If one patient (e.g., a parent) is responsible for paying charges for another patient (e.g., their child), you can link those patients' accounts together for billing purposes. This article is specifically for when you want to use the payee's info from within the chart the payment is applying to (e.g. access the parent's billing information from within the child's account). In this article we are referring to the patients as parent and child, but this can be set up for any two patients in which one patient is paying for another.
Setup1. Set up a relationship between the parent and child (this can be done in either chart).
3. Add charges to each account separately and make payments on the child's account using the parent's payment information.
Once "Bills are paid by..." is set up, the parent's payment information on file will be available to make payments in the child's account. So, you would simply add applicable charges to the child's account directly, and would be able to use the parent's credit card on file to pay those charges, but the accounting for each patient would remain separate. This allows you to easily track charges and payments separately between the parent and child's accounts, yet still pay for both accounts using the same payment source(s).
Additional note: The "Bills are paid by..." option can be set up for multiple patients (e.g. if the parent has multiple children you can set it up so that all of their charges can be paid by the parent from within each child's account).
Apply charges for the child to the parent's account if you want to make a single payment in the payor's account that covers charges for multiple dependents. You would add those charges to each of the dependent's accounts, but apply the charge balance for each of those to the payor's account.
- NOTE that you do NOT need to use this "Apply to..." alternate account option EXCEPT in the very limited circumstance outlined above. And applying the charge balance to an alternate account can be a source of confusion when looking at billing histories or discrepancies in billing histories.
Within the child's chart, the charge will appear with the parent listed as an Alt Account in the billing history. This charge will NOT affect the child's balance and will not be available to have payments/ credits applied towards it from within the child's account.
Within the parent's chart, the child's charge amount WILL apply towards the parent's account balance and be available to apply payments/ credits towards the parent's account:
Applying charges/ payments to another patient's accounts is more rarely used, and should only be used after careful consideration, as it has significant potential to cause confusion for staff and patients looking at the charts and seeing balances due for other patients, or not seeing balances due where expected.