Electronic health records (EHR) systems are transforming the ways physicians used to practice and are optimizing the clinical processes. EHR applications have not only transformed the physic office from paper-based to digital, but the technology has also proved useful in various other components of medical practice. It has enabled quick and easy access to patient health records, reduced data errors, electronic sharing of records, e-prescriptions, interoperability of patient data, improved efficiency and reduced costs.
Traditionally, clinical workflow and billing were two different tasks managed by a totally two different teams. However, EHR systems are bridging this gap and want to integrate with every area of practice. This is why; more than 89% of physicians want a uniform system from medical billing services providers that covers every area of their practice. So they are adopting such EHR systems that can integrate and manage the billing tasks as well.
There are numerous benefits of integrated EHR and billing systems.
Efficient data entry
EHR systems play an instrumental role in digitizing clinical data and patient demographics. Entering patient information in digital forms at the front desk consumes lots of time. EHR applications are capable of digitizing this front desk task and save time. Once a patient is entered into an EHR application, practice staff can fetch the number with unique searches, such as; they assign patient record numbers or can even search through by element of their demographics (SSN, etc.). Practices that are using EHR applications integrated with the medical billing software can easily transmit the information from one application to the other. This saves time and administrative burden and boosts work efficiency. It is also easier to share data with remote billing software securely. This not only brings accuracy to the billing data but also optimizes the data entry process.
Centralized data management
Integrated EHR and billing software bring clinical data to a centralized repository. When both the applications share the same repository then it cuts down chances of duplication and users are not required to manage and maintain the security of data at multiple locations. Integrated EHR and billing makes the data management easier and practice get more control over the data.
Interoperability of health records
Medical practices now require universal access to health records. Especially if the billing department gets easy access to patient health records then it becomes easier for them to prepare better bills and payment claims. Integrated EHR and billing bridge the information gap practice staff can make informed decisions based on the data. This integration makes health records interoperability easier and makes it more usable. Moreover, all the users of practice get real-time access to patient health records.
Billing and coding automation
Billing software is capable of accurately transcribing the corresponding ICD and CPT codes if the physician notes are provided in detail. Most of the EHR applications come loaded with predesigned templates specific to the specialty which proves very useful as each segment of clinical note is entered in a specific field of the form. If such type of clinical information integrates with the billing software then coding can be automated. Billing applications are smart enough to accurately transcribe the EHR information into codes. This integration brings accuracy, eliminates errors and automates the coding process.
Integrated EHR applications and billing software make the electronic submission easier. Billing staff is not required to prepare documents manually while they can fetch the already entered information easily and use it as they want. Smart EHR applications empower the practice to do electronic verification, preparation, clearinghouse submission and sending it insurance companies.
The integrated EHR system and billing software bring transparency to the workflow. It becomes easier to track the status of a patient journey. Everyone at a medical facility can view with the granted access that how many patients are scheduled, which visit is in process, can view clinical notes and view the billing information. At the same time, this integration enables to get reports easily. For instance, management can easily export periodic reports about the claims’ current status, rejections, paid and pending claims. This transparency in work optimizes the efficacy, defines the user roles and helps to identify the fault areas.
Integrated billing and EHR help to improve collections by minimizing the instances of error and presenting a clear picture of the collections. Users can easily track the status of the payments and can filter out unpaid bills. Payment tracking and easily getting the status of the unpaid bills help to make the decisions transparent. If an unpaid bill is the responsibility of a patient then EHR applications are capable of sending automated alerts and reminders to their patient portal.
Integrated EHR and medical billing systems are in high demand due to its usability and monetary benefits to medical practices. This is integration is not only useful in streamlining the processes rather it saves time, reduces administrative burden and improves the productivity of practice staff.