If streamlining the operations of your medical practice seems like a daunting task, you may need to look into medical billing software or medical billing services to ease the associated jobs.
The idea of outsourcing and software initially came up when various service providers were increasingly getting knee-deep in overwhelming costs of ready-made software and task specific resources. Not only hundreds and thousands of bucks went into the acquisition cost of software but also in the training of employees to learn how to use that software. Moreover, the extra resource that was hired to cater to the increasing need of operations also had to be accommodated, which means more room needed to be rented out to provide workstations for them and they had to be paid with commissions and bonuses over their fixed salary. Apart from that, in certain conditions, a separate HR also needs to be hired to meet the demands of a growing staff. Needless to say, a company could be looking at an increase of a couple of thousands of dollars. However, since many visionaries realized the gap that was in the healthcare market for a solution, clinicians were introduced to medical billing services and medical billing software to ease the problems that many of them faced. It is safe to say that these two facilities have revolutionized many facets of the medical industry. If you are still unsure about the difference between medical billing software and medical billing services and the benefits they provide then read on below:
Medical Billing Software
In the past, medical billing used to be a tedious task, clinicians would shirk away from. There was plenty of paperwork that went into managing bills. Traditionally, the burden of medical billing used to fall on the shoulders of multiple staff personnel which used to divert their attention from their core tasks and waste a lot of their time. It can be undoubtedly said that now, the medical billing feature of EHR has significantly shed the workload of a lot of employees and significantly streamlined operations of a medical practice.
We can say that a revolution is underway in the medical industry, which is why, now the current trend is towards a single platform that can help practitioners in managing all of their operations without having to swipe between two different platforms. In a study, it was found out that as many as 89% of the doctors said that integration is the key requirement for them and it dominated all other aspects. The integration of EHR and medical billing is a transformation that in the industry that has offered and is offering plenty of benefits to its users. So, let’s see the benefits it offers in detail:
1. Reduced data entry
Data entry is perhaps the most tedious task in the medical industry. Having to enter patient data over and over again can also be very time consuming which sidetracks a lot of employees from their core tasks and also frustrates them. However, when EHR and medical billing is fully integrated, there is no need for the repetitive entry of patient details. The software can itself fetch any information that is needed and carry out any sort of tasks that are required on a particular data. This reduces administrative workload by many folds which is why many clinicians swear by medical billing software.
2. A subject matter expert
There is a lot that goes into preparing meticulous medical bills that don’t get rejected when they are submitted. So, instead of considering medical billing as a part-time job, it should be thought of as a full-time job which requires dedicated resources and dedicated time. However, this is not the case in many clinics. Most hospitals have part time medical billers that have many other responsibilities on their plate in addition to just creating medical bills. This makes room for a lot of mistakes in the bills, which is why they are denied. When they have to be processed again, same amount of effort is done all over again which is very time consuming on the part of the resource. Medical billing software, in such instances highlights any errors that come up and quickly processes the bills based on the services acquired. It is very unlikely for a bill that is processed by a medical billing software to come out as inaccurate.
3. Increased efficiency
Even though AI hasn’t reached a point where it can come up with creative solutions like humans can, it still is and will always be way more efficient than human beings. Computers don’t need to take breaks, or cause human errors which is why the efficiency of the medical billing related tasks is increasingly improved.
Medical billing software gives a clinician a good insight into the workflow of his practice. From the total number of patients and their information to submitted claims, rejected claims, paid claims and not-submitted claims, anyone can view all these details from the touch of a button. In addition to that, a practitioner can also quickly view the tasks that require his immediate action.
Unlike conventional medical billing software that require a dedicated training program for employees to get a hang of things, these personalized EHRs that offer medical billing as a feature are quite easy to use and understand, because what’s the point of spending money on a software that requires a separate amount of money for the training of employees as well. Therefore, you can expect this type of software to be implemented in half a day and if your staff has any ambiguities, you can stay rest assured that your vendor will be responsible for resolving their queries.
6. No capital expenses
Your medical billing software would be web-based, which means that unlike accommodating for human resources, you wouldn’t need to rent out room or other infrastructure to place it. This will significantly lower your capital expenses as you wouldn’t have to create a sperate budget to run the system.
