The last few years have been revolutionary for the medical industry. It has seen the prioritization and transition to EHR software systems that ensured minimizing losses in productivity, which is of paramount importance in healthcare. Automating one of the most arduous tasks in the sector as a whole, small and medium practices have now started considering automating other onerous operations like billing and claim submissions. This is done by using online medical software that uses technology to increase revenue and efficiency. This is also particularly useful for patients as they can cut claim submission costs by a significant number, all by transitioning to automating authorizations and electronic filing.
Furthermore, integrating one of the best medical billing software does not just help in increasing cash flows and in reducing costs. It helps practices in transitioning to electronic file systems. It helps the support staff track their patients and the associated invoices from a central location, thereby reducing the amount of paperwork that needs to be taken care of. This is also helpful across practices who outsource their billing to outside contractors, wherein the practices can bring the billing in-house, having much better control over the entire process.
What is a medical billing software?
When a practice opts for the best medical billing software, it is getting a computer application that automates the entire billing process of the facility. It is also used to optimize revenue, improve reimbursement rates and it greatly helps in the financial health of the business. The crux of a medical billing software lies in how it can manage every aspect of the workflow, right from scheduling appointments to processing the payments.
How does a Medical Billing Software work?
The best Medical billing softwares can help your practice in the following ways:
- Help the front-office staff in checking the patient’s insurance eligibility and schedule automatic reminders to reduce no-shows.
- When a patient sees a doctor, the pertinent information from their meeting could be automatically sent to the EHR, where other clinical staff can make a note of it as well.
- With the help of multiple claims scrubbing features that are available in the best medical billing software(s), one can improve their claim acceptance rate.
- When different payments are collected and processed from the insurance companies and patients, healthcare practices can use the software to generate reports that also offer insights into the revenue cycle.
What are the different types of Medical Billing Softwares available?
As one evaluates which medical billing software fits their practice, it is noteworthy to mention that there is a nice framework in place that distinguishes these software. Each set provides a different set of expertise based on the practice that is being served. Understanding the difference between each type can also help practices in choosing the best medical billing software that best fits their needs. Here are three types:
In the light level, the practice is responsible for working on patient validation and rejection due to different checks. It also requires that someone in the practice is familiar with the front end of the billing process and is capable of getting claims out which are then accepted by the payer.
Full-service medical billing companies engage with healthcare practices at an earlier stage of the revenue cycle. They provide the requisite tools, technology, and training to conduct the required checks on patients during the check-in process. This level of medical billing software does not require skilled staff to operate and will manage patient validation and rejection by itself.
Boutique medical billing software(s) perform numerous functions beyond the customary payment posting, claims submission management, and follow-ups of different accounts receivables. Carrying a higher fee tag, this level of medical billing software is suitable for practices that want the software to handle all the business aspects pertaining to running their practice smoothly.
Who should use medical billing software?
Owing to the growing demand for efficiency and effectiveness among healthcare practices, there is a growing impetus being laid on having the best medical billing software. It is designed for general health, mental health, physical therapy and medical healthcare organizations and independent physician practices.
What are the benefits of a Medical Billing Software?
Irrespective of the size and services that a practice is offering, having one of the best medical billing software is extremely beneficial. It takes care of numerous facets that include the likes of:
- Reduces omissions and errors in payment processing
- Ensure that all the claims are properly formatted, reducing the possibility of any claims being denied
- Make use of online and electronic services to reduce patients while reducing the collection of paper billing records
- Use a cloud technology that securely manages and saves billing records across different servers. This is especially helpful in increasing manageability without burdening a single server.
What are the key features of a Medical Billing Software?
Employing the services of one of the best medical billing software(s) is extremely helpful for practices in running more efficiently, in attracting new patients, and in growing the practice. But it is imperative to choose the best medical billing software wisely. One must take a look at their existing billing process to understand the pain points. This can help in assessing if a particular software fits their requirements. However, here are a few features that all the best medical billing software solutions comprise of:
- Appointment scheduling
- Medical claim management – this includes electronic claims processing, claim reconciliation, claim history, claim tracking, and scrubbing
- Patient pre-registration
- Automated coding and claim resubmission
- Reporting including the likes of log payments and refunds, track open bills, claims, and revenue, run essential reports
- Security and encryption
- Credit card payments
- User-friendly intuitive interface
- Responsive support
What are the challenges involved with a Medical Billing Software ?
A medical billing software comes with its own set of challenges. This is true even in the case of the best medical billing software that you choose. Most of these challenges revolve around payments, claims, patient cooperation, the software of the revenue cycle, or other unexpected factors. These unexpected factors could include:
- Payment accessibility
- Non-responsive customer support
- Filling out multiple claims
- Implementation hurdles
- Patient education
- On-time payments
What are the key factors to consider while choosing a Medical Billing Software?
The process of keeping medical records and processing the corresponding payments is a taxing process that cannot afford any errors. For this very reason, numerous healthcare institutions have integrated the best medical billing software.
But before any institution chooses the best medical billing software for them, here are a few factors that are worth considering:
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance – This ensures that the medical billing software has the requisite laws in place to ensure data privacy and security provisions.
Transparency – A software must deliver accurate, timely, and transparent reports.
Service cost – It is important to be clear on the costs of the service and its ancillary functions.
System versatility – The software must be versatile enough to work in tandem with other software and administrative personnel seamlessly.
Turnaround time – Knowing the turnaround time of all the billables is of paramount importance for medical institutions to plan their finances accordingly.
Choosing the best medical billing software for a healthcare institution must be done carefully. Whilst they come with myriad benefits, one must be wary of the hidden elements that might not be suitable for certain institutions. This mistake can cost institutions its reputation, brand loyalty, and patients, all eventually leading to unforeseeable repercussions. For this very reason, institutions must pay heed to all the key factors before they decide on the best medical billing software for them.
How to set up a Medical Billing Software for your practice?
While medical institutions look for the best medical billing software, there are numerous other considerations that a practice must take into account. During the setup of online medical billing software, while practices can interface practice management and EHR systems from different vendors, it is recommended to purchase both the technologies from the same company. Another facet that practices must consider before, is the support that is rendered by the vendors during and after the implementation. As stated earlier, it wouldn’t be ideal if the costs of system upgrades, hosting, and service calls add up to be more than the actual set-up cost. Moreover, practices setting up an online medical billing software must also check if the program can handle the switch to ICD-10.
What is the cost of a Medical Billing Software?
Healthcare institutions are always on the lookout for high-quality, reliable, and the best medical billing software. It helps them with numerous functions and increases the overall convenience making it indispensable in today’s day and age. But, having the best medical billing software comes at a cost. This cost varies for cloud-based software and a hosted software. One must also account for various other costs that include the likes of software training and licensing, annual maintenance and upgrades, and tech support. Putting these all together, a cloud-based software could cost anywhere between $ 4,000 to $ 25,000 per year. However, the costs reduce significantly from the second year.
Medical practices opt for the best medical billing software to manage their invoicing. These practices need industry-specific billing features, along with compliance with different healthcare regulations that include the likes of HIPAA among others. Additionally, medical billing software solutions can increase the speed of the billing process along with accuracy and revenue management making practices pay more attention in choosing the perfect one.