Why Use Medical Billing Software?
The difference between good and great medical billing software can mean a lot of money and time. Great medical billing solutions can increase your reimbursement average and decrease the number of denied claims, while some systems can have the opposite results. Your practice has a unique workflow and staff, and the billing solution you choose should work to make the daily workflow easy and use up less of your staff's resources and time. Practices of any size can benefit from having a great medical billing solution. For small practices, your limited staff can focus on other responsibilities. For larger practices, you can more easily manage larger amounts of claims and patient loads.
We looked over many medical billing software options and found that Advanced MD, Kareo and iSalus were among the best in this field. You can also read our articles on medical billing software for further information on choosing the best software.
Medical Practice Management Software: What to Look For
In today's medical software industry, medical billing and practice management tools often integrate together into a medical practice management package, which takes care of tasks such as appointment scheduling, insurance verification and other actions that typically happen at the front desk. These two modules work together to track patients from the moment they check in to your practice to when your practice receives final reimbursement for your services. You should take both sets of features into account when looking at this type of software.
Any medical billing software company should be able to offer you a first-pass resolution rate average for practices that use their software. This rate indicates the average percentage of claims you submit that are accepted the first time you submit them to insurance companies. The industry average is in the nineties, and the higher percentages generally indicate a more diverse and powerful claim-scrubber tool and other claim-management features that can decrease errors. All medical billing software you look at should offer tools to submit claims directly to insurers and manage them throughout the claims process. Some companies also offer medical billing services to correspond with their software for a varying monthly fee, which can be a great consideration if you would like to outsource your billing.
Although you may be looking for software solely for its medical billing features, with the current trends in the industry, included practice management modules are practically inevitable, so you should take them into consideration when making a decision. Practice management tools include appointment reminders and great check-in and checkout tools for collecting copay and patient information at the front desk. The software should offer real-time insurance verification, and you should have some option of a patient portal. All of these features can improve your reimbursement rates by being able to collect at the front desk as well as making it easier for patients to participate in their own care and tracking their account balances from the comfort of their own homes.
Security & Integration
Any medical billing solution you consider should have a basic level of security that meets HIPAA standards, including an audit trail that keeps track of changes, who made them and when. Software should also be up-to-date on the latest coding systems, or else you risk having your claims repeatedly denied by insurance companies. You may also consider whether or not the software you choose can integrate with an electronic health records system you already have or if the company offers one you can use either immediately or in the future.
Support & Hosting
The level of support you need from the company relies a lot on the type of hosting you choose. Many companies have shifted toward SaaS or ASP software models, where the company hosts the software and your data, and you pay a monthly subscription fee that includes any hosting hardware and software maintenance. Because the systems are usually many states away, you want to make sure the company offers the type of support you need. Many companies only offer live support during the day on weekdays; only a few offer emergency live support in case of emergencies. If you would rather manage the software yourself, then a software that offers self-hosted options should be a consideration.
Choosing the best medical billing software for your practice can increase reimbursement rates from patients and insurance payers alike. Although getting your practice paid is necessary, medical billing shouldn't take more of your staff's time than it needs to. The right medical billing solution will make sure it doesn't.