10 Important Features to Look For in Medical Billing Systems
Did you know that about 40% of medical bills contain errors? These errors result in losses either to the health facility or to the patient. Additionally, they increase medical claim rejections.
Don’t blame yourself if there are these many errors in your health facility. Most of them probably happened when you were doing your main duty – taking care of patients.
Nevertheless, it is safe to say that a medical billing system is paramount in your health facility.
Medical billing systems help you handle backend operations such as billing and documentation. This reduces errors and expands profitability in the health facility.
The trick, however, is to choose a system that has the features you will need in the medical billing software.
Are you looking for new medical software or need to replace your current one? Read on to understand why the software is a good investment and the must-have features of an ideal medical billing system.
Why Do You Need Medical Billing Systems?
Like other technological innovations, medical software helped revolutionize medical practices. One of their major tasks is to help minimize manual paperwork, which is time-consuming and prone to errors.
Additionally, it is a good tool to help enhance financial reporting. You don’t have to spend hours creating an account of income and expenses. The software makes patients’ information more accessible without having to go through a heap of files.
You can also generate a report on the state through this software. This report helps the managers tell the state of the health facility.
The software is also a key to better customer experience and satisfaction. Your patients will love working with you more if they have access to your services even without being in your health facility in person.
Don’t deprive your staff and clients of the chance to enjoy these and other benefits of a reliable medical billing system. As long as you have the right system for your health facility, you will realize that every dollar you invest in it is worth it.
What Are the Important Features That a Medical Billing System Should Have?
Here are the important features that a reliable medical billing system should have:
1. Pre-registration of Patients
Pre-registration of patients has several benefits, with the greatest being time-saving. When your patients are registered before their first appointment, it saves you the time to discuss policies.
This leaves more time for treatment.
It is easy to learn their medical benefits and health history through the intake forms that they fill. Pre-registration also helps you offer a quality customer experience.
You can learn some of the services the patient needs in your hospital and ensure that they are available when they come for their appointment.
Moreover, the patient pre-registration will help you create a good first impression on your clients. Patients will love that you save them the time of first visiting your policies office.
Additionally, they can figure out whether their insurance coverage works for you before coming over.
For this reason, ensure that the medical billing system you choose has this feature and it is easy to use by the patients. Additionally, the software should have an insurance verification program. This program will help verify the patients’ insurance policies.
2. Scheduling Features
Using manual calendars to schedule medical appointments is not only tiring but also risky. A good medical billing system will have a program that helps you schedule your appointments to help eliminate this.
This scheduling program shows when you should have an appointment with the patient and other times when you are unavailable. It can display this information in different colors, making it easy to review your schedule.
If a patient requests to push their appointment to a different time, there is no risk of giving the appointment when the physician is unavailable. Physicians in your hospital can better their scheduling system by integrating it into the existing EMR system.
This helps reduce missed appointments.
Moreover, the scheduling system has a reminder for upcoming appointments to help keep the physician on time.
3. Financial and Accounting Management
Your finances are among the top reasons why you may want to look for a medical billing system. For this reason, they are some of the top features that you will want to check in a medical billing system.
You can either have the financial and management program as a module in the EHR software or get an independent billing solution. Either way, the program should offer accounting and management solutions such as allowing patients to pay online.
This makes it easy to track payments and minimize financial errors.
Such errors can cause the patient to either overpay or underpay, which can have repercussions on the hospital.
Moreover, the software automates payment for hospital staff. This makes it easy to track payment information in case of any claims.
You can also better manage finances in the hospital using this software since it gives you a breakdown of your income and expenses.
4. Medical Claims Management
Medical claims management helps patients know how much they owe the hospital. Although the process can be handled manually, it is time-consuming and has a high chance of making errors.
Therefore, the medical billing system should help your staff in gathering, filling, and processing these claims. Additionally, the software should help validate claims and claim codes before sending them to clients.
The medical billing software should be programmed to handle electronic claims processing, tracking, reconciliation, and insurance payers listing.
Additionally, it should help submit these claims to the necessary individuals without any problems, thus maximizing cash flow to the hospital.
5. Encryption and Security
The data you hold in the medical billing system is private especially concerning your patients. For this reason, it is your legal and ethical obligation to ensure that this data is well protected.
First, the medical billing systems you use should comply with the Health Insurance Portability Act (HIPAA). This is an act that protects the privacy of patients’ information in health organizations.
Remember that you have sensitive medical and financial information data. This date could have negative effects if some unauthorized people come across it.
