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Payment Plans (version 16.1 and earlier) 

Unlimited payment plans can be set up for a patient, each with its own guarantor. Payment plans are especially important in Orthodontic offices. Also, see the less powerful Installment Plan feature.

Payment plans show in the Account module. The grid at the top shows all payment plans associated with the family. When a payment plan is added for a patient, a Payment Plan (PayPln) credit is added to their Patient Account, thus reducing their total account balance by the payment plan amount. The responsibility for the payment falls to the guarantor.

Double click a payment plan to view terms or make changes.
Track amounts due using the Payment Plan Report.
To make a payment on a payment plan, select the guarantor, then Enter the Payment, selecting 'Attached to Payment Plan'.
In the Account module, payments to the payment plan show under Payment Plans, not the Patient Account.

Tracking Expected Insurance Payments: A payment plan can track insurance installment payments for a single claim so that patient balances show correctly. For example, insurance may pay $1000 towards orthodontics, but pay it in four installments of $250 each. To track insurance payments for procedures on multiple claims, create a payment plan for each claim.
1. When you receive the first payment from insurance (with the EOB) set up the payment plan for the installment payments.
2. Select the 'Track expected insurance payments' box to mark it as an insurance payment plan.
3. Create the amortization schedule based on the information on the EOB. You can be flexible with the dates.

As you Enter Insurance Payments, if the patient on the claim matches the patient on the payment plan, and the payment plan has a balance, the payment will attach to the payment plan.

Billing: Payment plan amounts due are always included when you run Billing. The amount due for the payment plan shows in the last column of the list of generated bills. Bills are triggered to be printed a set number of days in advance of when the payment is actually due. The number of days can be changed in Manage Module Preferences. The payment plan info will show in a separate grid on each bill/statement. The amortization charges that show are determined by the date range of the statement. The amount due on a payment plan will be added to the total amount due at the top of a statement.

Create a Payment Plan
1. In the Account module toolbar click Payment Plan.
2. Enter details about the payment plan (terms, amortization schedule, etc.).
3. Click OK to save.

The fields on the Payment Plan window are described in detail below.

Patient: The person who was treated. Click Go To to switch to their account.

Guarantor: The person who will make the payments. It does not have to be in the same family as the patient, making divorce situations much easier. It also can differ from the account's guarantor. Click Change to select. Click Go To to switch to their account.

Same for all charges:

  • Provider: Click the drop down to select the Provider. By default it is the patient's primary provider.
  • Clinic: If using Clinics, select the clinic the payment plan is associated with.

Track expected insurance payments: Check this box to mark this as an insurance payment plan (e.g. track insurance installment payments for a single claim). See Track Expected Insurance Payments at the top of this page for more details.

Date of Agreement: Defaults to today's date.

Terms:  These terms will affect the Amortization schedule.

  • Total Amount: The total amount of the payment plan, not including interest.
  • Date of First Payment: By default the date is one month in the future so amortization calculations will be accurate. If you change the date, there may be minor discrepancies in interest charged. If the first payment is today, enter it as the down payment and set the Date of First Payment as one month in the future.
  • Down Payment: The amount of the down payment.
  • APR: The percentage of interest to charge.
  • Number of Payments/Payment Amount: The amortization schedule can be based on the total number of payments or each payment amount. Enter only one.
  • Recalculate: Recalculate payments and interest (optional) when a patient pre-pays, pays on principal, or overpays. See Recalculations below.
  • More Options: Select how often the payments will be due. The default frequency is Monthly. For Recurring Charges, you must use Monthly; the other options won't work.

  •  Create Schedule: Create the amortization schedule based on the terms (see Amortization Schedule below).

Automatic Calculations: Once the schedule is created, these calculations are automatic:

  • Total Cost of Loan: Total Amount plus interest and any added charges.
  • Accumulated Due: The current amount due.
  • Paid so far: The total that has been paid towards the payment plan to date.
  • Principal paid so far: The total that has been paid towards the principal to date.

Tx Completed Amt: By default this amount will reflect the patient's account balance, but it can be changed. The Tx Completed Amt will be deducted from the patient account balance. Usually it will match the total payment plan amount. If the payment plan total amount includes treatment that is not yet complete, the total payment plan amount and Tx Completed Amt may differ. The Tx Completed Amt should only reflect the amount of completed treatment so the patient's account balance will not reflect a credit. As treatment is completed, update the Tx Completed Amt amount. Once all treatment is complete, this amount should match the payment plan total amount.

Note: When you create the schedule, a detailed note auto-populates this field for future reference.

Amortization Schedule: The amortization schedule is based on the terms. Principal and interest are calculated automatically.

  • A horizontal bold line indicates today's date and separates past items from future items.
  • The amount currently due is bold.
  • Payments that are attached to this payment plan show as Credits and affect the running balance. 
  • Open Dental calculates interest (APR) using the following method:
    1. Subtracts the down payment from the payment plan balance.
    2. Calculates the number of payments, or the payment amount, based on the new balance (balance minus down payment).
    Most online calculators use the same method, but some may differ (e.g. assume down payment is first month's payment).
  • If extra payments show here, but shouldn't, uncheck the Attached to Payment Plan box on the Payment window for each payment.
  • Double click individual charges to edit, or click Add to add a new charge. This is not recommended. If you manually edit or add charges, you must manually calculate any interest changes.

  • Click Clear Schedule to erase the current amortization schedule (e.g. if you are unhappy with it and want to recalculate with different terms).

In version 15.3 and greater, you can recalculate future payments and interest when a patient pre-pays or pays on principal. Recalculations only affect future payments, not payments already made.

  1. Open the original payment plan (double click it in the Account module).
  2. Under Terms, click Recalculate.

  1. Select Prepay or Pay on principal. The method will determine how the payment is allocated.
    • If a prepayment, the amount will be applied to future amounts due.
    • If a payment to principal, the amount will be applied to the total balance, then remaining charges will be recalculated.
  2. To also recalculate interest, check the Recalculate Interest box.
  3. Click OK to recalculate payments.

Late Payments: Recalculation can also be used to calculate interest for late payments. It does not matter which allocation method you choose.

  • If you check Recalculate Interest the accrued interest will be added to outstanding interest amounts, then recalculated.
  • If you uncheck Recalculate Interest, the accrued interest will be added to the next payment, and the outstanding amounts remain the same.

For scenarios, see Payment Plan Unit Tests.

A patient has not paid their balance for more than one month and you want to recalculate interest. When you recalculate, it will only recalculate the interest for the balance at time you recalculate; it will not take into account more than one month.

Printing the Payment Plan Terms
Click Print at the bottom of the Payment Plan window.


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