Discounting methods and reporting options

Estimated reading: 9 minutes

There are multiple methods that can be used to provide ‘discounts’ to your clients. Each method has its own use considerations and specific reports to track activity and measure impact.

Before you start

  • Understand the involved set up, staff use, client experience/perception, and your reporting needs to determine the best method(s) to use for discounting.


  • Discounting methodology should be in a manner that is consistent, clear to your clients, and not create confusion.
  • Discounting should be monitored for appropriate use with the reports outlined for the method employed.
  • Logged in administrators can change prices regardless of the allow change setting on the invoice items.

Discount methods

There are six ways to set up discounts within Cornerstone:

  • Preset / Transaction discounts: This is the recommended method. Discounts are automated when applied to both the invoice item and patient. Discounts are per line item.
  • Manual Discounts: Discount applied to the entire invoice.
  • Group code pricing: Price modification when using bundle/group services.
  • Invoice items used as discounts: Coupons, rebates, vouchers.
  • Invoice item price changes: Change the price manually on the patient visit list or invoice.
  • Charging partial quantity or omitting provided services from the invoice: This method is not recommended.

Review the different types of discounts, setup and usage, to determine the best method(s) for your practice.

Discount methodSetup neededUse considerationClient experience Report impact
Preset (recommended)Discounts

Link to applicable items

Link to applicable clients
Security settings can limit access.

Can be added as needed, per billing item, if not linked to the item or client.

Can be applied to estimates, Patient Visit List(PVL), invoice, or documents.
Discount description and total amount displays on invoice.

Discount line detail is optional and based on invoice defaults.

Full price of the billed item(s) is clearly displayed.
Maintains gross and net report values.

End of period discount reports by discount or staff.

Discount totals found on End of period sales summary reports.
ManualNoneSecurity settings can limit access.

Only available on an invoice.
Entered discount description and amount displays on invoice.

Entered amount is calculated and deducted from each line for net revenue.

Full price of billed item(s) clearly displayed.
Maintains gross and net report values. 
EOP Manual Discount reports by client or staff.
Discount totals found on EOP Sales Summary reports.
Invoice itemInvoice item(s) 
Item classification: Recommended for easier tracking purposes.
Unable to restrict use or amount.
Items cannot be set up as a negative price and require manual input for each use.
Can be added to estimates, PVL, invoice, or documents.
Full price of billed items clearly displayed.No differentiation between net and gross sales amounts.
Use Invoice Item Sales Information report or EOM Inventory or Serv. Sales reports by class.
Group code pricingGroup invoice items with markdown pricing.Applied automatically to estimate, Patient Visit list, invoice, or documents.Potential confusion to what the actual pricing is, if the are items billed separately, readily explained if needed. No differentiation between net and gross sales amounts.
Use Standard Fee Exception report (with a reason of GID).
Price changeInvoice itemsCan restrict per item using the item’s Allow Change setting. 
Can also use minimum price to limit price change amount. 
Logged in admin users can override prices at any time. 
Can be performed on estimates, PVL, invoice or documents.
Confusion as to what the actual pricing is.No differentiation between net and gross sales amounts. 
Use Standard Fee Exception report.
Partial quantityInvoice item(s) Can also use minimum price to limit quantity change amount. 
Can be performed on estimates, PVL, invoice, documents.
Overuse can undermine the perceived value of related service.Use Invoice Item Sales Information report or EOM Serv. Sales reports by Class.

Additional Information

  • Avoid complex discounting strategies. keeping to how Cornerstone is designed will save time fixing errors and using multiple reports to track use.  
  • Discounts are applied to items, clients or invoices, not to patients. 
  • Discount strategy factors to keep in mind: 
    • Do you just need a value or do you need to narrow down to client/patient level details?  
    • How much control do you want over pricing and providing of discounts? 
    • Do you want discounts applied automatically or as needed?  
    • Production based pay for doctors and reports used to track, calculate doctor payroll. 
  • You can set and manage discount strategies to prevent excessive discounts, including security access for:
    • The DISC column on estimates
    • Patient Visit List
    • Invoices
    • Manual discounts on invoices
    • All price change settings on invoice items
  • Programmatic discounts, whether preset or manual, determine the distinction between gross and net revenue.
    • When you apply discounts through price modifications, such as line item changes or group item pricing, they don’t distinguish between gross and net sales amounts.
    • Example: Staff Commission reports offer both gross and net versions. Statistics by Staff report provides only gross data.
  • Excessive discounting can occur when: 
    • Minimal security is in place to apply additional preset discounts, or use of the invoice manual discount. 
    • Item change allow settings are at ‘Always’ across billing items versus just on those intended to be changed as needed.
      Example: A true miscellaneous item or coupon/rebate/voucher items. 
    • Providing inaccurate or not providing estimates at all and aligning invoice total to estimated amount or client sticker shock afterwards. 
  • Discrepancies or overuse can indicate: 
    • A need for tighter setup and use controls. 
    • Staff over-discounting due to lack of buy in to fees. 
    • Review of fee structure may be warranted. 

Preset discounts

Manual discounts

Group code discounts

Setting up invoice items as a discount (coupon, rebate)

Partial quantity invoice items

Staff production reporting

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.

  • Discount reports: Daily, monthly
  • Manual Discount reports: Daily, monthly
  • Serv. Sales reports: Monthly, yearly
  • Inventory Sales reports: Monthly, yearly
  • Standard Fee Exception report: Daily
  • Invoice Item Sales information
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