Clinical, Financial and Administrative Insights For Physicians
Integrated EMR & Practice Management System
In 2009, Congress passed HITECH, properly known as the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. The law offered huge financial incentives to providers who implemented an Electronic Medical Record usually abbreviated as EMR, but interchangeable with Electronic Health Record or EHR. Of the $35 billion appropriated for this mass transition to digital medical records, the federal government has given about $20 billion to health providers so far.
This post has been contributed by Alan Edwards who holds an MBA in Health Care and is a former hospital CEO and group practice administrator. He continues to be active in the field and often writes on health insurance and health policy.The world of medical care providers turned itself upside-down and inside out over implementation and meaningful use of electronic medical records also known as electronic health records. The industry uses the acronyms EHR or EMR to describe electronic medical records.
Increase Referrals To Your Private Practice Now By Adopting Electronic Health Records
Like any new office policy integration process there exists a learning curve. One well worth the time investment is the introduction of a new electronic health records system into your private practice. The government is currently offering potential financial incentives for those who adopt early, but has also laid out a series of penalties for those who miss mandated deadlines. Everyday, more providers are going paperless to streamline their process- what could this imply for your referral base?
The American Medical Association publishes a PDF guide to collecting denied claims called Appeal That Claim. The handbook, in the Overview section notes that many practices do not make the effort to appeal denied claims. Though the reasons are numerous, the AMA says the most common reason is that doctors do not believe they will recoup enough from appeals to justify the administrative expenses a denial management process will impose on the practice.
It's tempting to put the business of your small medical practice on the back burner to concentration on patient care. While patient care should always be the first priority of medical staff, you can't ignore key performance indicators that tell you how your practice is faring in financial and regulatory waters.
Why Using EHR Software Helps Increase Patient Loyalty?
Attracting new customers can be expensive. According to Lee Resource Inc., it can cost over five times as much to gain a new customer as it does to keep an old one. A healthcare office may be slightly different from a retail business, but there is still value in patient loyalty. Happy patients return for future visits and are more likely to refer friends and family to the practice. When most of the business for your healthcare office is recurring patients, you also save on costs associated with gathering new patient information and creating records. One way to get those benefits is to use EHR software in your office; studies have shown a positive correlation between such software and patient loyalty.Read More
Medical Claim Denials - How to Prevent and Reduce?
Most experts agree that small medical offices should aim for an average days in AR of under 30. This means that it takes an average of 30 days or less to receive payment from the insurance company. The industry benchmark is usually set around 50, and exceeding that number means you have a problem with claims billing and collection in your office. To collect more payment faster, consider working to prevent claim denials. These five common denial reasons are easy to avoid and help you increase cash flow for your office.
EHR Implementation Challenges in Small Practices
One mistake many offices make when converting files to electronic health records is to attempt to do everything at once. If your medical office isn't ready for a full-scale EHR implementation, a push to complete the process on a tight deadline overwhelms and burns out staff. Converting records at a pace that isn't right for your office—or doing so before you're ready or have the right resources in place—can also corrupt your patient care processes, resulting in treatment mistakes or poor patient experience. Here's a look at how to face those, and other, EHR challenges in a small or mid-sized medical office.