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Membership Discount Plans

Some dentists offer membership discount plans for patients that do not have insurance (e.g. annual reduced fee plans for dental services). This is not simple to set up in Open Dental, but some guidance is offered below.

Example:  For a total annual cost of $295, you offer the following:

  • Cleanings and exams at no cost.
  • Unlimited x-rays for free.
  • 20% off everything else.
  • In addition, you may offer three variations of this plan for different prices.


  1. Create a procedure code for the membership plan (for the annual fee).  Create a New Procedure.
  2. Make a Copy of your Fee Schedule.  When you create the new fee schedule, select 'Normal' as the type and name it appropriately (e.g. Membership).
  3. Enter fees for each procedure in the Membership fee schedule.  For example, enter the annual fee for the membership plan procedure code, zero out the fees for cleanings and x-rays, leave all fees that will be discounted 20% at the full amount.
  4. In the Treatment Plan Module Preferences, set the default discount percentage for treatment planned procedures (e.g. 20%).


  • Set up a billing type for plan members. 
    This will allow you to run reports, and generate and review statements by billing type.  See Definitions, Billing Type.  Assign the billing type to patients on the Edit Patient Information window.

  • Show the plan information in the Family module, Patient Information grid. 
    1. Set up a Patient Field Def (e.g. Membership Plan). You have several options for data entry options, including a pick list if you have multiple variations of a membership plan.
    2. In Display Fields, Patient Information, add 'PatFields' to Fields Showing.  To make it more visible, move 'PatFields' near the top.
    3. In the Family module, double click on the row to enter or select the plan information.

  • Show plan information in an Appointment View.
    • Option 1: Set up a Patient Field Def (see step 1 above) then in Appointment Views add it to the Appointment View.  
    • Option 2: Use the Credit Type field on the Edit Patient Information window (limited to one character), then add Credit Type to the Appointment View.
    • For both options, you may want to place the information in the lower right corner and select a text color that makes it stand out (e.g. hot pink).

How to Use
Assign the Membership Plan to a Patient

  1. Set the fee schedule for the patient to the membership discount plan.  In the Family module, double click on the Patient Information area.  On the Edit Patient Information window, Fee Schedule (rarely used), select the 'Membership' fee schedule. 
  2. Add the membership plan procedure to the patient's chart, then right click on the procedure and select Set Complete.  In order to set a procedure complete, you must enable the option 'Allow setting procedures complete' in Chart Module Preferences.

Schedule Appointments / Enter Treatment Plan

  1. Schedule an appointment for the patient and attach the procedures for a cleaning and xrays.  If fee schedules were setup and assigned correctly, the fees should reflect the discount plan prices (e.g. $ 0).
  2. In the Chart module, enter the procedures for treatment.
  3. In the Treatment Plan module, select the default treatment plan, then click Discount. If desired, change the percentage and click OK.  The discount amount will show in the treatment plan.  Save the treatment plan.

Membership Plan Payment Options

  • If you will collect payment upfront, simply set the membership plan procedure complete, then accept payment as normal.
  • Another option is to Create a Payment Plan.  Add any administrative fees (e.g. finance charges) or prepayment discounts as an adjustment before you create the payment plan. See Adjustments
  • To autocharge credit cards each month, see Recurring Charges.


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