By Lori A Anderson
New features can benefit you with a more efficient practice, lower costs, and increased cash flow.
Medical Billing Software and Physician’s Practice Management Systems are the best tools you can use to improve the financial well being of your practice. Using one can help you to gain full control over your finances, and grow your business. Cutting-edge medical billing technology can significantly reduce time and costs spent processing claims. Not only will you have a better grasp of the health of your practice, you can watch your receivables increase and your payables decrease.
In the past couple of years, new features have began to emerge to increase your operational efficiency. Spurred on by the HIPAA regulations mandating electronic file transfer standards such as X12, and the growth and maturing of the internet, new features are now available to help your business.
Recent advancements include:
- instant access from anywhere, even away from the office
- manage multiple offices and functions from one database
- enhanced scanning - electronically file all claims; even those needing supporting documentation attached.
- rules engines to identify errors before submitting the claim
- increased security to comply with new HIPAA standards
- electronic patient statements
- electronic remittance advice
With the maturing of the internet, new technology supporting the ASP (Application Service Providers) architecture allows access to your data including data entry from anywhere with a internet connection. This flexibility is a true benefit to multi-office practices and billing services. Multiple offices can now share the same database without the need for specialized networking or wide area networks. The cost savings in communication expenses alone can be enormous. Billing services can benefit by allowing limited access to their clients. This can instill a higher level of comfort for the client. This access can allow give a billing service a competitive advantage by providing value added services such as scheduling, super bill printing, and patient lookup.
Built in Efficiencies
Leveraging newer technology such as EOB and insurance card scanning, electronic patient statements, and electronic remittance can cut time spent on billing chores by up to 30%. This can allow more time for focus on patients and collections.
Reduced paper handling
Newer systems provide insurance payer rules so that users can immediately identify and correct claim errors that would delay payment of claims. Some systems will submit all your claims on your behalf including paper claims. Carriers can respond immediately so you get faster payouts, most within 14 days. Practice Management Systems can also reduce staff workload by outsourcing the print and mail functions of processing patient claims and statements.
When supporting documentation is needed in order for a claim to be paid, some systems can attach scanned letters of medical necessity, accident reports, referral authorizations, worker’s compensation documents, and most importantly EOBs. This eliminates the need to photocopy paperwork and perform chart pulls later if there are any questions on the claims.
When using the internet, many users are concerned about security. A well established vendor addresses these concerns on multiple levels. Just like banking at an ATM, all data is encrypted during transmission and is protected by a user name and password. Furthermore, with most ASP vendors, all data and servers are backed up by expert IT staff at the data center. Many ASp vendors offer redundant HIPAA-compliant servers, with backups in different locations to ensure data recovery in case of disaster.
What is becoming standard in ASP-based medical billing software is subscription style pricing, and low upfront cost which cover implementation and professional fees.
If your business is looking to upgrade the medical billing software, examine the new features listed to see if they will offer you cost savings and increased efficiency. If so, insist on the new features in your next system. The cost savings can easily justify the upgrade.
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