Top 5 Reasons to Use Integrated EHR and Medical Billing Software
The process of medical billing and practice management has always been a time-consuming task in the field of clinical practice. Undoubtedly, the EHR systems have reduced and simplified healthcare providers’ human efforts while streamlining their working processes effectively. This is why the healthcare industry is changing, and so are the health providers’ services. They have now started to look for better systems to manage their practice. A recent report says that 89% of providers have agreed that the EHR forms the core of their practice and dominates their decision-making process for selecting a management system.
And this is not all! With simpler EHR, the search and need for intelligent medical billing solutions has also become challenging which has been made easier with its integration with EHR. This integration is a boon with numerous advantages.
Let us delve into the obvious but unsaid benefits of integrated EHR with medical billing software. But before starting, let us also understand what an integrated EHR and medical billing system are.
An Integrated EHR and Medical Billing System
The Electronic Health Records (EHR) integration is defined as the process of accessing medical records seamlessly across all the electronic software solutions. For medical billing systems, this process might look a little complex and requires the HL7 interfaces to exchange the parameters like demographics, patient chart details, charge codes, encounter sheets, patient notes, billing cycle, and more. This would ensure that no data is duplicated and is seamlessly merged with the existing EHR system.
Over the years, integrated EHR and medical billing system received immense popularity. In fact, according to a recent report produced by Fact.MR, the EHR market is expected to rise up to US $23.78 billion in 2022 and anticipate a positive CAGR of 4.5% and attain a value of US$41.8 billion by 2032
The US healthcare providers lose $262 billion annually due to claim denials. The primary reasons for such claim rejections and denials are claim form errors, code mismatch, and missed claim submission due dates but are limited to these. The claim form errors constitute around 40% and 80% of medical bill errors and are the most common reason for claim denials.
These issues have majorly surfaced due to manual data input, improper software settings, and untrained staff, which is common in otherwise healthcare billing software. With the help of electronic medical billing software with EHR, the providers can:
Maintain patient data at one location.
Set notifications for claim submission as per the deadlines.
Set the coding and clinical documentation in one place.
Integrating healthcare medical billing systems into your EHR system would avoid the bulk of manual work like entering the exact details into two different programs and task redundancies, further preventing manual errors, coding errors, and more.
With a comprehensive EHR solution combined with medical billing and coding software, it’s time to improve reimbursement rates.
To avail of the federal incentive programs, the providers and hospitals must prove the meaningful use of certified EHR technology across the market. By integrating the EHR with practice management billing software, the providers are improving patient care and data security while maintaining data centralization.
The term interoperability is not only about seamless communication between external systems; it can also be used to maintain data in one centralized system and seamlessly enable the claim filing process. With the EHR billing integrations being highly interoperable, this allows data sharing with providers and practitioners with access rights. This enables the sensitive information to stay confidential while the data and its analysis allow the third parties for patient care and improvement purposes.
This interoperability reduces the data entry check-points and human errors at the most. A robust and flexible centralized system prevents security breaches while allowing providers to handle sensitive patient information without hiccups.
Reduced Billing Workloads
With an integrated EHR and medical billing software, the medical billing specialists would spend less time filing claims. With an integrated system, the coding and documentation are directly fetched from EHR, which saves the time of copying the data. The system will also prompt the physicians to complete these activities even during patient visits. This would reduce the after-visit work for the providers and billing staff.
There are many small-level hospitals and providers wherein the costs are only increasing due to these billing complications. This is why many medical billing software companies have switched to medical billing software for small businesses while easing the process of coding and documentation with claims submissions on a timely basis.
Reduce Coding Errors and Paperwork
With human comes human errors!
With the integrated EHR software with billing, the patient data will be transmitted to the billing system automatically, which will let the EMR Medical Specialists generate cleaner claims. This removes the human error chances while developing billing sheets and entering codes, enhancing the turnaround time.
The integrated EHR with billing software will also provide rest to the clinical and healthcare staff who are more or less dedicated to filling the forms and performing the claims process. This reduced workload will enable them to focus on providing better healthcare services which was otherwise not happening.
Patient satisfaction is one of the primary aims of any healthcare provider. Billing process automation and claim error elimination will improve the patient satisfaction rates for the existing patients. With the help of the insurance eligibility verification feature in billing software, the practitioner will have a clear idea of the covered services in the patients’ insurance plans at the scheduling stage.
This will be an essential step to avoid to and fros while the billing process starts. The EHR integrated billing system will help clinics inform the patients about the incurring expenses in insurance coverage which will further increase their satisfaction levels.
