The Benefits of Integrated Billing
There is no question that becoming a clinician comes with a ton of complicated administrative work. Medical billing in particular could be a tedious process, with claim submission, management, and tracking, especially if you have to rely heavily on paper documents rather than an electronic health records system (EHR). Even if you have an EHR, you may still be using a separate Practice Management System (PMS) for billing. This means that all of your patient records and billing information are easily accessible from one platform, without having to switch back and forth between EHR and PMS.
Integrated billing will enhance the productivity and workflow of your practice so that all administrative tasks can be managed from a single, cost-effective system. You will save a great deal of time not having to enter data twice, worry about typos, or manually fax or make copies of documents like billing sheets. With the time you save, you will be able to greatly improve your quality of care for your clients and be truly transparent in the management of your practice. Among a few EHR providers who offer this feature, we can recommend Zoobook Systems as one with extensive experience in integrating with various billing companies.
Making the Switch
It is clear that using an EHR holds a plethora of benefits, and all providers should strive to achieve this level of efficiency in their work. However, when making the switch to an EHR with integrated billing it is important to communicate with your billing provider beforehand, as different billing companies will have varying levels of support for your practice switching to a new system. Some will outright refuse to bill on a new system or will require you to compromise by submitting claims a certain way, effectively nullifying the time-saving benefits an EHR would provide you.
You should never be persuaded out of switching to a new system or into conditional compromises by your billing provider. Even if they agree to work with you and extract your claims data from your EHR to continue billing on their system, you will lose the ability to track the billing process along with access to patient data, especially when patient demographics must be updated. For providers with billing companies that support their system switch, keep in mind the fees you are paying your billing company before switching over, and don’t be afraid to negotiate for lower prices considering the time you are saving them by submitting information electronically. If your billing provider does not support your switch or will not budge on negotiations, it is strongly recommended you consider switching billing providers.
If you opt for a new billing company, it is important to keep in mind what different companies have to offer, and choose one that will work the most seamlessly with your new system. Make sure to pick one with a better deal than your old company, and do not settle for any restrictions they may try to set that will limit your access to patient data. Ideally, the switch process should take a few months, as you may still have a contract with your old billing company to uphold, and because you will not be able to transfer all of your old data to the new system. This way you could take care of your remaining claims and outstanding balances before saying goodbye to your old PMS. Integrated billing is the future!