"Estimated Charges" are prospective or future charges that can be added to a holding tank, and converted into regular charges if/ when appropriate. Estimated charges on a patient's account do not affect their account balance or appear on their account statement or in your end of day billing reports. An estimated invoice can be generated using these charges and provided to the patient.
If you are interested in having this feature enabled for you, contact us at email@example.com. The "estimated charges" verbiage can be changed to "package charges", "member benefits" etc. Just let us know if you'd prefer it be titled something other than the default, which is "Estimated Charges".
Add an Estimated Charge to a Patient's Account:
1. In an encounter note, hover over the heading in the green Charges/Payments box, and select "Add to Estimated Charges".You can also add these charges outside of an encounter note. To do so, click the plus sign in the top right of the yellow Billing block, select "Add to Estimated Charges" on the pop up window.
2. Use the search bar that appears to search for and add the estimated charge - or charge group - from your Charge List.
3. When a charge or charge group is selected, the Add Charge window will appear. Options like tax rate, inventory dispense options, etc. that do not apply to estimated charges will not appear when adding the estimated charge.
NOTE: When the estimated charge is added INSIDE an encounter note, it will be displayed in a new "Estimated Charges" box under the "Charges/Payments" box.
Expiration Date for Estimated Charges
Expiration dates can be assigned to Estimated Charges. When the assigned date passes, the estimated charge will appear in the patient's Estimated Charges, shown at the bottom of their billing history, but will be struck through. The expiration date can be added by checking the "Add an Expiration Date" box in the Add Charge window, and specifying the date.
Edit or Convert Estimated Charges
If the charge is converted outside of an encounter note the charge will be added outside of the encounter note even if the estimated charge was originally added inside an encounter note.
Applying Payments to Estimated Charges
By default, payments can only be applied to pay regular charges, not estimated charges. However there is an optional setting that will allow you to apply payments to estimated charges as well. This can be useful, for example to make amounts paid toward a prepaid package unavailable to apply toward other charges in the patient's account.
Generate an Invoice for Estimated Charges
There are two ways you can create a receipt of estimated charges and services.
From within an Encounter note:
After the estimated charges have been added, click the pencil icon in the Estimated Charges block. From here, check the boxes of the items you would like included on your receipt and select "Manage Checked" > "Generate Estimate Receipt"
From the patient's expanded Billing block:
Scroll to the bottom to see the table of Estimated Charges. Check the boxes of the items you would like included on your receipt and select "Manage Checked Estimated Charges" > "Print Estimate
One common application of estimated charges is to track usage of pre-paid packages. To do so, you must create a group charge that accounts for the items or services in the package. Then add the group charge as an estimated charge to the patient's account. If the package needs to be used before a certain date, you can use the expiration field. As the patient redeems the package items, you will add the corresponding charge to the patient's billing ledger. The charges remaining in the Estimated Charges block will tell you what products/services the patient is still owed.
Additional Keywords: Estimates, pre-pay, packages, billing ledger