Moreover, this data should be encrypted at transit and rest, especially when stored in the cloud memory. This way, even if unauthorized persons have access to the data, they cannot get any information.
The use of strong passwords, especially those with a one-time use, is also necessary.
Your clients are more confident working with your health facility when there are such security measures in place. Their confidential information is safe from unauthorized persons and safe from being lost or destroyed.
It is also easy to retrieve in case it is lost.
6. Patient Database
A reliable medical healthcare practice software should have a patient portal, a database with all patient information. Both the patients and authorized physicians should have access to this database.
Patients can use the database to confirm their medical records or medication without having to call the doctor.
On the other hand, doctors can access any patient information, such as a previous diagnosis by another doctor, without asking the patient.
This reduces in-person communication, which inconveniences the doctors, especially when patients overdo it.
Additionally, the patient database helps prevent misdiagnosis, especially if a patient is unconscious and cannot give their medical history. It consists of other information such as the patient’s allergies lists, referral creation, and tracking.
The patient database should be stored in the cloud memory. This way, doctors can access their patients’ records online regardless of their location.
It also allows online treatment, especially for cases that do not need one-on-one contact for the doctor and patient.
Although the medical billing solution software is independent, its operations should align with the hospital and state laws.
For instance, as mentioned above, the software should comply with the Health Insurance Portability Act (HIPAA) regulations on data privacy.
Moreover, the financial and accounting software should set aside funds for taxes and other permits that the health facility should have.
This helps protect both the staff and patients using the system. Additionally, it helps prevent the hospital from getting into trouble with the federal authority for any unbroken laws.
It is also safe to say that medical software that does not comply with the hospital rules causes more harm than good.
It should also be easy to update the software in case there is a change in any of the rules and regulations to ensure that it is always compliant.
When you have medical billing software, it should be easy for you to obtain any report in the hospital. The hospital administration mainly uses the reporting channel to summarize the activities taking place in the hospital.
For instance, the patients’ database should tell the most recurring symptoms among patients to create a report of the most common diseases.
Moreover, through the financial and accounting portal, it should report the financial status of the hospital.
This includes details such as the number of patients visiting the hospital, how much they pay in cash and how much is received through their insurance covers.
Additionally, it gives a detail of the expenses in the hospital and the percentage of the income spent on each of these expenses like salaries and buying supplies.
It is easy for the hospital administrators to tell whether they are operating at a loss or a profit with such a report. In case there are any financial pits in the hospital, it is easy to identify and eliminate them with such a detailed report.
The report can also include the level of customer satisfaction with the services given in this hospital. It can include common complaints or suggestions that can help better customer satisfaction.
Although it is possible to manually create such a report, it is time-consuming and risks missing crucial information. When done automatically through the software, you are assured of an accurate and precise report.
9. Easy to Use
As a physician, your main duty and concerns are on the welfare of your patients.
For this reason, it is unfair to spend several hours learning to operate medical software. The software is meant to make things easier for physicians and not complicate them.
Sure, you may need some training to familiarize yourself with the operations of the software. However, it should be easy to learn and operate and something that you can learn on-job.
Since patients are also major users of the system, it should be easy as possible for them to operate it. Remember that it may be tough to gather all customers to train them on using the software.
Therefore, it should be easy to use by all clients. It is also necessary to have a good support system to answer any questions and assist the clients. If possible, these should be people specialized in software and system management.
Offer training for persons managing the overall system, for instance, those responsible for troubleshooting in case of any problem.
This eliminates the inconveniences of having the system fail, and you need to wait for a technician coming from far to repair the system. You can experience huge errors as you wait for help externally.
10. Claims Rejection Analysis
In case there are any claim rejections from the patients, they should be addressed through the billing software.
The software can then run a report of the rejected claims and give reasons for rejections. Some of these reasons include incorrect insurance information, incorrect clinical information, or wrong patient information.
After analyzing the rejected claim, the system should make the necessary corrections and send out the correct claim. This saves a lot of time that your staff may spend trying to figure out an error in a claim.
Are You Happy With the Medical Billing System in Your Health Facility?
It is frustrating to see some departments in your health facility, such as finances, fail as you focus on your medical career.
Thankfully, through the innovation of medical billing systems, it is possible to continue offering quality healthcare systems and keep all other operations streamlined.
Contact us and get a quote for the best medical billing services and start the journey towards error-free medical bills.
Author: Mike Cynar
Mike Cynar brings buyers and sellers together by producing reviews and creating non biased webpages allowing users to share their experiences on various products and services. He and his staff write informative articles related to the medical field, legal, and other small business industries.