Double-click on the appointment after it has been scheduled to view the procedure in the list.

What is the ABC0 field used for?

The ABC0 field is a Display Field that can be used to discreetly indicate information about a patient and provide additional information for staff. It can show on appointments (Credit Type), the Family Module, and the Chart Module. If not using the field for patient credit, it can be used for other purposes, such as patient disposition. If you want to discreetly notate patient disposition, come up with an internal code between you and your staff (you could store it in the Wiki!), then record that in the ABC0 field.

To use the field, go to Setup, Display Fields, and double-click the area you’d like to see the field (e.g., Chart Patient Information), highlight it from the Available Fields list then click the Left Arrow. Use the Up and Down arrows to rearrange the field.

Repeat this process to add the field to any additional areas.

Enter details for the field in the Credit Type field in the Edit Patient Information window in the Billing and Provider(s) area. A single character is allowed.

The character entered into the Credit Type field in the Edit Patient Information field will appear in the ABC0 field wherever you’ve chosen to display it, so if your office has decided to use this field to indicate patient disposition and you’ve noted “A“, you’ll know that this patient is anxious.

Search Preferences when Customizing Open Dental

One way to customize Open Dental is to select specific Preferences to change behavior as well as the appearance of various items in Open Dental. There are a lot of options, but you can use the search tool to quickly find the one you need!

Here are just a few examples of how Preferences can be used to customize Open Dental to your practice and some specific Preferences:

  • Customize how broken appointments are handled (Broken Appointment Automation)
  • Customize the appearance of the Appointments Module (Appointment font size, Appointment Timeline color)
  • Customize insurance plan setup defaults (Insurance plans default to show UCR fee on claims, Ins plans with exclusions use UCR fee
  • Customize handling of Insurance Claims (Auto receive claims with no assignment of benefits)
  • Customize how Patient Payments are handled (Payments prompt for payment type)
  • Set default Adjustment Types (Sales Tax, Finance charge adj type)
  • and so much more!

Can I scan my Patient Forms into Open Dental and use them as Sheets?

While a scanned image can be used as a background for a sheet, this is only recommended in very specific situations like sheets that are not patient-facing, and not likely to need changes, like a referral slip.

Most of the time, we find that Practices are wanting to use an image to save time. The reality is, the most time-consuming part of creating sheets is creating the fields. Even when an image is used for the background, all the fields that go over the top of the image (where the patient would enter their information) still need to be created. If the form were to change down the road (e.g. problems are added or removed from Medical History Form) the image would need to be edited outside of Open Dental, re-imported, and the fields adjusted to match the new image.

In addition, static images do not show in Mobile View, so if your patient were to view them on a phone or tablet (following a link on your website or in an email, for example), they may be missing out on information. We recommend creating the entire form in Open Dental to make your forms future-proof.

Open Dental has samples of many forms, including Medical History, Patient Registration, Financial Agreement, HIPAA, etc. that you can customize for your practice. This can also save you some time. If you’d prefer, we’ll create your custom forms for you – just send us a request and we’ll get you a quote to do the work. See our Video: Custom Sheets Process for more.

Support is always here for you! Online chat can get simple questions answered right away. For troubleshooting or to remote-connect, please give us a call.

Information in this post reflects features available in Open Dental Version 23.1. For the most up-to-date information, please visit our manual.

2 replies »

  1. What is oldest version of Open Dental that you can do this with? Our office currently has 10.5 – can we do this in our practice?

    • Not sure which specific feature in this post you are referring to, but the only ones you would possibly see in your version would be the ABC0 display field and images in sheets. Searching preferences and per-visit copays were released this year, so you would need to update to our latest stable version to get these tools.

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