How to Create a Phased Treatment Plan in XLDent
By Natalie Lucken, Account Manager
Your new patient has walked into the office after 10 years without a cleaning, bracing for the bad news, with an elephant of guilt on their shoulders…. Several teeth are sensitive to biting pressure, and the patient looks very worried. After doing your best to reassure this person about the great step forward they have made by scheduling this initial visit, you and your Assistant sit down to begin charting the past, current, and treatment needs into XLDent.
After going through the mouth in your preferred fashion, be that tooth by tooth, or restoration specific (i.e. all the missing teeth, then the crowns, etc), you begin to consider the best plan going forward to present to your patient. Will you prioritize by urgency, by “what insurance covers”, or will it be by quadrant of his/her mouth? The answer to this question often must take all of these angles into consideration at the same time.
Step 1: To begin,you will want to open the Treatment Plan drop-down list at the top of the Patient Chart window and click Create Treatment Plan. Be sure to name the plan something that starts with “TPlan” and today’s date. After you have done a complete exam, noting all the current restorations, conditions, and concerns, with the Multi-tooth Code button on, in order to quickly add the same treatment to more than one selected tooth. All of the planned treatment will appear in the lower right quadrant of the Patient’s Chart, in red.
***You can also choose to create alternate options by closing (saving) one treatment plan, then opening the drop-down list again, clicking Option 2, 3, 4,etc, and selecting different treatment for certain teeth such as large fillings vs. Option 2 may be restoring those teeth with crowns.
Step 2: Next, click the Treatment Plan button on the Patient Chart, which is located approximately in the center of the toolbar, depending on the configured size of your toolbar buttons. This will open the Treatment Plan window, listing all of your treatment, arranged by the Option tabs at the top. Notice that all the procedures are listed in the left hand column as Phase 1 by default.
In order to group the items in each plan according to the phases you want, you will click and drag them to the space below the last item of the list. Each time that a procedure is dragged and dropped below the list, you will see that the Phase automatically updates to the next consecutive number. This means each procedure must be added to the correct phase by dragging it and dropping it directly on top of another item in that phase. You can “stack” each treatment procedure item on top of each other in this manner, until the list is correctly broken down into phases.
Step 3: Don’t forget to click the “Approved” button at the bottom of this Treatment Plan window to easily note which of the Options the patient chose to follow. You are also able to click on the Pre-Estimate button to automatically put the treatment listed in that Option tab into a Pre-Authorization form, and add it to your outgoing claims batch immediately. This saves time, and makes sure you and your patient have communicated what is needed and that the insurance will be receiving a request for authorization in advance of his/her scheduled appointments.
You will also notice there is a button on the Treatment Plan window labelled “Estimate”. This is a very helpful tool that can give your patient a sense of what their insurance plan usually pays for the procedures they are scheduling. This button gives a “ballpark” estimate based on what the plan has paid in the past for these procedures. Printing the Treatment Plan option they have approved will allow you to show the estimated insurance portion or decline this feature.
Step 4: You are able to then print this out, in color or grayscale, after having the patient sign their copy on the tablet PC, using a stylus (This version can be saved in the patient’s Document Archive for later reference).
Learning to use these Treatment Planning features can lessen your new (or existing) patient’s anxiety about the amount of treatment that is needed. One of my favorite phrases applies to all large treatment plans and that is this: “When you want to eat an elephant, you are not going to do it all at once! You will do it a bite at a time.” This reassures those returning to regular dental care, and lets them know you have heard their needs, beyond their dental restorations.
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