With a plethora of different innovative and seemingly attractive health IT software available on the market with their big claims and promises to be worth your money, it can be exceedingly confusing and overwhelming to identify which tools you actually need and which might just be an impulse splurge on your account (we don’t blame you, sometimes even thoughtful choices can end in unmitigated disaster). Besides, when it comes to healthcare, there are far bigger ramifications of getting the wrong software than just wastage of money and resources. With medical healthcare IT platforms, there is still confusion around the commonly used services such as the difference between EMR and EHR software or between Practice Management and Medical Billing Software.
Every healthcare practice has its own set of unique needs and challenges. While some providers seek more efficiency in patient registration, others want streamlined processes of sending claims to insurance companies. Moreover, a number of healthcare providers prefer using the latest technology to notify patients of upcoming appointments, lab reports and billing details more promptly and accurately. Whereas, others may be looking for some combination of these upgrades, or all of them.
In this article, we intend to explore the unique benefits and defining differences between Medical Billing software and Practice Management in order to draw a comparison to help you decide which one is better for your medical practice.
What does Medical Billing Software do?
A Medical Billing Software essentially automates tedious and repetitive day-to-day billing tasks to eliminate manual effort and any possibility of error. More tasks accomplished by the software include a submitting, following up on, and appealing claims with health insurance companies in order to receive payment for services rendered; such as testing, treatments, and procedures. There are dozens upon dozens of computerized medical billing systems on the market today, that range in their functionality and features, from simple electronic billing to highly sophisticated automation tools. The most basic medical billing services help providers print out statements based on demographics and billing codes input by the user. The more advanced medical billing software enable providers to scrub and process claims electronically, post payments, generate advanced reports and much more.
Why you should have a Medical Billing Software?
What might be the biggest, long overdue benefit of having a Medical Billing system is ridding yourself of those long trails of paperwork. Goes without saying that keeping track of patients’ records, billing history and claims electronically is far easier, efficient and secure than paperwork. This will subsequently also reduce the cost of hiring additional employees, paying a portion of their social security and insurance costs, space and time used in the office managing the paperwork, etc. Here are some more major reasons why purchasing a medical billing software is a great idea:
Automation and all the time you’ll save with it
Most precious of all the currencies, having to generate billing statements, process, scrub and submit claims manually, that too several times a day, can be an arduous task. Knowing that, having automated invoicing and claims processing would be no less than divine intervention for any healthcare provider, especially when there are more dire matters at hand that need attending.
No more minute errors with daunting chains of consequences
As long as there’s humans involved, you can never rule out the chance of human errors, no matter how careful one is. Especially when it comes to entering copious amounts of data (predominantly numbers) into the system is prone to errors. A medical billing software is designed to deal with them and it helps to reduce this error by “catching” common mistakes. You can also personalize the software to your specific billing needs and further reduce entry errors by pre-programming the system. This, in turn, will save you time and money for the long haul.
Quick and easy access to patient data
Another advantage of electronic medical software is you can access your patients’ information from anywhere. Several practices and all information in one central location can be accessed via the Web. You and your employees will be able to update billing information from any office location.
What does Practice Management software do?
Practice Management software (PM) are designed to streamline the administrative workflow of a medical practice. PM enables users to organize appointments electronically, schedule daily, weekly and monthly tasks, set up meeting reminders and much more that helps reduce the workload of your administrative staff so that more pressing tasks can be attended promptly.
Practice Management is also concerned with collecting and reusing data. All patient data including patient name, demographics, insurance coverage details, and contact information is logged and secured. For new patients, all the staff has to do is enter patient data in the patient information form in the PM once and then they’ll be able to access it for use in the upcoming visits and so on. This saves your practice from wasting time filling a ton of paperwork.
The software offers features like data analysis and report creation that offer comprehensive and user-friendly reports for you to analyze the overall performance of your practice, including access to financial details on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. This helps providers have a holistic view of the flow of finances and avoid any loop-holes for a better.
Why you should have a Practice Management software?
Practice Management Systems offer a dynamic solution allowing providers to coordinate all organizational tasks and processes through improved workflows, added efficiencies and a myriad of other benefits.
Advanced Automation with higher Productivity, Profitability and Efficiency
PM software better leverages staff time by automating standard tasks. Most Practice Management software have tools for sending patients automated appointment reminders and keeping sufficient supply inventories, triggered by set parameters to automatically re-order whenever the inventory is low.
Guarantees Better Quality of Care
PM enables providers to focus on the provision of timely and quality care when it takes out hours of computation and data logging by streamlining and automating daily repetitive processes and administrative tasks. When providers do not have to worry about documentation, scheduling or various other considerations, they are able to devote their energy towards the topmost priority – the patient. This, in turn, yields better outcomes.
Get paid faster with Enhanced Billing Processes
Most PMs offer advanced medical billing capabilities that streamline payment processes and facilitate faster reimbursement. They’re designed to verify insurance eligibility early in the process when the patient’s appointment is scheduled, in order to increase efficiency. By allowing billers critical access to patient records and reports, PM allows them to effectively answer questions and fill in critical gaps in claims information. This helps in expediting the reimbursement process by minimizing chances of claim refusals or revisions between practices and billing entities that can often result in costly delays.
These software have varieties that can also produce and send electronic bills with e-commerce component that allows practices to collect payments online.
Practice Management vs. Medical Billing
Choosing between medical practice management software and medical billing software can be challenging. Here is a brief overview of the capabilities of each.
Both these solutions offer a range of features, functionalities and prices. For instance, If you want web-based software for an orthopedic specialty, you’ll likely be able to find a variety systems that meet your needs. But chances are, one of them will work better for your unique requirements than another. It is, after all, a matter of what your practice requires. Whether your needs are simple or requiring complex solutions with powerful tools. Billing software provide functions ranging from simple statement generators to automating all billing processes and managing revenue cycle, including billing and coding, as well as sending claims to insurance companies. On the other hand, Practice Management opens the door to multiple other convenient tools in addition to handling basic billing processes including appointment scheduling, patient data recording, storing health records and creating reports, as well as advanced automation of daily tasks. Which solution you pick will have a remarkable impact on your practice. What kind of impact it will be – You get to decide that by making a conscious and informed choice. (Related: Medical Billing Service Guide)