Post Personal Payments and Write Off Charges

Read this article to learn about how to post personal payments in PCC. When a family pays their bill, you can use the Payments tool to enter their payment, link it to charges, and optionally enter account notes. You can also write off bad debt and post other adjustment types.

Watch a Video: For an overview, watch the Post Personal Payments video.

Where Can You Post Personal Payments and Adjustments?

How do personal payments enter your PCC system?

  • Post Payments and Write-Offs in the Payments Tool in PCC EHR: Use the Payments tool in PCC EHR to review account information and enter any payment at any time. See the sections below to learn more.

  • Post Payments at Patient Checkin: You can post a copay, or any payment amount, at the time of service during patient checkin.

  • Post Payments When You Post Charges: Later, when you checkout the patient and post charges, you can link the payment collected at checkin and enter any other personal payments.

  • Post Payments When You Create a Billing Encounter or Hospital Visit: You can open any patient’s chart and create a billing encounter in the Billing History section of the chart. You can post administrative fees or use the same interface to post a hospital encounter and enter personal payments at the same time.

  • Families Can Pay Their Own Bill in the Patient Portal: If your practice uses the service, your families can review their balance and pay their bill in the patient portal.

  • Post Payments and Adjustments in Partner: Use the Personal Payments program (pam) in your Practice Management window to enter payments and access additional adjustment types and other functionality. See the sections below to learn more.

Both the Payments tool in PCC EHR and the pam program make it fast and easy to post personal checks, money orders, credit card payments, and cash and link the money to outstanding personal balances. Payments from insurance companies are posted using the Post Insurance Payments (pip) program.

Write-offs and Other Adjustments: In addition to posting payments, you can use the Payments tool or pam to write off bad debt and post other adjustments. You can post any account adjustment that behaves like a payment and results in decreasing the account balance. Adjustments that behave like refunds (or charges) and increase an account’s balance or remove a credit should be posted in the refund program.

Post a Personal Payment in PCC EHR

In addition to the payment tools found during Patient Check-In, when posting charges, and in the patient portal, your practice can use the Payments tool to post any payment for any account at any time.

Open Payments

Open the Payments tool from the Tools menu in PCC EHR.

Find an Account

Find the billing account for the payment.

You can search by account name or use other search parameters, like an account phone number. The list of matching search results includes a Dependents column, to help you confirm that you have the right account.

Optionally Review and Update Account Information

Before you enter payment information in the Payments component, you can optionally review and update account information.

The Payments tool includes Payments, Account Balances, Account Demographics, and the Account Notes component so you can review balance details, update account information, and add notes about any billing issue with the family.

Enter Payment Information

Next, review and adjust the transaction date, select a payment type, and enter a payment amount.

Enter a check number if applicable.

Optionally Specify How to Apply Payment

By default, a payment is applied towards the oldest charges on an account that have a personal amount due.

You can specify how much of a payment should be applied.

The Unapplied amount will become a floating personal credit on the account.

You can also click “Distribution” and specify how much of a payment should be applied to each charge on an account with a personal due amount.


Read the section below for more information.

Save the Payment

Click “Save Payment” to save the payment and update the account’s balance.

Review Results and Optionally Add Another Payment

After you save a payment, you can see it in the ledger. Click the disclosure arrow to see how the payment was applied.

If the payment was greater than the personal balance, PCC EHR will apply payments and leave the remainder as a credit on the account.

After you enter a payment, you can enter additional payments if (for example) the family used two different checks.

Print a Reciept

Click “Print Receipt” to print a receipt for the payment(s) you posted this session.


The receipt displays all payment information, along with helpful charge information for the family.

Save Changes and Continue to the Next Payment

Click “Save + Exit” to close the Payments window and save any additional changes you’ve made for the account. If you are posting a stack of personal payments, you can then immediately find the next account.


Review all Payments Posted

At the end of the day, run the Payment Reconciliation report in the PCC EHR Report Library to review all payments.

