Billing software will play a large part in the success of the billing process and getting paid. As an early implementer of medical software and an expert on electronic medical record (EMR) technology, Nitin Chhoda addresses what clinicians should seek in medical billing software.
The goal is to bill accurately and quickly. Ordinary billing software will work, but an EMR is recommended. It’s the new standard in medical billing software.
EMRs have functionalities ranging from submitting more clean claims to verifying patient insurance coverage. Billing software allows clinicians to collect payments quicker and provide an enhanced level of patient care.
Medical billing programs can cost from $500 to $5,000. The cost of an EMR that is integrated with billing software can reach $50,000, but the good news is that comprehensive EMR systems are available for free. Due diligence should be exercised and sufficient research conducted before purchasing any program.
While some insurance companies still require paper claims, the vast majority use digital delivery. Using billing software is fast, efficient and transmits claims to their destination in real time, allowing practitioners to get paid in as little as 10 days. It’s a requirement for government-operated insurance programs that include Medicare and Medicaid.
Today’s patients communicate in a variety of ways, from old-fashioned mail to voice messages. It’s critical for a practice’s billing software to be able to do the same. Billing programs should have the ability to contact clients by voice and text message, mail, phone and mobile device and email.
Access On the Go
Billing software places all of a patient’s information in a central location, but the programs also provide users with the ability to access client information from any location where an Internet connection is available.
Billers can update information from multiple locations, a particularly useful feature for practitioners with more than one office and those who participate in corporate wellness programs.
Even though an integrated EMR can take the place of virtually any office system, some clinicians are enamored of their existing programs and can’t bear to part with them. Any billing software program should integrate smoothly with other systems already being used in the office.
A good billing software program significantly reduces the possibility of claim errors by identifying common mistakes before the reimbursement request is sent. Clean claims can be submitted to clearinghouses that are processed quickly and efficiently for quicker payment collection.
A key feature of medical billing software is the ability to access tech support 24/7. A bug or glitch in the software program can mean significant losses for the practice and payment delays. Billers should be able to work with tech support any time of the day or night to fix problems.
Maintaining HIPAA compliance is serious business and billing software helps practices avoid running afoul of state and federal regulations. Patient information is confidential and billing software assists users ensure that data and submissions are transmitted securely.
Billing software runs the gamut from basic systems to those with a comprehensive array of built-in abilities. Don’t purchase the first system that’s explored.
Do take time to examine each billing software program to ensure it will grow along with the practice and can be customized to accommodate the individual needs of the clinic.