If one patient (e.g., a parent) is responsible for paying for another patient's (e.g., their child's) charges you can link those patients' accounts together for billing purposes. 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.
- Set up a relationship between the parent and child patients (this can be done in either chart).
- In the child's chart, click on the pencil icon in the Patient Information block, and then on the Billing Info tab. Using the drop down menu, designate that "Bills are paid by another patient" and select the parent.
That will give you two options:
*** 1. Add charges to each account separately and make payments on the child's account using the parent's payment information (recommended/ most common approach)
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 approach allows you to most 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).
2. Apply charges for the child to the parent's account and make all payments for parent or child within the parent's account (NOT recommended except specific circumstances. Be aware this approach can cause significant confusion)
Alternately, if you want to be able to make a single payment that covers multiple family members' charges, then you can add charges to the child's account, but assign those charges to the parent's account:
That charge will then appear in the child's account, but with a notation that it is to be paid by the parent/ is applied to an alternate account. The charge amount will NOT apply towards the child's balance and will not be available to apply payments/ credits towards 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 within 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.