Write Off a Charge in PCC EHR

When you want to write off bad debt on an account, or post any other account adjustment that reduces the amount due for a charge and decreases an account’s outstanding personal balance, use the Payments tool.

Open Payments

Open the Payments tool from the Tools menu in PCC EHR

Find an Account

Find the billing account for the charges you need to write off.

You can search by account name or use other search parameters, like an account phone number.

Optionally Review Account Information

In the Payments tool, you can review Account Balances, Account Demographics, and the Account Notes component so you can understand the charges and what you may need to write off.

For an explanation of all outstanding personal balances, click the disclosure arrow below Aged Balances.


Enter Adjustment Information and Click “Save Adjustment”

Select your practice’s preferred Adjustment type for a write off in the Payment Type drop-down menu. Then enter an amount and click “Save Adjustment”.

Optionally Review Results

PCC will automatically apply the adjustment to the oldest unpaid charge(s) on the account. Use the ledger to see the charges that the adjustment is applied towards.

In an upcoming PCC release, you will be able to select specific charges when (for example) an older charge should remain due and the adjustment should apply to more recent charges.

Enter an Account Note Explaining What You Did

It’s a good idea to add an account note explaining what balances were written off.



Specify How to Apply a Payment (or Adjustment)

By default, a payment or adjustment will automatically link to an account’s oldest charges with a personal balance.

As you enter payment or adjustment information, you can specify how the payment should be applied to charges.

Leave Part or All of a Payment Unapplied

You can optionally specify that only a portion (or none) of a payment or adjustment shall be applied to charges.

The full amount will still be reflected in the account’s balance, but under-the-hood the payment will remain unapplied or “unlinked” from any specific charge.

When you indicate that a portion (or all) of a payment shall be unapplied, you can optionally select a provider for accounting purposes.

Payments are normally linked to charges, which have an associated provider. If a payment is not applied to charges, you can optionally indicate a provider manually.

Apply a Payment (or Adjustment) to Specific Charges

Click “Distribution” to review and update how a payment or adjustment will be applied when you click “Save Payment”.


PCC EHR will display all charges on the account that have a personal amount due. You can review how the new payment will be applied, and you can optionally update the amounts to change what charges will be paid by the payment.


When you are finished reviewing or changing how the payment amount will be applied, click “Save Payment” to save and post the payment.

Total Distribution Amount Must Equal the Applied Amount of the Payment: You can’t distribute more or less than the original payment amount (or than the amount you designate to apply to previous balances).

If the distribution total doesn’t equal the applied amount of the payment, you will be unable to save the payment.

Apply a Payment or Adjustment to Charges That Are Already Paid By Unapplied Payments

When you use the Distribution section to apply payments to charges, you may see more charges than you expect. The Distribution list can include charges that are paid off by unapplied payments.

In PCC, unapplied (or “unlinked”) payments on an account are automatically included in personal balance totals. So a charge can be paid off by unapplied money on an account. For example, if a family paid a $25 copay in error, and the copay due was later changed, they may end up with a $25 credit on their account. The $25 will be an unapplied payment. Personal balance totals will automatically consider that $25, and reduce the amount due on personal charges.

When you use Distribution, you will see all personal charges not paid off by an applied payment. The list may include charges that are paid off by unapplied payments, such as an old credit on the account. You can review and clean up unapplied payments on the Payment History tab.

By displaying all charges that are not already paid off by applied payments, your practice can use the Distribution section to control to which charges a payment applies.

Enter and Review Account Notes

As you post payments and account adjustments, you may want to enter notes. Read Enter and Review Account Notes to learn more.

Review Posted Payments and Edit Personal Payments

After you post a personal payment, how can you review what you did? How do you review an encounter’s complete payment history, an account’s complete payment history, and edit personal payments that you posted incorrectly?

To learn more, visit:

Post a Personal Payment or Adjustment in the pam Practice Management Program

If you prefer the Partner Practice Management interface to PCC EHR, you can use the pam program to post personal payments and adjustments. Follow the steps to post a personal check and apply it to outstanding balances.

