A decent Practice Management (PM) system and a competent Medical Billing Company can bring in massive gains for hospitals and clinics of all sizes. If utilized effectively, both of them will complement each other resulting in reduced patient visit duration, enhanced patient satisfaction levels, faster payments and lesser rejections; more efficient and well managed practice operations.
The integrated system works in such a way that it makes individual tasks for front desk personnel, nurses, physician assistants, physicians, billers and patients easier. Even if your practice doesn’t employ this many personnel and has a shorter chain of command, someone will still be performing all these tasks.
Here’s how the system will aide:
- Front desk staff
With an Integrated Practice Management solution, front desk personnel can electronically transmit patient demographic information into the system; saving them the inconvenience of re-typing this information on subsequent patient visits and eliminating double entry.
Moreover, the verification of patient insurance information can be done in real-time during the appointment scheduling process; courtesy of the automatic eligibility verification feature. With a few clicks and entries, the entire patient insurance record including coverage for specific procedures, deductibles and other insurance provisions will appear in front of their screens.
They will not have to ‘hold’ on phone calls to already swamped insurance providers; they can immediately inform the patient what all they’re covered for under their insurance, and how much they’re expected to pay.
- Nurses, PAs and doctors
Using document management, all the relevant information such as capturing, scanning and attaching paper charts, x-rays, medical drawings, etc can be directly transferred onto the system.
Additionally, enterprise scheduling on a single interface allows both physicians and support staff to check when patients will be coming in and which resources are expected to be there during the visits. If the system is Cloud-based, each user can access this information (if permitted) from any location with a computer and an active internet connection.
Even before the billing process starts, the E-Superbill must be made by the practice and is subsequently forwarded to the biller or outsourced billing company. ICD and CPT codes are two essentials for creating claims that are sent out to insurance providers; identifying and entering these codes is much easier using these systems.
The doctor only has to type in the name of the procedure or diagnosis and the relevant code will automatically be generated, saving the doctor a lot of time and effort.
Moreover, doctors are automatically notified about several issues such as missing fields or wrongly entered patient insurance numbers even before the Superbill is even sent out to the biller.
Integrated solutions have the provision for Patient Portals which facilitate doctor-patient interaction by allowing patients to interact with doctors, and to safely access results and reports online.
The billers aided by the demographic information entered by the front desk staff, which they would otherwise have had to enter manually onto their system.
Additionally, they don’t have to dive into a profusion of paper records to determine the correct codes. The automatic generation of codes as was the case during E-Superbill creation saves them a lot of time and reduces the probability of errors.
The next question is that of outsourcing medical billing and why to do so? There are three reasons for this.
- They possess the required expertise, skill and competence necessary to effectively mediate and transact a practice’s medical billing.
- They have different personnel for different segments of billing; a foundation-pillar of any efficient billing company.
Their expertise and skill will also mean that they’ll stay up-to-date with the latest industry updates in the world of medical billing via certification courses, attending important seminars, etc. This becomes impossible for most in-house billers (usually a few managing the whole practice) as they are already swamped with work all year around.
There will be dedicated personnel for identifying and checking demographic and coding errors, dedicated personnel for sending out claims, and a separate negotiation team which has a lot of experience in dealing with insurance providers.
With all of these characteristics, they will be able to identify problems sooner, correct them faster, send out claims faster, and most importantly – get you your money faster.
Now that you’re more aware of the benefits of both integrated billing systems and the benefits of outsourcing, you should carry out some research to determine which vendors out there would satisfy your practice’s needs.