A patient may delay, decline, or stop treatment for any number of reasons, and you may want to handle the treatment differently depending on the scenario. Continue reading to see the scenarios your office may come across and how Open Dental can help you manage them.
When a Patient Delays Treatment
When a patient declines treatment right now, but may complete treatment at a later date, set the procedures to inactive using the following steps. This will remove treatment from the Chart Module and Active Treatment Plan views. When the patient is ready to continue treatment, it can be easily re-added to the Chart and Treatment Plan.
1. In the upper left of the Treatment Plan Module, double-click the Active Treatment Plan.
2. Highlight the declined procedures and click the right arrow. This will move the procedures to the Available Procedures column. Then click OK.
3. You will now have an Inactive treatment plan in the upper left.
This will hide treatment in the Chart Module and Active Treatment Plan. We recommend creating a commlog to log the conversation about the delayed treatment.
When the patient is ready to continue treatment:
- Double-click back into the Active Treatment Plan.
- Highlight the procedures on the right, then use the left arrow to move them.
When a Patient Declines Treatment
When a patient declines treatment, you want to record the treatment offered but also note that it was declined.
- Any time treatment is presented, a Saved Treatment plan should be created. If one hasn’t yet been created, create a Saved Treatment plan with the declined procedures.
- Rename the Saved Treatment to note it was declined (e.g., Bridge #11 – Declined).
- Commlog your conversation with the patient.
- Delete the declined treatment in the chart. Since the work is still in Treatment Planned status, you can highlight all the procedures being declined, then right-click and choose delete. Say OK when prompted.
The Saved Treatment Plan saves a historical record of the treatment presented, so procedures can be deleted. There is no further need to keep declined procedures in an active or inactive treatment plan since the patient has no intention of completing the treatment.
When a Patient has Multiple Treatment Options
Then, when the patient determines the best option, mark the declined option as such and use the steps above to remove the declined treatment from the Chart Module.
When you’ve already taken payment and the patient stops the treatment
In this scenario, the patient will more than likely want to be refunded for their prepayment.
If your office allows refunds for prepayments, from the Account Module, right-click the original payment and click Refund. A negative payment matching the original payment amount will be created (e.g., if the original payment was $500, the refund will be -$500) with payment splits matching the original payment as well.
If the patient made a non-refundable prepayment (e.g., non-refundable deposit), create a positive adjustment to zero out any credit on the account from payments made. In the Account Module, use the Payment dropdown and use the Allocate Unearned Tool to allocate the unearned prepayment to the newly created adjustment.
Patient Simply Cannot Afford Treatment
A common reason a patient declines treatment is due to financial constraints. When this is the case, you may be able to help. See our Blog Post: Helping Patients Afford Care.
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