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New Write Off Preference in MacPractice 10.7

In Build 10.7 of MacPractice Gen 9, we've added a new preference that controls how write offs are tracked in account ledgers. This topic is elaborate, so we've decided to write up a guide on how write offs have changed since MacPractice Gen 7.

In this article we'll cover how this new preference functions, and provide some guidance on how to determine what is the best setting for your office. The explanations are lengthy, but we strongly recommend reading it thoroughly to determine the best course of action for your office.

What changed with write-offs between Gen 7 and Gen 10?
Prior to Gen 10's release, MacPractice would not deduct any write off from the open balance with Insurance Estimating enabled. Instead, they would see their "actual" production amounts. 

Now in Gen 10, we've implemented a change so that write offs ARE taken into account when reviewing open balances. This means that an open balance would have estimated write offs deducted from the open balance until a payment came in.

Scenario 1: Write offs aren't deducted (Gen 7 and before)
This screenshot is using the old method of not factoring in write offs into the open balance with insurance estimating enabled.

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Scenario 2: Write offs are deducted (Gen 10 and beyond)
Meanwhile, this screenshot utilizes the new method of factoring in the write offs to estimate an accurate open balance until the insurance payment is applied. Insurance Estimating is also enabled on this example.

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The feedback we had received from this change indicated that offices were split in what method they preferred. Some offices preferred the older method, while other offices were happy with this change. 

After deliberation, we've decided that the best option would be to let offices decide for themselves which method to utilize, by adding a new Insurance preference that allows an office to choose which method they'd like to use.

How does the new preference work?
The preference we added was "Deduct estimated write-off from open balance", located in the Insurance Preferences. You can access Preferences by navigating to the MacPractice menu and selecting "Preferences".

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Once the Preferences window is open, select "Insurance" in the sidebar. The new preference is at the very bottom of the available Insurance Preferences in the General Tab.

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When enabled, the behavior will match the 2nd Scenario listed in the prior section. If you preferred the older method of calculating open balances, then you would want to disable this preference.

Note: While it is easy to disable this preference, re-enabling write offs deducting from the open balance is not as easy to revert. You'll want to be sure of which method you'd like to use for your office before making any changes.

If you do uncheck this preference, you'll be presented with this message.

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This message is alerting you that the preference alone will not impact your ledger. In order to convert balances throughout your database, you'll need to run a new database utility called "Revert Write-Off to Open Balance".
This utility is only present when the Deduct Write Off preference is disabled. Clicking the "Go To Utilities" button will take you directly to that utility, presuming your user has access to Managers.

How do I use the new Database Utility?

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With the Charge Date drop down, you can choose whether to search for charges with write offs by the Procedure Date or the Posted Date. If you leave Start Date and End Date blank, it will search for all charges in the database.

More importantly, the "Without Insurance Applied" and "With 0.00 Insurance Applied" allows you to control whether you want to review and revert charges without an insurance payment applied, and charges with a 0.00 insurance payment applied.
Why is this more important? MacPractice doesn't differentiate between a denial or a true 0.00 insurance payment. In the first case of a denial, no write off would be applied. In the second case of a true 0.00 insurance payment, a write off would be expected.
Therefore, this database utility allows you to review charges with a 0.00 Insurance Payment by ensuring the "With 0.00 Ins. Applied" is highlighted and clicking "Show Write-Offs". This will allow  your office to evaluate which charges you'd like to revert or not.

To review all charges that would be impacted by running the utility, you can click the "Show Write Offs" button.

If you're satisfied with the charges to be updated, you can click the Go button.

As with all Database Utilities, you'll be prompted with some alerts. First, you'll be prompted to ensure all users are logged out.

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Second, a Save Backup prompt will appear allowing you to select a location to save a fresh backup before running the Utility. IT IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU CREATE A BACKUP.

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If you have any questions or concerns while reviewing this documentation, don't hesitate to contact MacPractice Support.

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