Billing with partial payments

I’m having some challenges with the Billing module in OpenEMR 6.1.1. I do not know how to handle partial or installment payments. For example, we’re a OB/GYN clinic, and we have a maternity package with normal delivery being $x,xxx. Patients get 13 antenatal visits, 2 ultrasounds and a normal delivery. (We have a CPT4 code for the whole package.) Patients pay by installments until they finish paying. I really don’t know how to set this up in the billing module to show how they are paying. Like, for example, they will pay $300 and the balance is shown, and on the next visit, another payment is made and the new balance is shown. I’ve thought about creating CPT4 codes for each visit and setting prices for those visit. So that when the patient visits, an encounter is created and the CPT4 code for that visit can be applied and payment made, but then how do we show the remaining balance for the package.

Hi @LMoonsammy -
Unfortunately OpenEMR’s documentation does not include a tutorial specifically about a standard encounter for OpenEMR 6.x. If it did, the answer to your question would be found there.
I hope to write such a document myself, but until I get to it here’s the short story.
It might be helpful to create a dummy patient and play with the payments module. Changes to that dummy pt’s account will not affect the rest of the practice’s finances.
Feel free to ask any questions about this that may occur to you.
Best- Harley

When the pt comes in for an appointment an encounter is created to which are added the charges for services rendered during that encounter.
At some point toward the end of the appointment the patient sees the cashier, who will click on the main meu, ‘Fees/ Payment’
The fees menu does have several items in it including a ‘Checkout’ item, but that module is best suited to when the pt is paying in full for the appointment that was just finished.

The ‘Payment’ item may be thought of as ‘Making a payment on the pt’s account’.
Please follow this numbered list in the numbered items in the picture below.

  1. Select the payment method
  2. If a check, a check reference number will be required
  3. Select if this is a self- pay or the pt has insurance. For this example I selected 'Self pay, which changes the subsequent data entry fields.
  4. If self-pay this will be against the account balance.
    If insurance, it might be a copay, or against the insurance balance or pre-paying against a future charge.
  5. The column headings in the report, not all of which are populated in this example.
  6. Each line will be an encounter’s date of service with the total charges for that encounter. Enter in the right column the amount being paid at that time, for that encounter’s balance…
    7… which will be reflected in the ‘Total’ value.

The transaction will be reflected in the Payments module next time it is opened in the patient’s record.


  1. You may print an invoice if desired.

The invoice does not by default include service codes but it’s comparaively easy for a developer to customize if it’s important.
Alternatively the patient’s ledger (on their dashboard) does include them.


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Thank you so much. I’ll review what you said and get back to you.

I wish OpenEMR had funds to hire you to do full time documentation lol. You’re amazing!

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@adunsulag - Thanks, that’s high praise coming from you :slight_smile: - HT