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Should Medical Billing Companies be Afraid of EHRs?

Health Insurance Companies Process 1 in 5 Claims Wrong

5 Steps to New Opportunities for Medical Billing Companies

This is a guest post by my colleague Katie Matlack from Software Advice. In her post Katie writes about how medical billing companies are needed and best suited to help physicians with their Electronic Medical Records.

Solutions for Medical Billing and EHRsWith the mainstreaming of electronic health records (EHRs), some medical billing service company professionals may be concerned that doctors perceive that an EHR could replace them. Given the automatic coding and error-checking features of an EHR, this fear is not without some foundation in truth.

But as more and more medical practices adopt EHRs, the reality has not been that billing service companies are phased out. In fact, billing service providers should view the commonplace EHR as an opportunity. Why? Because EHR-related assistance services represent an opening for billing services: a way to strengthening ties to their medical practice clients. In order for your billing service company to do well, follow these five steps I’ve outlined below.

Step 1: Know what EHRs DON’T offer
Educate yourself rather than looking fearfully at EHRs. If a physician you work for does hint that she is thinking of phasing out your services you should be prepared to have a rational conversation with her. For example, even the best EHRs can’t make collection calls, arrange for payment plans, obtain the right supporting documents, or pinpoint opportunities for upcoding. “The reality is that the software doesn’t replace you at all,” said Ian Gary, national sales representative for Health Fusion, an EHR vendor.

Step 2: Remember the value YOU offer
As I said in my original article on the topic: “After you establish that some parts of medical billing can only be done by a well-trained human being, the next step is to communicate to your clients that your team is in the ideal position to help them with their EHR transition. Your employees are most likely already well-versed in how their EHR system works since many billing services work with multiple EHR vendors. Moreover, who better to advise a practice than the company that is already familiar with their diagnostic codes, terminology and pain points? As Steven Tolle, Vice President of Solutions Management at EHR vendor Allscripts said in an article on the topic, “[Third-party billing companies] have the trust of physicians, and you can leverage that to expand your business.”

Step 3: Extend your services

You can offer a number of EHR-related services to clients, such as:

  • On-site support on the go-live date
  • Help personalizing EHR templates
  • Ongoing troubleshooting support

Katie Matlack is the Medical Market Analyst for Software Advice, where she writes about medical billing software reviews. For more detail on new revenue streams for billing service companies and the final two steps in the process, please check out the original article on the Software Advice blog. Thanks for reading!

is a 20 year veteran of healthcare having managed medical practices. He advises medical practices, physicians and practice administrators on how to run their practice and manage their medical billing and revenue cycle management. Manny speaks, blogs and makes videos at www.CaptureBilling.com, a blog that is tops in the medical billing and coding field. READ MORE

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4 Responses to Should Medical Billing Companies be Afraid of EHRs?

  1. We work with multiple EHR vendors as well and I know firsthand that the services we provide as a billing company far exceed that of any software in and of itself. I agree completely with this article. It is spot on! thank you!
    Theresa Wilson
    Practice Synergy LLC
    Butler, New Jersey

  2. As a person with 15 years medical billing and EHR technology experience, I must say that there is no way that technology can replace the intelligence, experience, and knowledge that a billing service can offer. It is foolish for anyone to think that automated coding and automated billing is a fair substitute. Replacing a billing service with EHR automation will result in a substantial decrease in revenue. Technology is a great complement to billing services, but it is certainly not a replacement. (great blog by the way!)
    My recent post What's Next in Healthcare?

  3. 100% en accord !
    Totally agree !
    At Tecksoft Inc, we develop the best EMR specialized in ophthalmology. We believe that medical billing companies could be our best partners simply because they cover an area where we do not want to step in… We want to keep on doing what we do best, speciality EMR.
    D.Randoll, B.SC, EMBA,
    V-P Business development, Tecksoft Inc.

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The analysis of any medical billing or coding question is dependent on numerous specific facts -- including the factual situations present related to the patients, the practice, the professionals and the medical services and advice. Additionally, laws and regulations and insurance and payer policies (as well as coding itself) are subject to change. The information that has been accurate previously can be particularly dependent on changes in time or circumstances. The information contained in this web site is intended as general information only. It is not intended to serve as medical, health, legal or financial advice or as a substitute for professional advice of a medical coding professional, healthcare consultant, physician or medical professional, legal counsel, accountant or financial advisor. If you have a question about a specific matter, you should contact a professional advisor directly. CPT copyright American Medical Association. All rights reserved. CPT is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.

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