Default Item Codes per Appointment Type

  • 15
  • Idea
  • Updated 2 days ago
  • Under Consideration
  • (Edited)
Is it possible to assign default Item Codes for All appointment Types.  At the moment there is only one default item code for New Patients and one default code for everything else.  It would be great to have the appropriate Item code the default for the particular Appointment type rather than having to scroll down to find the right Item code to charge the client.
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Celia Young

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Posted 5 years ago

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Andrew, Community Manager

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Hi Celia

We have recently added the ability to assign Item Codes to an Appointment Type for use with the Patient Booking Gateway, but for the Front Desk software itself there isn't a link between Appointment Types and Item Codes at this stage. As you may know Item Codes are currently assigned to Practitioners for each of the patient Fee Categories depending on whether the patient is a new patient or returning.

This idea has been marked as 'Under Consideration', but we would love some more feedback if this is something users would like to see.
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Central Podiatry

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Yep that 's a great idea, it would save time. Our podiatrists occasionally bill their own patients, and having the item code linked to the appointment type would help them to ensure they are billing correctly.
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Mandy Jolic

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when patients have more than one type of service frontdesk will default to the item code of their default practitioner. This creates problems for us when a client who has come in for one type of service then comes in for another type of service as we can only input one default practitioner, when more often than not, clients will see more than one practitioner and in a multi modality clinic will have more than one appointment type.
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david donkin

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Would love it. Patients moving between standard and group appointments need there item changed at time of booking or on receipting which is a waste of time, and if the admin staff aren't on the ball or are overloaded can be costly
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Benjamin Muir

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This would be great for the sale of products that are sold by different practitioners
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Benjamin Muir

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Sorry, I read the original post incorrectly. I was fresh from reading Mandy's point about multi-modal clinics. So what I should of said. Having a default (or even  restricted only to a) practitioner for certain item codes (in this case products) would make our lives easier.
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Benjamin Muir

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One further thing that should be considered here is how you link the item codes and appointment types. Do you default from appointment types or item codes. From what you are saying you would be defaulting them from appointment types. Defaulting them from item codes would suit my needs better than the other way around but I'm not sure how others are structured.

Further regarding item codes, I think they could be cleaned up a bit with regard to products vs appointments. Product item codes for the most part don't need to be available when booking an appointment. Having all these product item codes in the way when booking is cumbersome. Having items codes categorised into appointments vs products might be useful. It could be a matter of ticking a box in the item codes admin box.

Why do we have appointment types, separate to item codes? For the outsider (ie online booking) I can see where they are useful, but even then there are ways around that.
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Timothy, Business Care Manager

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Appointment types indicate the general reason why the patient is coming to the practice with the use of different colours on the appointment book. This prepares the practitioner and staff for that appointment. For example, it could indicate an initial consultation or subsequent consultation. What you bill, being the item code, is only loosely associated with the appointment type. For example a patient may be booked in for a subsequent consultation. At the time of the appointment they could get charged for a regular consult but this could very well be a long consult as well as including item codes for stock, e.g. an elbow brace. Further, different professions may charge different item codes for the same appointment type. Appointment types give you more flexibility than just booking an appointment with an item code. 

In regards to cleaning up item codes, you can group item codes by schedule. For example, different schedules for professional services vs products. For multi profession practices you can go further by separating item codes by profession, such as podiatry services, physio services etc. To setup a schedule go to the menu and select File > Item Codes > Schedules. Once setup, go to your item code and assign it a schedule. 
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Benjamin Muir

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Still seems like appointment types add unnecessary steps for exceptions rather than rules. There is beauty in simplicity. Though I must admit I like the colour coding of different appointment types.

With regard to schedules, I use them already to organise different categories of modalities and product types. Apart from having default schedules for modalities they are pretty useless. Consider the idea above of categorising item codes into appointment and product types. I'd envisage this categorisation as separate to schedules.t

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Tony Taddeo, Managing Director

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Hi Benjamin

I hope you take my response with the good spirit that is intended.

Seems like you like and at the same time don't like appointment types and item schedules
:)  Is your suggestion that we remove them or not as you can't have a foot in each court? I get the impression you like the functionality benefit such as having an appointment specifically coloured, but you don't like the extra step, which is not really an extra step most of the time as it will be a default.

You could remove all you appointment types except for 1 and make it your default for everything if you feel it adds an unnecessary step?

