Starting Balances

Starting Balances


Starting balances in Aeris are transactions just like services. In fact, they are stored as services but with only the financial components. As the name indicates, they are used to set up the initial balance conditions for a patient. Because a practice option lets you use the service (or in this case starting balance) provider as the payment provider, you can have more than one starting balance for a patient, each with a different provider.


Before describing starting balance financial details it is important to understand at least the basics of the accounting principles used


If you are going into practice for the first time and are starting from scratch with new patients, you won't need to use starting balances. However, if you are coming from some other practice management program or are computerizing your office for the first time, you will need to use them for your existing patients with outstanding debt or credit balances. Entering a starting balance is how you enter the financial status of your patient accounts as of the moment you enter them.



See How to add a starting balance for step by step instructions for entering a balance when the patient owes you money.






Enter the date of the starting balance. This is normally the date you start using Aeris or the first date of the month or year you start using Aeris.



Select a provider from the drop-list. This will become the default provider to whom income will be applied when insurance payments are made to this starting balance.


Total Amount Charged

Enter the total amount owed as of the date entered above. Transactions before this date should not be entered into Aeris but all transactions after this date must be entered.


[Adjustments List] button

If you need to make an adjustment to the amount charged, press this button and enter the adjustment. Both positive and negative adjustments may be entered. The field to the right of the button will show the total of all adjustments entered.


Adjusted Total Charge

This is the total charge remaining after adding the adjustments.


Charge to Patient Balance

Enter the patient's portion of the debt. When you do, the insurance portion will be calculated automatically. The patient amount is treated as immediately "paid" because it was charged to the patient's overall account balance.


Expected from Insurance

If you enter an amount "owed" by insurance, the patient portion will be calculated automatically.


Insurance Paid Amount

This display field shows you how much insurance has already paid toward this starting balance.


Insurance Write-Off

Enter the portion of the amount expected from insurance that you are writing off. This behaves like an adjustment.


Insurance Balance Due

This is the amount remaining unpaid and unadjusted on the starting balance.


[Move Balance to...] button

If a nonzero amount is showing in the Insurance Balance Due, pressing this button will let you move the balance to your choice of the patient amount due or to the insurance write-off. Either choice will make the insurance balance zero.



Patients with a credit balance


Because Aeris Basic treats the insurance side of patient accounting separate from the patient and responsible party side, you can have a credit balance on one side and a debit on the other. If either the patient side or the insurance side owes you money, enter a starting balance record as above and assign the amounts accordingly for the amounts owed.


Starting balance transactions handle only the debit side of things where the patient or their insurance owes you money. The credit side is done with either a patient or insurance payment. For a patient payment, the payment goes into the patient's general balance so you don't have anything special to do other than assigning the credit amounts to the correct providers. On an insurance payment, you may have to leave the entire amount as a overpayment to be applied to services once they are entered or refunded to the payer.


You can also have a credit for one provider and a debit on another. To keep everything straight, deal with only one provider at a time. You can enter a separate starting balance for every provider who is owed money.