The product update released October 01, 2019, includes new features and enhancements to existing features. New with this update is the ability to create procedure-specific treatment consent messages. For organizations with many providers, simplified provider selection shows only those providers who work in your location when dealing with insurance. Also new is the ability to assign starting and ending dates to fee schedules; and Dentrix Ascend now supports the use of in-office kiosks to send forms to patients.
Procedure-Specific Treatment Consent Messages
For common simple procedures such as an evaluation or prophy, the act of sitting in the dental chair does not typically require formal patient consent. For more invasive procedures, the ADA recommends—for a variety of reasons—that you obtain informed consent from each patient (or the patient’s legal guardian). With this latest update from Dentrix Ascend, you may now add specific language and apply it to specific procedure codes or code ranges as part of the treatment consent form.
To create a procedure-specific consent message, go to the Patient Forms page (under Settings). Click the Add button in the Tx Consent Messages section of the left-side panel to open a new, blank form. Give the message a title and either write or paste in the language you wish to include in the consent form. The title you give the message will be the name that shows up in the messages list and be the title or header of that section in the consent form presented to the patient.
Next, click + Add Procedure. Search for the procedure code(s) you would like to associate with this treatment message, which you can filter by categories if you wish. You search for procedures by name or by code number, as you prefer. Click to highlight the procedures to include, and click Select to finish.
You can review and revise the list of procedures associated with this consent message at any time. Click + Add Procedure again to add more procedures, or click the X next to a procedure name to remove it from the list. Note that the Audit log tracks message changes.
When you present a treatment plan that includes any of the procedures associated with this message, the message title and wording automatically appear in the treatment consent form. The procedure-specific language appears prior to and in addition to the default Insured/Uninsured Disclaimers and Consent for Dental Treatment language in the consent form.
Note that Dentrix Ascend will allow you to associate the same procedure code with multiple consent messages. If you do this, ALL the procedure-specific messages will be included in the consent form.
Any saved consent form contains the messages as they were at the time the patient signed it. If you change a message, only new consent forms reflect those changes.
The method for presenting a patient consent form has not changed; as before, click the Send consent form link in the treatment plan case and select a delivery method. For more information, see Providing treatment consent forms in the Resource Center.
Configurable Charting Symbols for Procedure Codes
When looking at a patient's graphic chart, the paint colors and marking styles can easily help identify work that is existing, completed, or treatment planned. The default symbols selected by Dentrix Ascend, however, may or may not correspond with what you learned in dental school, and so with this update we have added some flexibility to the paint scheme. You can make selected changes in the Procedure Codes & Conditions page under Settings.
Search for and select a procedure code to open an Edit Procedure Code window. A new Charting symbol section shows the current selection.
Click the arrow to open a menu of options. Click the variation you prefer to make it the new style.
You cannot change the paint colors; they remain red for treatment-planned procedures, light blue for existing conditions, and dark blue for completed procedures. Note also that your configuration choices will vary depending on the specific procedure you select.
Other things to know about charting symbol configuration
- Symbol changes are retroactive; existing charts will change. You must refresh your screen before you see the changes take effect.
- Charting symbol changes are organization-wide; any change by one person changes the application for all. The existing Edit procedure/condition codes right controls access to this ability.
- The Audit log does not track symbol changes at this time.
Images Added to the Chairside Dashboard
This update adds links to images from the notes section when you are in the dashboard view within the chart. The links are identical to those in the stand-alone versions of the Progress Notes tabs; click a tooth icon to open an Image Peek window.
Provider Selection Isolation
Dealing with insurance is unavoidable for many organizations, so we are always happy when we can make your workflows a little easier. With this update, when you click to see the provider list in insurance workflows, you will only see the providers that pertain to your location. Location isolation applies specifically to the Billing Provider and Rendering Provider selections in the dropdowns. This is true for new claims, sent claims, unsent claims, and your insurance defaults.
Pre-populate Insurance Estimate Overrides
New with this update is an option to pre-populate and lock the primary and secondary Insurance Estimate Overrides fields when posting a procedure from the Ledger. To invoke this feature, go to the Settings > Ledger Options page and under the Ledger Rules tab set the Prepopulate & lock insurance estimate overrides switcher to Yes.
When you enable this feature, you will notice a small padlock icon appear next to the override fields in the Ledger Edit Procedure window. Users with a new Unlock Insurance Overrides right (Patient Procedures category) can click this icon, enter their username and password and modify the amounts.
Fee Schedule Start and End Dates
Many practices choose a temporal marker—for example the beginning of the new year—keep their fees up-to-date and to exert a little pressure on patients with unscheduled treatment and remaining benefits to get treated before the current pricing expires.
New with this update is the ability in Dentrix Ascend to create multiple versions of a fee schedule with specific start and end dates. To do this, in the Fee Schedules page (under the Settings menu) select any existing fee schedule to open its configuration panel. Before you adjust the current fee schedule, click Set End Date.