<<Apart from having default schedules for modalities they are pretty useless.>>

<<Having items codes categorised into appointments vs products might be
useful. It could be a matter of ticking a box in the item codes admin

Item code schedules provides a way to group item codes that goes beyond just marking an item as a service (you use the term - appointment) or product.

<<Consider the idea above of categorising item codes into appointment and
product types. I'd envisage this categorisation as separate to

I sincerely don't understand this. To help us better understand your idea(s), can you have a look at this article and perhaps post again.

PS we are considering a future link between an appointment type and a default item code in some situations.
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Kelly Lawson

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Yes Please. This feature should be easy to add. It would help greatly as I am currently training a new CA who does not know all the item codes off the top of her head. If the patient is booked for a certain treatment it would follow that the treatment item code would comply to the appointment type.
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Defaults item codes for appointment types would assist us as well in most cases it is a one-to-one relationship.

However we also have the following scenario: There are two appointment types , Initial Assessment and Individual Session. However as Medicare has different items for different levels of qualification we have 3 schedules (registered psych, clinical psych and provisional psych) each with a code that would be applicable for  those appointment types. So the correct item code for an appointment type is on a per schedule basis.
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In Stride Health Clinic

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Would love to have the item code linked to the appointment type. 

I have the issue of multiple class options around appointment type of a varity of pilates classes - Studio, Matwork, Pre / Post Natal and Hydrotherapy which vary between size (numberj of people)  and length of class.  It would be great that once they are in that class that their item code defaults to the class/appointment type selected.

Our classes vary from 1:1, 2:1, 4:1, 6:1 9:1, 6 groups, 8-10 groups, 12 groups across time ranges of 30mins, 45mins, 1 hour across two diaries across 5 modalities and 20 practitioners.  And includes DVA, Medicare EPC's and Workcover clients.

Although errors have been reducing due to extensive training and retraining, lots of errors and corrections still need to be fixed.  These are made around incorrect items codes at time of booking apt. and receipting of payment or billing of client being incorrect.   This is due to casual staff and new practitioners who are not sure of items codes and making bookings incorrectly in the first place.

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Eric St Physiotherapy

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This would be a great addition and reduce errors with codes.  I would go even further and like to be able to customise this even further by setting default codes per appointment type for each practitioner.
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Just wondering if anything further had happened with this issue?
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Timothy, Business Care Manager

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Hi Steve. We haven't forgotten about this, we are still considering this matter. Unfortunately it is at a lower priority than some of the other items we are working on at the moment. 
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We would really appreciate there to be an interdependence between the appointment type and item code in Front Desk.
We have had an instance where a team member had accidentally processed 20 appointments with the wrong codes over the period of 2 years, which only came to light because another team member went to make a claim with their health fund, to be told the provider listed couldn't claim the item codes, which lead to the discovery of a startling amount of transactions, some of which had HICAPS already processed on the day. If this interdependence/relationship could be established, it would make it impossible for such an error to occur. This is particularly a concern that Chiropractic item code had been applied to a Masseuse appointments and consequently claimed.
We have already devised a mechanism with the technology to avoid this extent of error, happening again, however, it should be noted that incorrect item codes have also been accidentally applied that are also applicable for massage. We have counselled the staff member, and so have dealt with the risk to the point which our business is able to mitigate, yet, if Smart Soft were to create a feature to allow set item codes for appointment types, this liability would be mitigated for all of your subscribers.
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Mark Caldwell

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This is a feature that we would find helpful in our clinic. As with the above posts, I can see that it would reduce a lot of human error which is what a practice management software should be about. 

We currently classify our new patients into to different types (General/Biomechanical/EPC) at the time of booking and have an appointment types and billing codes for each. It would make life so much easier for our reception team to have these linked and reduce errors when we are calculating our patient average visits for each category of new patient.  
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We would definitely like this feature to be added in the future.
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Peter Cent Nat Ther Clinic

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We requested this feature soon after we started with Front Desk around 10 years ago, and it is disappointing that there has been virtually no action on it in that time. Our clients may see one therapist one week, another the next, and have in-house testing the third, so when future appointments are made from one appointment the item codes for the new bookings often have to be changed. If this is missed, it can be costly and/or embarrasing for our clinic.

As we are a multimodality clinic, we would particularly like to be able to assign a default item code for each appointment type for each practitioner.

Can this be given a higher priority please?!
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Timothy, Business Care Manager

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Hi all. We agree that this enhancement is long overdue and I can confirm that we will be working to include this in our next upgrade, which is due out in the next month. Thank you for your patience as we know many of you have been waiting a long time for this change.