Start pam

You can access pam from the “Daily Operations” window of your Practice Management windows.

Find an Account

Enter the account’s name into the find screen:

Enter Basic Payment Information

Enter the date of the payment, the payment type, the amount, the check number (if applicable) and optionally a provider. Press the Tab or Enter keys to move forward one field, press the Backspace or left arrow keys to move back one field.

Automatic Date: Today’s date is entered for you automatically. If you wish to record a previous date of payment, simply press Backspace and change the date. The date can be written without slashes, i.e. “092205” for September 9th, 2005, and you can use the abbreviations of “y” for yesterday and “t” for today.

Press

F4 – Link Payments

After you enter basic payment information, press F4 to see a list of outstanding charges and link the payment to a charge.

Select Charges to Apply the Payment Against

Enter the number, or range of numbers, of the charges towards which you wish to apply your new payment. To help you make your selection, the screen displays the amount of each charge that is currently pending insurance and the amount due personal. In most cases, you will apply the full amount of a personal payment to the oldest charges first.

You can use a range of numbers or commas to select specific charges. Press Enter to continue.

Where is the Charge I Need?: The screen will only show unpaid charges that are at least partly personal. Paid charges or charges that have no personal balance will not appear. If you can not find the charge you expected to see, press F8Show Insurance to view both insurance and personal charges. You can also press F6Correct Mistakes or F7Family Editor (from which you can run a Collection report or Family History report) to analyze the account and find out when the charge was paid off.

If Necessary, Indicate How to Apportion the Payment

If you selected charges that exceed the value of the payment, you can use the next screen to indicate how much of the payment should be applied towards each charge.

Customized Behavior: You can configure Partner to automatically distribute the payment among the charges or to apply the money towards the oldest charge first. Contact PCC for more information.

Press

F1 – Save

Press F1 to save your payment and return to the main pam screen. Your payment has been posted, and you will see the updated “New Balance” column.

Pam Screen Reference

When you first run pam, it asks you for an account name. Once you have found an account, you are presented with the payment-entry screen:


This screen contains useful demographic information for the account, provides links to several other Partner programs, and allows you to begin posting a payment by entering information in the available fields.
The demographic information includes account name and contact information. You can also review the Status field, which may list important billing statuses for the family, such as “Overdue” or “Bad Check.” The screen also shows you a list of dependents to the family and a balance summary, aged by transaction date, for Personal, Insurance, and Medicaid balances on the account.

Look-Up Fields: Both the “Payment/Adjustment” field and the “Provider” field are look-up fields. You can enter an abbreviation or use an asterisk (*) to look at a list of possible entries. Common answers for the “Payment/Adjustment” field are “Personal Check,” “Cash,” or “Courtesy Adjustment.”

More Demographic Information: Press Page Down to view a quick summary of other account demographic information, including insurance information and recent account notes. You can press Page Up to return to this screen. You can also press F7Family Editor to run fame and make changes to the account information.

Link Payments: Whenever you post a payment, you should use pam‘s Link Payments feature to link payments to the particular charges they are paying off. In other words, you should specify for which charges the payment is intended. If you don’t press F4Link Payments, and press F1 to save the payment, you will be posting an unlinked or open-item payment. Open-item payments are still applied towards the account’s oldest personal balance, but they may float around on an account, making it difficult to track and understand an account’s history and remaining balance.

New Balance: Once you have posted a payment, the final column in the balance summary, “New Bal” will be updated with the accounts new outstanding balance:

Posting Personal Overpayments/Credits: Posting a personal overpayment in Partner is simple. Use pam to post a payment and do not press F4Link Payments. The account will have a credit, which you can then refund or leave on the account until the next visit. The credit will automatically be applied to any outstanding balances on the account, and you can link it to the charges by running oops.

Get a Receipt: Select “Print receipt for this payment” to generate a paper receipt when you press F1.