This opens a window called Set End Date for This Version of the Fee Schedule, which informs you that setting an end date does two things: create a copy of this schedule, and set a start date for the new version. The new start day is always the day after this one ends. So if you wanted to give yourself some time to adjust the fees, this is where you do that. Click the End date field and choose a date from the calendar picker, and then click Set & Save.
You now have two versions of this fee schedule (and more in the future). A new Fee schedule version dropdown appears with a list, and you select any version to view and edit it, and see the dates when that version was or will be in effect.
As before, you have various ways to edit your future fee schedule: adjust all by a flat amount or by a percentage, or make manual changes to specific procedures. New with this update is a rounding option. When you mark the Round up resulting values to the nearest dollar field, it does just that when you apply a global change to the fee schedule. For example, if an increase would have resulted in an amount like $37.74, it rounds up to $38.00.
Other things to know about fee schedules with start and end dates
- The Audit log tracks fee schedule changes.
- Treatment-planned procedures keep the fee amount from the date they were planned and do not update automatically. If the fee changes, you will see the warning triangle within the case and can choose whether to update the fees manually as prompted.
- The location production numbers in the Schedule automatically reflect the correct fee schedule according to the date you are viewing.
- Insurance calculations will retain the fees from when the insurance payment posted. You will be able to go back historically and see the insurance break-down/calculations as of that past date, not as of the current fees.
Accommodation of Alias Codes in Coverage Table Setup
Range definitions in coverage tables now accommodate the addition of alias codes within a code range.
Checking in is an unavoidable part of every appointment. In a busy office, this can mean patients waiting just to obtain and return the paperwork they have to fill out before they can go to the back. This update introduces support for an additional self-service way to present forms to your patients.
Dentrix Ascend now gives you the ability to register a specific device within the practice as a “kiosk” for patients to use to complete their patient forms. After you register and name the device, you can push patient forms out to that device.
To register a device, in the Patient Forms page, click Manage Kiosks to open a registration window. Use the device to scan the QR code presented.
By default, “Kiosk 1” is the name of the first device registered. Click the EDIT link to modify the kiosk name before saving the record. You can register all of your devices at once in this window, or come back again for each device you add.
Your device will open the patient portal site managed by 3pointdata.com, an Ascend partner, and wait to receive a patient-specific link from Dentrix Ascend. You may find it helpful to bookmark or add this portal site to the Favorites list in the device’s browser.
To send a patient form to the kiosk, make sure the device has the portal open, and then from any location in Dentrix Ascend where you can request a patient form (Overview, Chart, appointment detail, etc.), “Push to a kiosk” is now another option in the Request Forms window. Simply click the button with the name of the kiosk.
The usual welcome page opens with a request for the patient’s last name and birthdate to validate.
Primary Provider Isolation
To make it easier when selecting a patient’s primary provider, once a patient’s preferred location has been set (Preferences tab), only those providers with access to that location will show up in the patient’s Primary Provider dropdown (Basic Info tab).
Select Operatories in the Routing Panel
Previously, the options for filtering the patients listed in the routing panel was limited to either one specific operatory, or all of the operatories. With this update, you now have the option to select any of multiple operatories.
If your list of employees in the User Accounts page has grown to dozens or maybe even hundreds, you will be happy to know that this update adds a Search field to help you locate a specific user account. The search is not case-sensitive. Like all Dentrix Ascend search fields, results will narrow as you continue to type.
The following changes to user rights are included in this release.
- Granular Edit Working Hours access right for editing only the provider working hours, not anything else in a user account. It makes everything else in the User Account page read-only. New under the Settings category.
- User ability to unlock and modify the Insurance Estimate Overrides fields in the Ledger Edit Procedure Named Unlock Insurance Overrides under the Patient Procedures category.
Marking things as favorites is a great way to improve your workflow. Several areas of Dentrix Ascend allow you to do this, for example procedure codes or clinical note templates. Now you can have favorite imaging procedures.
A new Favorites tab joins the existing Standard and Custom tabs, and opens by default once populated. To mark an imaging procedure as a favorite, simply click the star icon located on the Acquisition Option panel.
Note that anyone with image acquisition rights can select (or deselect) a favorite. The entire location shares the favorite selections—they are not user-specific.
New Learning Content
Did you know the Dentrix Ascend Resource Center has a collection of videos whose sole purpose is to provide a high-level overview of popular features? You can find it by following down the Product News and Updates category to Dentrix Ascend Feature Videos.
New accompanying this release is a synopsis of Automated Insurance Eligibility, a feature designed to reduce the amount of manual labor required verify insurance eligibility on a daily basis.
Related to your search for deeper understanding of Dentrix Ascend, note that the menu item under the Help link (?) formerly named Request Support is now Contact Support. It opens an online form where you can create new Support ticket. If you want to check the status of an existing ticket, contact your Support agent directly.
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