More time is spent on inefficient medical billing processes and systems; less time is left to devote themselves to patients. This is why an EHR integration becomes an essential component for deciding which practice management solution to choose. These solutions will allow the providers with unparalleled partner solutions, which will further modernize the existing practice and offer your patients world-class healthcare service with no hiccups in other benefits.
Practice Management Vs. Medical Billing Software – What is Right for You?
As every healthcare practice has its own needs and goals, so is its requirement. Some want efficiency to improve; some want to streamline their claims processing to be hassle-free. At the same time, others might be more interested in notifying their patients of upcoming appointments and bill the same timely. Some might want a combination of these, and some might look for all of them.
It is fine to approach your life in whatever way you want to, but when it comes to purchasing Medical Billing System orPractice Management Software, remember that you are responsible for others’ lives and health simultaneously. This is why understanding the significant disparities between the nuances of medical billing software and medical practice management software is very important.
But the one major area that is confusing for all is the debate on medical billing softwarevs practice management software. These two might look similar to a layman, but they are way apart regarding workflow. So, this article will focus on the significant disparities in the working of the Medical billing system and the processes involved in Practice Management Applications.
The Practise Management Software is the application so designed to assist the medical offices in the running effectively and efficiently. In general, the small and medium-sized provider system can manage daily operations like financial processes and administrative functions, while some organizations can utilize it for electronic medical records.
The standard capabilities of any practice management software can include the following but are not limited to:
Patient appointment and its scheduling
Tracking charge capture
Performing the billing procedures and claim processing
Payment processing from patients, insurance providers and third-party providers
Generating staff reports
As PMS simplifies patient data management, the adoption of these systems has grown drastically over the last few years. According to Grand View Research, the US$12.9 billion market size value of PMS in 2019 is expected to witness an annual growth of 8.8% by 2022 to 2030.
There are three different ways to install the software: desktop-only, client-server, and Internet-based.
Desktop-only software: This can be used on a single computer by the few who can access the system.
Client-server software: This can be accessed by multiple users with data sharing and on-site server access that the practice has to purchase or lease.
Internet-based software: The user can access the internet and eliminate the server purchase pre-requisite, but this can hamper the security as patient data is accessible externally.
The Practice Management Applicationsalso manages big data like ICD codes and procedures, third-party insurance providers, medical procedures, and providers.
Pros of Practice Management Software
The software is responsible for helping various departments in any practice as mentioned under:
Front Desk Staff
The Front Desk Staff will not duplicate the insurance card. Instead, the staff will scan the card to capture the relevant information. This will save time and human efforts at the same time.
The billing staff can submit and re-submit the insurance claims quickly as that software automates the tasks. This would save time and boost cash flow efficiently.
The physicians can validate the ICD codes for the patient diagnosis and with the insurance company before ordering the same. Additionally, this software can ease the other administrative functions required while running a practice. This will allow the practitioners to continue their practice at ease without bothering about their different roles.
What is Medical Billing Software?
The Medical Billing Software will handle all the tasks from where the patient appointment is scheduled until the time the patient finishes the telehealth session with the practitioner. Medical billing services are an essential feature in medical practices, which is vital to obtain when the patient appointment is set up, insurance is claimed, claims need to be re-submitted, and more.
This is why the practices with in-house medical billing specialists also prefer to use their medical billing services.
Ever been caught in a situation like when to send the bill, when the second or third notices are sent for missed payment reminders, or view the generated billing reports all at once? The medical billing services will come to your aid.
Major Disparities in the PMS and Billing Software
The primary difference between practice management software and billing software is that the PMS is responsible for managing the administrative side of the practice, and the billing software takes care of the clinical element of the practice. The PMS maintains the facility management records in digital format and is not shared externally. On the contrary, the medical billing specialists need to share the individual patient data and records with other medical professionals and practitioners.
So which are the tasks that you need to handle with software? Most providers and practitioners use the software for administrative and clinical uses. This is why the decision to use the software must be decided based on compatibility. This will help the software end-users ensure that the departments are working in sync and data consistency is maintained.
Numerous vendors in the market offer Practice management billing software: an easy and seamless integrated software. Try one of these software as per administrative or clinical requirements. At times, these integrations reduce the human efforts, which in turn enhances the provider’s performance and management at par with the competition.
In Other Words
It is not uncommon to summarize the medical billing software with practice management software. The billing software and system handle the creation and maintenance of the healthcare services provider. The PMS focuses on the revenue flow and patient support features like scheduling, patient charting, medical records, and more.
Medical practices of all sizes find it appropriate to use practice management software that helps billing specialists manage and maintain their growing and ongoing practice. Additionally, this software is ICD-10 compliant, which is why they are more reliable and secure.
Still, confused about the software to choose for your practice? Schedule an appointment with us, and we will assist you hereon!