Function Keys

F1 – Save

Press F1 to save any payments you have entered as open-item payments and quit pam. You can then enter a new account name or press F12 to quit and run a different program. If you have entered a payment amount, you should consider pressing F4Link Payments and assigning the payment to specific charges before pressing F1.

F3 – Post a Refund

Press F3 to run the refund program. Use refund to post refunds or any other adjustments that take money away from an account or increase the balance.

F4 – Link Payments

Press F4 after entering a payment type (and check number, if desired) to select outstanding charges to which the payment should be applied. If you post a payment without using F4, it will be an open-item payment that Partner will automatically apply to the oldest unpaid charge.

Function Keys While Specifying Payments: On the first Link Payments screen, function keys are available to batch claims, print paper claims, print bills, run oops, and run the Family Editor (fame).

F5 – Print a Bill

Press F5 to print a paper bill, for any desired date range, for the account.

F6 – Correct Mistakes

Press F6 to run oops, the “Correct Mistakes” program. In oops, you can change the pending status of charges, delete payments or charges, and adjust various visit information. If you need to link or unlink payments from charges, run oops. For full documentation on oops, read Correct Mistakes.

F7 – Family Editor

Press F7 to run fame, the Family Editor. In fame, you can change account demographic information, including mailing address and insurance policy information. The Family Editor also provides access to the Collection Report, which can help you understand an account’s outstanding balances. For full documentation on fame, read Editing Patients and Accounts.

F8 – Acct History

Press F8 to run tater, the Account History report. This report, which can be restricted by date and type of transaction, shows you a history of all transactions on an account.

What Payment Types Can I Post In Different PCC Tools?

When you post a payment or adjustment anywhere in PCC, you first select a “Payment Type”.

Your practice can configure your payment types in order to improve your reports, determine which payment types are available in different PCC tools, and make other configuration changes in support of your billing workflow.

In PCC’s under-the-hood Payment Type configuration, found in the Table Editor (ted), each Payment Type has some basic settings.

Your practice can create and edit payment types. For each type, you can indicate a name, a “base” type (cash, charge, etc.), and answer configuration questions that determine how and where a payment type appears.

For example: if your practice wanted to report a personal check posted during checkin or checkout separately from a personal check posted at other times, you could have two different payment types, such as a “TOS Personal Check” and a “Personal Check”. Both payment types would have the base type of “check”. You would use the configuration questions to make one payment type available to post in “chuck” and the other in “pam”, which affects all checkin/checkout functions and all stand-alone personal payment functions respectively (in both PCC EHR and Practice Management).

The table below shows how to adjust your configuration to make payment types available in different PCC tools.

How to Make a Specific Payment Type Available

Action Where Description
Post Payments During Check In or Check Out PCC EHR Check-In, Post Charges, and checkout All payments with a base type of check, cash, or charge, that also have the “chuck” question set to “Yes”, are available in Patient Check-In or in the Post Charges tools in PCC EHR or Practice Management.
Post Other Personal Payments PCC EHR Payments, pam All payments with a base type of check, cash, charge, or adjustment, that also have the “pam” question set to “Yes”, are available when posting other personal payments in the Payments tool in PCC EHR or the pam tool in Practice Management.
Review and Edit Payment History PCC EHR Payments (History tab) All payments of any kind appear in this tool. (As of PCC 9.4, the Payments tool can not edit insurance payments or insurance adjustments.)
Review Payments Applied to Charges PCC EHR Billing History, oops, tater All payments of any type that are applied to charges will appear in the Procedures section of an encounter’s Billing History in the chart. The History tab in PCC EHR’s Payments tool also displays all payments and displays the charges to which they apply. All payment types will also appear in under-the-hood account and charge history tools in Practice Management, like oops and tater.
Review Payments Made During a Particular Encounter PCC EHR Billing History’s “Payments for ##/##/####” section All payments made on the date of an encounter, that have a base type of check, cash, or charge, and that have the “chuck” question set to yes, appear in the Payments section of an encounter’s billing history, found in the patient’s chart.
  • Last modified: August 8, 2022