Before the emergence of practice management technologies, medical billing software, and electronic health records (EHRs), medical practice management, billing, and coding have all been time-consuming and frustrating realities for medical practices. Luckily, mountains of paperwork can be reduced and there are new options that help reduce the number of administrative tasks that cost practices millions of dollars each year.
As the healthcare industry continues to go through significant transformations with the emergence of new technologies, many providers look for more efficient systems that let them increase efficiency and improve their bottom line. As we get further into 2021, we are seeing some medical billing trends appear that are worthy of adding to your practice. While trends are sometimes risky, we have identified some of the trends that are here to stay, both in 2021 and the years to come.
Trend #1 – Medical Billing Software in the Cloud
Most industries across the country are now using Cloud-based software. It is much simpler to be able to store, maintain and access data via the internet instead of specific local hard drives or devices. Although there has been some kick-back in the medical field about using cloud-based medical billing software due to privacy and security questions, when using quality technology partners, Cloud-based options are even more secure than their alternatives these days with the emergency of encrypted technology.
Choosing Cloud-based medical billing software offers a number of benefits for practices, as well, including:
- Improved Efficiency – Moving everything to software that exists in the cloud improves efficiency in coding, submitting claims, claims follow-up, and more.
- Cost Amortization – When compared to on-site options, Cloud-based programs are far less expensive, not only in up-front cost but back end costs as well. Software as a Service (SaaS) also means your practice won’t require the IT infrastructure needed for on-site solutions, reducing the need for upgrades, costly repairs, and more.
- Easier Access – Professionals have the ability to access information from anywhere, boosting productivity and accuracy for your practice.
Trend #2 – Electronic Medical Billing and Coding/Claims Processing
Paper claims were originally standard, but more providers are beginning to use electronic medical billing, coding, and claims processing today. With a quality system, software is able to help code claims to best fit the patient encounter, and electronic systems can often help pinpoint some of the most common mistakes to prevent claims denials. The ability to file claims electronically allows your practice to file more claims faster, and software developers continue to improve the electronic process.
By introducing electronic claims submission to your practice, some of the benefits your practice will enjoy include:
- Identification of any claims issues early and the ability to resolve issues before processing
- Reducing the resources and time devoted to manual administrative practices
- Reducing the cost of supplies and postage for mailing
- Easily track the progress of a claim
- Pre-audit all claim fields to catch potential errors prior to submission
Trend #3 – Medical Billing and EHR Software Become Interoperable
The integration of medical billing and electronic health records (EHR) is a 2021 trend that comes with a variety of excellent benefits for your practice, and they can transform practices of any size. One of the key benefits this offers is significantly less time spent on data entry. It is both time consuming and frustrating to manually enter data into your electronic systems, but when medical billing and EHR software become interoperable, you’ll cut back on this work by removing the need to double enter patient data.
Another benefit is higher reimbursement rates, since you’ll be able to improve your first pass claim rate. When you reduce the data entry burden and the potential for typographic mistakes, it decreases errors that can lead to costly denials. Integrating these systems also give you a central management solution that will take care of all your practice management needs instead of jumping back and forth between different systems. Integrated and interoperable systems also improve communication between the various internal systems of your practice. It makes it easy to swipe or find information between all systems, reducing the risk for human error. And, when you integrate medical billing and HER systems, you have a more transparent workflow that lets you track patients, claims submitted, unpaid claims, claims denials, paid claims, and other information at one time, identifying areas that require attention to improve your bottom line.
Trend #4 – Outsourcing Revenue Cycle Management, Billing, and Coding Services
It’s long been a popular question within the medical billing and coding industry as to whether outsourcing is the right way to go or whether managed in-house services offer the best option. However, 2019 found a record number of practices outsourcing these services, and those numbers are sure to grow throughout all of 2021 and beyond as more providers begin to recognize the benefits outsourcing offers.
Outsourcing your revenue cycle management, billing, and coding services to a trusted company offers a number of advantages. It frees up resources, energy, and time for providers so they are able to spend more time dealing with patients. Choosing to outsource these tasks also helps reduce costs while giving your practice improved results. Most practices find that outsourcing results in improved clean claim results, an increase in on-time payments, fewer claims denials, and an increase in practice revenue.
All of these medical billing trends are here to stay, and they will continue to grow this year. It’s important to pay attention to these trends and the benefits they have to offer your medical practice. At M-Scribe, we specialize in medical billing and coding, and we are here to help you discover how you can implement these resources and tools into your practice. Learn more about the billing, coding, and additional services that we offer, as well as how they can benefit your practice and boost revenue, by visiting M-Scribe.com today.