7. Eligibility verification
It’s not always an easy task to check whether a patient is eligible for insurance or not. However, in this day and age, billing software comes with an electronic eligibility verifier that can quickly check whether the patient falls under the list of eligible people or not. This way, prior to providing services to the patient, it can be established if he should be treated under a particular insurance or not. The clinic could potentially find great savings to costs of payroll and a higher profit by prequalifying clients before services are rendered.
Medical Billing Services
Medical billing services are used by practitioners in order to free up the time of a clinic’s staff by dealing with the processes that are associated with health insurance claims. In contrast with medical billing software, medical billing services are dependent upon task specific resources which can carry out different operations related to medical billing, in turn increasing the payment a practice is able to receive in a given period of time. Although, a practice has to be vigilant while evaluating a medical billing service provider, there are different benefits that every company offers. So, let’s take a look at the benefits that medical billing service companies generally provide a practice with:
1. Innovative technology:
If there is one industry that is being revolutionized even more so than the healthcare industry, it is the technology sector. It is increasingly important for companies to stay well updated when it comes to their technology because of the ever-growing competition that the medical industry is synonymous with. However, with AI, blockchain and various new systems and platforms, the technology sector is constantly and expeditiously growing and it is hard for businesses to keep up with them especially since adoption of new systems and procedures is not always cost effective and comprehendible by the company’s managers and staff members. So, it is always a good idea to outsource as medical billing companies have to bear the brunt of the cost of the cutting-edge technology, they use for providing services.
In addition to that, ideally your service provider will offer you a platform that can merge with your facility’s current system effortlessly.
2. Narrow your focus on your competency
If you are a clinician, chances are you ventured into the medical industry to treat patients and put your years of practice to good use. However, it can be very derailing if a doctor is given the daunting task of dealing with medical bills on top of dealing with patients. Outsourcing enables practitioners to get back to what they are good at and to keep on practicing medicine without getting sidetracked with tedious tasks.
3. Increase in patient engagement and satisfaction
When there is less burden on the staff members of the practice, they will have more time on their hands to respond to patients’ feedback and queries. This will, in turn, help in the formation of long-term bonds due to patient satisfaction. The key to enhanced patient loyalty is treating them in a way that makes them feel that they are important for the staff rather than just being a money-making machine. By outsourcing, nurses, doctors and administrative staff will focus on more variables than just getting patients in and out of the door.
4. Eradicate or reduce the number of errors produced
Even though, there is no surefire way to eliminate human errors, practice always goes a long way. And while the hospital staff can produce meticulous medical bills, they can’t come close to the ones produced by professional medical billing staff whose livelihood depends on them. These professionals have years and years of experience of processing claims which is why the chances of errors coming up are reduced by many folds.
Outsourcing also expedites payments because the service providers scour claims and discover simple mistakes that may make the payments reimburse at a snail’s pace.
5. Patient data safety
If you have been in the medical sector long enough then you probably know by now that how important it is to keep patient data safe and secure. There have been data breaches in the past which have caused a lot of trouble for medical companies, so the importance of patient data safety can be assessed from this. Moreover, patient data is considered to be more valuable than the credit card information of a person. So, needless to say, it is vital to safeguard patient data.
Outsourcing billing procedures to a third-party ensures that your valuable patient data won’t find its way in the hands of a wrong person because medical billing service providers are under contract and they understand the threat that comes with a breach to their company.
6. Saves money
The money-saving feature has always been the top reason why medical practitioners feel the need to outsource. Through the option of outsourcing, medical practitioners are able to save money on salaries, bonuses, allowances, training costs, rents, etc.
With the provision of flexible pricing models, practitioners also have the option of choosing the service and the price that to them seems perfect.
7. Expedites Cash Flow
Despite the employee situation, medical billing outsourcing services enable practitioners to maintain a sustainable cash flow and rapid collection. Clinics can obtain increase economies of scale by allowing a skilled company to do the medical billing rapidly.
8. Well-informed practice’s admin staff
With the insightful data that is provided to the firm by the medical billing service providers, the administration is more well-informed on the workflow of the company and how they can improve the operations to increase the revenue.
The Bottom Line:
To summarize, we can say that even though hiring a medical billing services vendor or purchasing a medical billing software comes for a price, in the longer run it is more efficient and economical. Rather than trying your luck at things that will only derail you from your core competency, you should allocate these tasks to the pros, that not only have more experience but will also take the revenue of your practice to great highs.