Healthcare professionals are eager to qualify for incentive payoffs by attesting to meaningful use, though many are also investing in EMR software with the purpose of increasing revenue, reducing expenditure and improving patient care. With EMR software making doctors’ lives easier, should healthcare accounts receivable companies be wary of their services becoming redundant?
Most EMRs bring in billing and insurance codes automatically with selected diagnoses or allow doctors to assign these codes while charting. Streamlining the process reduces the potential for error, as it removes coders from the equation, leaving just the physician and the biller. However, it also means more work for providers who now have to worry about the coding and billing aspect of the visit, rather than focusing on patient care.
The truth is that doctors expect their EMR to make life easier, and the technology should improve office efficiency from the time the patient makes first contact until their bill is paid. Realistically, however, an EMR can’t do everything and healthcare providers still need to employ the services of outside contractors, including coders, billers and collections agencies. This is because doctors make more money treating patients than doing paperwork.
Since doctors aren’t going to get rid of their EMRs, healthcare accounts receivable services need to capitalize on services they can offer instead of focusing on what an EMR can’t. Though EMR software, for example, may integrate sophisticated features to improve coding accuracy and reduce billing errors, healthcare professionals also need real people making collections calls, arranging payment plans with patients, and obtaining necessary supporting documents for insurance claims. Billing companies can also help by programming the doctor’s most commonly used codes and offering EMR template customization.
Healthcare providers want to spend more time treating patients than doing paperwork, and billing agencies are as crucial to this goal as is the provider’s EMR.