Many dental practices offer a new patient discount – often including a comprehensive exam and x-rays for a discounted rate to allow new patients the opportunity to come in and meet the dentist and check out the practice at little financial risk.
Usually this new patient discount is offered to patients with no insurance benefits available to them at all. Most in-network dental insurance plans cover the initial visit procedures at 100%, so these patients are not as price-conscious. Even out-of-network insurance provides some level of benefit as well. In fact, in Dentrix Ascend, if you set up an insurance plan, this discount plan approach will not apply. You may want to coach your team that this new patient discount is only for out-of-network patients.
To set this up in Dentrix Ascend:
Let’s say you want to offer this new patient visit for $95 and your normal fee would be $390.
The cleanest way to set up a new patient discount is to create a fee schedule called “New Patient Discount” – by copying your standard fees, saving with the new name and then changing the specific procedure codes included in your new patient visit to the discounted fee.
Then, to apply this to new patients, you go into their Patient information and choose this New Patient Discount fee schedule in the Discount plan field.
Next, just schedule the comprehensive exam as normal (and if you have Ascend imaging, you would not include the x-rays into the appointment since those will be added when the images are captured) – and you will see this in the ledger when they check out:
With this approach, this discounted amount will reflect accurately in your Production Totals - you can see both the Scheduled Gross Production and the Scheduled Net Production.
On their walkout statement, they will see:
After their first visit, you have a choice – you can leave this patient on the discounted fee schedule (if all the other fees are the same as your standard fees) or you can go back into their patient information and change this discount plan selection back to none.
If you want to see which patients are attached to this New Patient Discount fee schedule, you can go to that Fee Schedule, click on the Associations tab and see patient names. You also can run a report to see all your new patients: Go to Power Reports and choose the pre-built New Patients Seen.
(Article inspired by J. Lowery, P. Allen and authored by J. Nesbitt 2018)