"Estimated Charges" in Cerbo 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. If you are interested in having this feature enabled for you, contact us at email@example.com.
Estimated Charges can be renamed to a different name, like Package Charges, Future Charges, Prospective Charges, etc., if a different term is more applicable to your use case.
Add an Estimated Charge to Patient's Account
From within a patient's chart, you can add estimated charges:
- By clicking on the plus sign at the top right of the yellow billing block
- Or from the Charges/ Payments box in an encounter note.
Note: if you do not see the options to add to/ from Estimated Charges,, you will need to contact Cerbo support to have this feature enabled for your practice.
Use the search bar that appears to search for and add the estimated charge - or charge group - from your Charge List.
Once you select the charge - or charge group - to add, the Add Charge window will appear, with very similar look/ options as when you add a regular charge. Options like tax rate, inventory dispense options, etc. that do not apply to estimated charges will not appear when adding the estimated charge. But they will appear, if applicable, when the estimated charge is converted to a regular charge.
Estimated Charges Expiration Date
Estimated charges can have an expiration date, after which point they will remain in the patient's account but can no longer be converted to regular charges. The expiration date would be used, for example, for prepaid package charges that must be used or redeemed by a certain date.
The expiration date would be added by checking the "Add an Expiration Date" box in the Add Charge window, and specifying the date.
When that date passes, the estimated charge will appear in the patients Estimated Charges, shown at the bottom of their billing history, but will be struck through.
To see which estimated charges are soon to expire across all patients, go to Reporting > Financial Reports > Estimated Charges by Expiration.
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.
Edit Existing Estimated Charges
Once you have added an estimated charge, you can modify it from within the Encounter Note it was added in OR from the patient's expanded Billing Block. Simply click on the estimated charge to edit it or right-click to see more options:
- "Delete This Charge" will remove it from the patient's chart as an estimated charge
- "Edit This Charge" will take you to a window where you can edit all of the details from when you first added (or last edited) the charge
- "Add to Patient's Account" will take you to a window to add it as a real charge
Convert Estimated Charge to Regular Charge
When the prepaid service is redeemed, or when the patient OKs an estimated charge, you would use the Add to Patient's Account option to convert that estimated charge into a regular charge. That will show the regular Add Charge window, pre-populated with the charge details. Review the details, and click the button to add.
- This will immediately remove the charge from the patient's estimated charges, and add it to their regular billing history.
- If you do this from inside an encounter note, the charge will be added within that encounter. If you do this outside of an encounter note - directly in the yellow Billing block - the charge will be added outside of the encounter note even if the estimated charge was added inside an encounter note.
Move an Estimated Charge added Outside an Encounter Note
You can move estimated charges from one encounter note to another, or from outside the encounter note into an encounter note. Go to add an estimated charge in the encounter note where you want the charge(s) to be, and click where it says "CLICK HERE to move existing estimated charges to this note."
Select all the items you want to move, then click Manage Checked > Move to this Encounter Note.
Generate a Printable/ Saveable Estimate Invoice
There are two ways you can create a receipt of estimated charges and services.
- From within a SOAP note, 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