What we once understood as the traditional ways of billing are quickly being replaced by newer, more efficient ways. With the pandemic making it necessary to go for as many contactless ways of interaction as possible, paperless medical billing now has even more advantages than it used to.
From tracking appointments, keeping an account of bills, and storing reports, there is more to electronic medical billing than meets the eye. You can store the entire patient’s history, along with any necessary documentation, electronically, allowing everything to be more easily accessible and available for hospitals, healthcare facilities, and patients.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of paperless billing and why your medical office should go paperless, as well as some drawbacks you should keep in mind.
PROS OF PAPERLESS MEDICAL BILLING
EVERYTHING IS STORED IN ONE PLACE
With paperless billing systems, you can keep patient records and reports in one place. The tests, appointments, procedures, and treatments that patient encounters are all stored in one record under a patient’s name, which makes it easy for you, the patient, and any subsequent healthcare organization to gain access to and go through to get an idea of a patient’s medical history.
This reduces the need for paperwork, such as bills, appointments, reports, or results. When something is uploaded on the system, such as a date for the next appointment, a patient will receive an email or SMS reminding them.
Similarly, when a patient has numerous results from tests, everything can be stored in their electronic file, which saves you from the hassle of multiple different physical documents containing the paperwork. Not only does this save time when retrieving a particular report, but it also ensures that no documents are missing or misplaced from being filed incorrectly.
If a patient decides to see another doctor or has to shift cities, any future organization can access their records if they have electronic billing. If your healthcare facility decides to upgrade computers or shift to a new location, you don’t have to worry about misplacing or losing any records.
MAKES MEDICAL BILLING EASIER
In most medical billing systems, once you enter the patient’s information, it automatically gets added to the medical billing. For instance, if a patient comes in for a checkup, vaccination, or a blood test, the information of their visit will be added to their medical history, as well as their bill, so that you do not have to reenter it.
Additionally, it helps retrieve insurance information within seconds. Every patient’s insurance details are entered on their first visit, after which it’s easier for you to generate their bills. It also makes it convenient to communicate with their insurance company for any discrepancies.
ENSURES MORE THOROUGH DOCUMENTATION
When entering a patient’s information into an electronic system, it’s impossible to miss any important details. Everything that is required for accurate billing and record keeping is requested in the system and marked as a required field, so anyone who is entering the details will know that they must fill out that information to move forward.
If you have multiple patients with the same names, you don’t want to accidentally send the wrong reports to anyone or confuse their files, which becomes less likely when you have more details, such as an address, age, and other personal information entered accurately.
You can program the system with customizable electronic systems to require certain information. Depending on what kind of healthcare organization you are in, you can ensure that your staff asks for specific details about a patient to ensure that you equip your patients with the most effective treatments.
For instance, you can add options to ask about a patient’s history of mental health issues, while other organizations may not consider this necessary.
CONS OF PAPERLESS MEDICAL BILLING
FEWER EMPLOYEES ARE REQUIRED
Fewer people are needed to manage the system when everyone’s records are stored on a computer. Previously, you needed multiple staff members to file documents away and organize records throughout the day, which also meant there was a possibility of misplacing a document. It also meant that a longer amount of time was needed to retrieve the physical document from hundreds of other files, especially if someone was new to the job and wasn’t responsible for filing.
With an electronic system, you only need a couple of employees to enter details as patients come and go from your facility. You don’t have to worry about new employees struggling to find documents because everything can be accessed with the search option. You can even operate on your own if you are a small medical office—saving you the cost of paying a secretary.
On the bright side, if you regularly have a nurse enter patient details when they enter the office, using an electronic system will allow them to enter information more quickly and be readily available to help you with the patient. An electronic system frees time and lets employees do other tasks while reducing the need for a larger team.
Paperless billing allows you to maximize your reimbursements, dedicate more time to making your organization a safer, more efficient place for your patients and staff, spend less time doing paperwork, and redirect the flow of costs that go into physical documentation toward improving your services.
In COVID-19, having fewer staff members in the office and interacting with patients is important. With paperless billing, you need fewer hands on deck. It also becomes much easier to send reports and results to patients and subsequent doctors electronically without calling them back to the office or posting them through the mail. If you want to learn more about the CMS programs or guidelines, you should contact a good medical billing company so they can guide you properly.
To learn more about paperless billing, get in touch with a medical billing company that can guide you through CMS and efficient billing practices for your medical office, healthcare organization, or hospital. PCS Revenue Cycle Management is here for all your medical billing needs. Please call or email us for a free consultation and/or quote for our outsourced billing services in all 50 states!