Engagement: Automatic Payment Plans

Learn how to set up convenient recurring payments for patients who prefer to pay over time in Engagement

Erika Gardner avatar
Written by Erika Gardner
Updated over a week ago

Offering payment plans can benefit both your practice and patients by improving accessibility to care, increasing treatment acceptance, and enhancing patient satisfaction. Engagement makes setting up, tracking, and managing custom payment plans easy with just a few clicks and a user-friendly dashboard.

Interested in adding Engagement Payments with Clearent? CLICK HERE and one of our representatives will reach out to you to help you get set up.

Important notes:

  • Before you can begin using Engagement Payment Plans, you must be using Engagement Bridge Version 122 or higher. Click here to learn how to update your Engagement Bridge.

  • If you are unable to access the Payments dashboard or make changes, you have not been granted permission in your user profile. Contact an admin team member in your practice to enable access or work with them to complete the steps outlined in the instructions below. Click here to learn how to update user permissions.

In this article, you'll learn how to:

Automatic Payment Plans are also created during treatment plan presentation when a patient selects a payment installment option. CLICK HERE to learn more!


Navigating the Payment Plans Tab

To create or review existing payment plans, click on the Payments dashboard from the left side navigation, then click on the Payment plans tab.

Use the search bar to locate a patient payment plan by name. By default, the dashboard will show all active, authorized, pending, and failed payment plans for all time. Click on the calendar button to populate payment plans within a certain timeframe.

Click on the Status column to filter patients by payment plan status:

  • Active: Payment plan is in progress

  • Authorized: Payment plan has been accepted by the patient and now needs to be activated

  • Pending: Payment plan has not yet been reviewed and accepted by the patient

  • Failed: The payment method being charged on this payment plan was declined/failed to process

  • Expired: Payment plan was never accepted by the patient and the offer has expired

  • Cancelled: Plan was cancelled by the practice

  • Completed: There are no outstanding payments left on this plan

By default, all payment plans that are Active, Authorized, Pending, or Failed are shown. Payment plans that are Expired, Cancelled, or Completed are hidden from the default view.

Click on the up or down arrows to organize the patient list in ascending or descending order based on the dollar value.

Use the progress bar to review how many payments have been made out of the total amount of payments that will be collected.

If necessary, use the three-dot menu next to the patient's name to quickly communicate with the patient or access their patient card.

Looking to learn even more about Engagement Payments? Check out our on-demand webinar!


Create a New Payment Plan

  1. Click on the Payments dashboard from the left side navigation, then click on the Payment plans tab

  2. Click on the Collect payment button in the upper right corner, then choose Prepare payment plan

  3. In the next window, search for the patient by entering their name. Click on their name to select then click Next

  4. If you are attempting to create a payment plan for a patient that already has an existing plan in progress, an error message will show. Patients cannot have multiple payment plans. To proceed, cancel the existing plan and create a new plan with the costs of all services combined into one consolidated payment plan

  5. Next, enter the payment details:

    1. First payment date: This is the first date that payment will be collected if the patient accepts the payment plan. The card on file will be charged on this date

    2. Payments frequency currently only allows for monthly charges, so the default Monthly is selected

    3. Total amount: This is the total amount of the payment plan in its entirety. If your practice charges plan rates or other fees, be sure to include those fees in the total here

    4. Number of payments: Enter the the number of monthly payments that the patient will make in order to pay off their plan (ie, 10 payments = 10 months until balance is paid in full)

  6. After all of the payment details have been entered, the amount due each cycle will be automatically generated

  7. Next, enter in the patient's payment method by adding their card details and billing address zip code. We recommend adding a card nickname so that it can be easily referenced in the future should the patient wish to update their payment method

  8. Choose the patient authorization status. By default, we recommend that the patient is sent authorization via email or text prior to the payment plan beginning. However, if you have already received written confirmation from the patient outside of Engagement, you may select to bypass authorization by choosing 'Patient has already authorized plan to begin'

  9. When all of the information has been entered, click the Send for acceptance button to remit the plan to the patient for approval

Did you know that sending a treatment plan with payment installment options will automatically create a payment plan? Click here to learn more about what it looks like to send and receive a treatment plan with payment options.

Patient Experience: Receiving and Accepting a Payment Plan

Once you've sent a payment plan to a patient, the patient must accept the patient plan in order to activate it and begin making payments. Payment plans are delivered to patients via the delivery channel method you selected during the payment plan setup process (see step #7 above).

When a patient receives a payment plan, the plan will look similar to this example:

By electronically signing and clicking Confirm, the patient agrees to the payment plan and the payment method entered will be charged on the first due date.


Activate a Payment Plan

Once a payment plan or treatment plan has been accepted by a patient, the payment plan must be authorized in Engagement in order be activated and begin charging the card on file recurring payments.

Payments that still need to be activated are shown as Authorized. An authorized plan has been accepted by the patient and now needs to be manually activated with the first charge date.

To activate a plan and begin recurring charges:

  1. Click on the Actions button of the desired plan and then click Activate payment plan:

  2. Choose the payment plan start date by clicking on the calendar button. This is date that the first charge of the plan will occur on. When finished, click Activate

  3. Once a payment plan has been activated, the payment plan status will update to show as Active


Update the Payment Method of an Existing Plan

  1. To update the current payment method being billed on a payment plan, click on the Actions button of the plan

  2. Choose Change payment card and enter in the updated card details

  3. When finished, click Confirm


Cancel a Payment Plan

  1. If for any reason a payment plan needs to be cancelled, click on the Actions button of the plan

  2. Choose Cancel payment plan

  3. Click Confirm

Did this answer your question?