Your Fee Schedule is not a static list set in stone. Every year your practice will likely want to evaluate how you have your fees set. You may want to update all of your fees within a fee schedule by a particular amount, or make finite changes that make more sense for your practice's market. In this article, we'll review some simple methods you can use to quickly update your fee schedule and save you a headache down the line.
- Creating a duplicate Fee Schedule
- Using Database Utilities to automatically update your fees (Optional)
- Updating Patient Records to use the new Fee Schedule
Creating a Duplicate Fee Schedule
The first thing you'll want to do is create a duplicate of your current operating Fee Schedule to retain a copy before any changes have been made. We recommend duplicating your fee schedule every year so you can retain a copy of prior years' fee schedules. This will also help if a mistake is made during this process.
To duplicate a Fee Schedule, first navigate to the References Ability > Fee Schedules node. Select the Fee Schedule you wish to duplicate by clicking on it, then go to the Edit menu and select "Duplicate Record."
This will duplicate the fee schedule. Be sure to give it a name, otherwise it will be named exactly the same as the duplicated fee schedule, with copy at the end of the name.
If you don’t see your duplicated fee schedule in the sidebar, click the Reload button in the toolbar.
Using Database Utilities to automatically update your fees
Now that your Fee Schedule is duplicated, you can make any manual changes you like to the new Fee Schedule. Updating your fees is as simple as selecting the duplicated fee schedule, searching for a code you'd like to change, and then updating the Unit Fee.
However, this process can be tedious if you have hundreds of codes to update one by one. If you intend on updating all codes by a set percentage or dollar amount, it is much quicker to use a Database Utility.
Database Utilities are useful tools that can assist your office with making bulk changes to your database. Because of the potential impact these can have on your database, we will want to take precautions in case a mistake is made. Therefore, it is critical that you have a fresh backup available before running any database utility!
To access your Database Utilities, you will need to be on the MacPractice Server. They are located in the Managers Ability under the Database Utilities Node.
Once here, you can type in "Fee Schedule" into the search bar as indicated in the screenshot above. The highlighted Database Utilities are the ones we'll be wanting to use. "Raise/Lower Fee Schedule by %", and "Raise/Lower Fee Schedule by $". Select which utility you wish to use and fill out the fields.
Before running the Database Utility, you should make sure...
- ...that you have a fresh backup of your database. For instructions on running backups, please refer to MacPractice Backup Guide - Creating Manual and Automatic Backups.
- ...that everyone is logged out of MacPractice for the duration of running a database utility. In most situations, this should only take a few minutes. You can check and see if anyone is logged in by navigating to the Window menu and selecting Online Users. The only user listed should be the one you're logged into.
Once ready, click the "Go" button in the lower right of the database utility window. You will be advised to log out on all your client computers, and then prompted to create a backup. If you have already created a backup, you can cancel out of this prompt. After a confirmation prompt, the database utility will then run and update the indicated fee schedule you have set.
Please check the affected fee schedule to verify the changes made.
Updating Patient Records to use the new Fee Schedule
One last thing you may want to do once you have completed all of your fee schedule changes is to assign that fee schedule to each Patient in the Patient Ability > Patient tab > Fee Schedule drop down. This will ensure that when you enter a new charge in this patient's ledger, the new fee schedule will be the default. You can do this manually on a per-account basis, or you can run another Database Utility, "Update Patient Fee Schedule." The same rules requiring a fresh backup and ensuring everyone is logged out of MacPractice apply.
Simply choose the fee schedule you are replacing in the first drop down "Update all patients with Fee Schedule:", and your newly adjusted fee schedule in the second drop down "To Fee Schedule:".
And that's it! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to MacPractice Support!