Create and save estimates

Estimated reading: 11 minutes

Create estimates for your client to inform them of expected costs. Once created, print, email or fax to your client. Estimates are saved until they expire or are finalized. When finalized manually or by electronic signature, sends charges to the Patient Visit List.

Before you start




  • Because the estimate information is saved in the Patient Visit List (for the specific patient), you cannot create one estimate for multiple patients.

Create an estimate

Navigate to Patient Clipboard > right-click patient> Estimate.

  1. Acknowledge any client and patient alerts.
  2. Do one of the following in the Estimate # field:
    • Press Tab if the field is blank to start a new estimate. The estimate number is assigned when estimate is saved.
    • Press F2 to select a different estimate from the Estimate List and press Tab.
  3. In the Description text box, enter/modify the purpose for the estimate, if applicable. The description displays on the Estimate List and is also displayed in the patient history when the estimate is electronically signed.
  4. To add invoice items to the estimate, do any of the following:
    • Enter the item ID in the next available ID field or F2/double-click to search and select from the Invoice Item list and press Tab.
    • Click Travel Sheet to select items and click Transfer. Enter the billing Staff ID and click OK. Items are added in order of classification and then item ID, regardless of the order they were selected.
  5. Modify item or billing details as needed.
    Example: Quantity, pricing, staff, revenue center, discounts, taxes, date
  6. Modify the item description if item is miscellaneous type (description appears in bold)
  7. Modify the Qty-Low and Qty-High as needed. The Qty-Low and Qty-High will default to one, unless the item is part of a group item.
    • Change the low or high quantity, if applicable.
    • You can enter a Qty-High value of 0 with a Qty-Low of 1 to create an ‘either/or’ scenario.
      Example: The doctor wants to run either a chem panel A or a chem panel B. The lower- priced panel is set with a Qty-Low of 1 and a Qty-High of 0. The higher priced panel is set with a Qty-Low of 0 and a Qty-High of 1. Both lines will transfer to the Patient visit List based on the estimate default settings of low or high prices. However, the high / low “0 qty” items will also have a zero-price associated with them and should be manually removed from the PVL to ensure accurate patient history.
  8. Modify Low and High pricing as needed.
    • You may not be allowed to change the item’s pricing, based on the Allow change setting for this invoice item in Invoice Item Information.
    • If changes are allowed, you may be required to select a price change reason.
  9. The Staff ID displays if a staff ID is set up in the Estimate defaults. Additional items will copy from the previous line.
  10. Revenue center will default in based on the revenue center hierarchy.
  11. Discounts will be automatically applied when both the item and client have the discount associated with their record.
    • Click the Yes button to view the applied discounts. Security access is required. The discount(s) currently being applied are highlighted.
    • To add or remove a discount to an invoice item:
      • Click the Discount from the list.
      • If the client is not set up to receive the discount, a message displays to confirm that you want to apply the discount to this client. Click Yes or No to confirm.
      • Click OK to save changes or click Cancel to discard changes and return to the estimate.
  12. Taxes will be automatically applied when the item has the tax linked, and the client is not marked as tax exempt.
    • Click the Yes button to view the applied taxes. Security access is required. The tax(es) currently being applied are highlighted.
    • To add or remove a tax to an invoice item:
      • Click the Tax from the list.
      • Click OK to save changes or click Cancel to discard changes and return to the estimate.
  13. The current date is used by default.
  14. To see the price calculation per line amount, including any applied dispensing fees or discounts, right-click a field on the line to display the Calculated Price window.
  15. Change the order of items displaying on the invoice by highlighting the item ID and use the onscreen arrow buttons to move the item. Group items must be moved as a group.
  16. To remove an item from the estimate, highlight the item ID and press Ctrl + D. To delete an item that is part of a group, click on the Qty. and press Ctrl + D.
  17. When all items have been added to the estimate, click OK.

Set the save estimate options

  1. Select a different footer from the Message drop-down list. Messages are set up in Controls > Billing Messages.
  2. Click Messages to change the estimate message(s) that print on this estimate. Do any of the following:
    • To add a message, in the ID field, enter the ID or press F2 to search and select the message from the Estimate Message List.
    • To modify a message, click the Note button to open the message text and make changes or add information.
    • To view the current message, a preview displays in the Message lines box.
    • Rearrange the order of messages on the estimate using the onscreen arrow buttons.
    • To print messages on a separate page and not on the actual estimate page, click the Print estimate messages on a separate page check box.
    • To remove a message, click in the ID field and press Ctrl+ D.
    • Click OK to return to the Save Estimate window.
  3. Click Options to change transfer, price printing and detail printing selections for this estimate, Security access required.
  4. In the Perform these tasks when saving area, do one of the following:
    • Click Preview or Preview / Signature and click OK to preview the estimate.
      • You can print or email the estimate from the preview as well as modify the number of days to keep unsigned estimates and collect an electronic signature, if using.
    • Notes:
      • Display of Preview or Preview/Signature is based on estimate defaults.
      • Use of electronic signatures on estimates requires either a touchscreen workstation or connected signature capture device. Enable signature capture in Tools > Signature Capture Device.
  5. Click the Save and continue option to:
    • Select Print estimate and specify the number of Copies.
    • Select E-mail estimate to send the estimate after saving.
    • Change the number of days to store the unsigned estimate (up to 999 days) or enter an expiration date for the unsigned estimate. Note: Entry of days or date calculates the other corresponding field.
    • Select Finalize estimate if the client is accepting the estimate without electronic signature.
  6. Click OK to save the estimate and perform any of the above selected tasks.

Once saved or finalized, estimates are located on the Estimates tab of the Patient Clipboard.

Delete an estimate

You can manually delete an estimate that no longer applies to a patient. Note: You cannot delete an electronically signed estimate. The Signature icon displays next to estimates that have been electronically signed and finalized.

Navigate to Patient Clipboard > right-click patient> Estimate.

  1. Acknowledge any client and patient alerts.
  2. F2 in the Estimate # field to select the estimate from the Estimate List.
  3. Click Delete. Click Yes or No on the confirmation message.
  4. Click Close to exit and return to the Estimate window.
  5. Click Cancel to exit and return to the Patient Clipboard.

Once deleted, the estimate cannot be retrieved.

Additional information


Estimate pathways

Canned estimates

Using travel sheets with estimates


Discount and taxes

Petly Plan subscribers

Related reports

These Cornerstone reports provide information from the actions outlined in this article. Each report has its own security access under the Reports tab of the Security Setup window.

  • Patient Visit List Report
  • Patient Visit List By Date: End of Day group
  • Patient Visit List By Type: End of Day group
  • Invoice Item Dispensing Setup Report: Review dispensing fees and items linked to inventory items.
  • Invoice Item Information Report: Review linked discounts to items.
  • Invoice Item Tax Setup Report


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