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Independent Medical Billing Service Providers Vs EHR Vendors

June 18, 2018

Medical Billing Services Vs EHR Vendors

Many Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Practice Management (PM) vendors have started providing medical billing services as a part of their EHR and PM practices. In fact, this has become especially popular among vendors who are catering to medium to big sized group practices. Although your practice can’t get by without a good EHR system these days, deciding to turn to your EHR vendor may not be the best option when you’re ready to outsource your medical billing service. Choosing the right option is important for your practice’s revenue cycle management. Here’s a closer look at EHR vendors and medical billing services, their pros and cons, and how you can make the right choice for your practice. 

The Pros and Cons of EHR Vendors 

Good billing practices keep the revenue cycle going, and EHR vendors now offer billing as part of their packages. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before you decide to get your billing services from your EHR vendor.

The Pros

One of the pros of billing services offered through EHR vendors is that you keep everything with one vendor. You don’t have to worry about dealing with an EHR vendor and a separate billing service. Getting these services from your vendor also ensures that your services can easily work with your EHR system. Integrating the two from the same vendor can also improve front office operations, since information from the EHR system is completely shared with the billing service, reducing the need to enter patient data more than once. 

The Cons

Although there are a few benefits to choosing billing services from your EHR vendor, it’s also important to look at the cons. One of the biggest drawbacks to consider is the bad press surrounding some of the top EHR vendors recently. For example, Athena health recently got a lot of bad press because the company CEO had to step down immediately due to some allegations from its past. Meanwhile, the company is fighting a takeover offer and is in the middle of a big company shakeup. It remains to be seen whether they’ll sell, merge, or stay an independent company. 

Another of the largest EHR software vendors, eClinicalWorks, also has some compliance challenges in the past. In fact, the vendor is paying $155 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit that alleged the company misrepresented the capabilities their software offered clients. 

With scandals and false claims coming from big EHR vendors, some medical practices worry about the safety of trusting their billing to these vendors. 

The Pros and Cons of Using a Billing Service

For companies that want to streamline their billing process, save time, and improve collections, billing services offer many benefits. 

The Pros

While anyone can submit claims, the benefit of using a good billing service is that they go beyond simply filing claims, forwarding payments, and posting remittances – they work hard to make sure they collect the percentage of unpaid bills. Good billing services will work with your practice to improve first-pass acceptance rate so your practice isn’t missing out on revenue. Billing services are effective at collecting bills, which makes them well worth their cost for practices. 

5 Things to look for in a Medical Billing Company

Billing services specialize in billing and coding. They are well versed in medical coding and modifiers along with the changes that occur yearly. Quality billing services have excellent safety and security protocols in place to keep your practice and your patients protected. Most billing services also work with many different EHR systems.

The Cons

While there are few cons to hiring a billing service, one to consider is the money that you’ll pay for these services. It is an investment to hiring a billing services. However, this choice has the potential to reduce overhead when compared to sustaining an in-house billing and collections department. Your practice will also lose a bit of control when you outsource to a billing service, but quality services offer you regular progress reports to keep you updated on the impact they’re making on your practice’s revenue cycle.

Making the Right Choice for Your Practice

Since billing is so crucial to your practice’s revenue cycle management, it’s important to make the right choice when you decide to outsource your practice’s billing. You want to work with a company that will be on your side, working hard to file claims correctly the first time, dealing with denials quickly, and being a partner in growing your practice. It’s important to work with a company that has expertise in medical billing and coding – a company that is familiar with your practice’s specialty. You also want to know you can trust the company that you’re working with, which is why billing services are usually the best and safest choice for your company. 

Before you decide to go with your EHR/PM vendor’s billing services, learn more about how M-Scribe can help your practice with billing service. Our company has years of expertise working in medical billing and coding, and we can help you lower medical billing costs and optimize your collections. Contact M-Scribe today by calling at 770-666-0470 or email me at h.gibson@m-scribe.com to find out how we can help you.  

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