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Workfl ow Management

Exceeding expectations for electronic billing

You may see more cash through the door and even improve communications with all parties involved when you implement the right automated workfl ow.

By Scott Law T

he past fi ve years have brought a drastic rise in health insurance premiums. Consequently, the recent increase in healthcare costs is mak- ing it more diffi cult for insurance providers and physicians to manage the high-maintenance task of collecting money from patients and fi ling reimburse- ment claims. While it has taken quite some time for physicians to move from the paper-based U.S. healthcare system, they are increasingly recognizing the benefi ts of a technology-based system that allows records and billings to be handled electronically – for both patients and their practices.

You will benefi t from a paperless solution Many physicians are troubled by the enormous amount of ongoing paperwork and diffi cult practice en- vironments. In fact, 30 percent of all healthcare claims are inappropriately paid, and half of those claims are never followed up. As a result, these back-offi ce errors are coming out of providers’ pockets. As physicians spend the majority of their days seeing patients, they simply do not have the time to follow up on unpaid medical claims.

The recent surge in physicians turning to electronic billing systems is in large part due to an increased under- standing of the advantages of a paperless offi ce, federal mandates and delays in the processing of paper claims. Additional benefi ts of utilizing a high-tech medical billing system include enhanced patient care, decreased lost or misplaced paper documents and a signifi cant reduction of cost in both billing and employment. With efforts to reduce and eliminate denials, health-

care executives are leaning toward automated workfl ow. Advancements in software are prompting the use of technology to detect inconsistency in billing, and some medical billing providers have created software with the capability to alert appropriate claims to personnel and patients. This even allows billing managers to measure the effi ciency of their staff. Typically, 80 percent of payments are hassle-free to

8 March 2011

collect on. However, the other 20 percent pose chal- lenges and require extra time and attention from the billing staff. These claims require an automated workfl ow that drills down into the problem, as well as integrated document imaging that shows the necessary documen- tation and allows for appropriate follow up with the insurance payors.

Billing software is designed specifi cally to help physicians accomplish better patient care, enhance workfl ow management, eliminate unnecessary labor, track productivity and get cash in the door.

Current healthcare system The time to act on electronic billing is now. With

self-pay money being the most diffi cult to collect and physician reimbursement on the downward slope, healthcare providers can handle all of the paperwork with technology.

By investing in electronic information technology systems, medical records can be sorted and processed more effi ciently and with minimal human errors. Without the hassle of thousands of papers, costs can be reduced if claims are processed electronically.

In addition, with the option of either outsourcing billing services or performing billing in-house, providers have access to the best collections tools to turn denials into revenue. Billing software is designed specifi cally to help physicians accomplish better patient care, enhance workfl ow management, eliminate unnecessary labor, track productivity and get cash in the door. By automatically identifying charges that have not been paid or require further attention, the billing software ensures maximum payment with little effort. Electronic billing systems allow patients to pay online, receive insurance updates and set up payment plans

HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY www.healthmgttech.com

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