EMR Vs EHR – What Are the Essential Differences between EMR and EHR
To the layman there is a certain amount of equivalence when one talks about medicine and health. Apparently the two go together and are interconnected which is true to a certain degree but there is a fine distinction when it comes to records, especially those maintained in electronic form, usually in the form of software based EHR systems. This is the current trend and data is stored as Electronic Medical Record (EMR) or Electronic Health Record (EHR), the terms sometimes overlapping and used interchangeably. It must be noted that over 93% of hospitals in the USA use EHRs. A closer look shows that these two are disparate as we will differentiate in the ensuing paragraphs. People do tend to conflate EHR and EMR.
Some common functions of EMR:
Keep individual track of patients
Identify which patients are due for a consultation/checkup/screening and send out notifications
Keep track of patient’s specific health condition and progress as well as response to treatment
What is an Electronic Medical Record (EMR)?
One way to look at an electronic medical record is to consider it as a subset of the electronic health record. The EMR is usually maintained in electronic medical record systems software supplied by a known vendor. The EMR contains data about a specific patient as regards health, demographics, diagnostics, treatments and finance, sometimes in relation to a particular health condition or illness. It is almost always created by clinical or non-clinical staff within a medical practice and it is not transferable electronically due to legal constraints. If at all a patent switches to another medical practitioner who requires access to the electronic medical records then the previous clinician would probably print and send a paper record.
What is an Electronic Health Record (EHR)?
The chief and identifying characteristic of the electronic health recordis that it is created by an enterprise health system and it is shared between healthcare organizations. It is also more wide-ranging in scope, covering not just specific ailment, diagnostics and treatment but also including an overall picture of the person’s general health conditions and physical characteristics. It also includes data about the patients’ treatments at various other healthcare facilities and clinics, covering their history. It paints a larger picture of the patients’ medical journey. Larger healthcare services providers make use of more sophisticated and secure EHR system to manage patients’ electronic health records. Access to the EHR of patients help larger healthcare services to know about their past and arrive at a faster treatment solution instead of having to start diagnostics from scratch. It also saves money and time for both patients and services.
Provided large healthcare services provider obtain their electronic health record system set up by specialist IT vendors there are quite a few benefits:
Ability to deliver specialized, higher level specialized care to referred patients
Save lives by acting fast based on availability of complete medical records
Let patients view their own records and thus encourage and motivate them to take better care
Avoid duplication and redundancy by way of lab tests and diagnostics and save time, effort and money
Provide better follow up care and holistic improvements to patients
Key differences between EMR and EHR:
The above explanations of EMR and EHR show why it is easy to conflate the two together. However, the following fine distinctions should make the differences pointedly clear.
As stated above the EMR is created by a particular doctor or medical facility and such records are treated as confidential. The patient or another healthcare service provider does not have direct access to the EMR.
Electronic health records, maintained in electronic health records software by larger institutions are accessible to patients who can download softcopies. EHR systems are designed to be interoperable between institutions and data is standardized using standards such as Health Level 7 (HL7) that creates standardized formats.
EMR systems used by small medical practitioners may be custom built by vendors and store data in their specifically created formats that may not be directly accessible by EHRs. It is a closed system. Electronic Health Records software is designed to be interoperable between different institutions across the country or the world with standardized formats and data systems as regards documentation, medicine management, diagnostics, clinical decisions, reporting, financials and analytics.
It must also be kept in mind that insurance also comes into play and interoperability provides convenience in this regard.
Higher security in EHRs
EHRs by their very nature are used in large public health services and the fact that data is shareable and systems are interoperable imposes a higher level of security and safety standards to prevent such data falling into the wrong hands or being hacked. As such, larger healthcare services must pay special attention and care to choosing electronic health records software and also on the vendor’s capability to provide ironclad security for storage and also for transmission across the internet.
Which one to opt for? EHR or EMR?
The foregoing paragraphs clearly delineate the vital distinctions between EHR and EMR. The question is which one should you choose as a medical service provider?
Individual practitioners and small clinics will find it easier, convenient and affordable to go in for compact and easy to use electronic medical records software that can be installed and managed in-house. Such practitioners can access patient’s EMR on their office systems as well as through their mobiles. However, it must be kept in mind that there will be quite a few patients whose condition, treatment required and the lack of facilities in the individual doctor’s clinic will make it necessary for such patients to be referred to larger hospitals with better facilities. As such, the right recommendation is that individual practitioners will find it a wise choice to go with electronic health record software right from the start due to interoperability, higher security and access. If this is the choice, and it is the right one at that, what remains to be done is to choose the right vendor and get a cloud based EHR software solution that includes messaging, financials and billing in one package.