With the recent transition to ICD-10 and new rules for MU2 being announced, much focus and attention has understandably been given to the critical role of electronic health records (EHRs) in today’s practices. But often the real silent star of the show is practice management software, which runs the business side of healthcare. With quality PM software, practice managers can schedule and bill patients, as well as generate monthly reports that help them improve workflows.
Suffice it to say, practice management software can be a physician’s greatest ally and have a positive effect on the financial viability of their practice. But in order to do its job fully, physicians and managers need to fully leverage the power of the technology.
Here are 5 things you didn’t know your practice management software could do.
Insurance Eligibility Verification
Many (if not most) of today’s insurance policies are complex, making it very difficult for patients to completely know whether or not they have coverage for certain services. Insurance eligibility verification takes this complication out of the equation.
Patient Balance Trackers
As confusing as insurance policies are, the explanation of benefits doesn’t help the situation. Patients generally don’t know what they owe once insurance has been paid. A quality practice management software package will include a patient balance tracker feature that alerts the receptionist if a patient has a balance due on their account.
Insurance Card Scanning
Depending on how many receptionists you may have and how busy your practice is on any given day, you’re most likely always looking for ways to save your front desk people time. The insurance card scanning feature on your PM software lets desk staff capture important information from the patient’s insurance card quickly and easily, without the need for going back and forth to a copy machine.
Validation of Procedures for a Diagnosis
More often than not, an insurance company will only pay for a procedure if a patient has a specific diagnosis. Practice management software lets doctors know if a certain procedure will be covered by insurance before they order it.
Automatic Claim Resubmission
Nothing is as much of a time-suck for billers as resubmitting insurance claims. But thanks to practice management software, this entire process can be automated, which will in turn improve practice cash flow and help operations run more efficiently. When the practice is running smoothly, physicians can spend less time on putting out fires and more time focusing on patient care.
Selecting the Right Practice Management Software
Are you currently not using practice management software but are ready to purchase a solution that will help streamline processes and get you paid? Great, but there are a few things you’ll want to consider.
Unlike selecting electronic health records (EHRs), choosing the right practice management system isn’t generally done by the physician. In large practices in particular, PM system selection typically falls on the office manager’s or IT manager’s shoulders.
But selecting the right practice management solution can be tricky, so how can office or IT managers ensure they select the right PM software for their office? Besides selecting a solution that plays nicely with their EHR, practice owners and their managers should look for software that is easy to use and provides enough flexibility so it can be customized for individual needs.
Before you begin shopping for software, make a list of your practice’s specific needs so you can find the solution that makes the most sense.
Beyond your personal requirements, there are a few key features you’ll want to look for:
An Intuitive Dashboard
It should go without saying that you’ll want to search for a solution that offers an easy and intuitive dashboard. Every member of your practice will need a user interface that offers all of the necessary tools right at hand. Look for PM software that comes with role-based access so those who need access to sensitive patient data can have it without exposing this data.
A Comprehensive Billing Solution
Look for practice management software that will manage your entire revenue cycle, from insurance verification all the way to claim remittance and resubmission. An integrated billing service can help you improve your collection rates and your profitability.
Simple Scheduling Tools
The name of the game with PM software is finding one that saves your staff time and headaches. A quality solution will offer simple scheduling tools that create, cancel or change appointment times, and generally through a drag-and-drop system. Look for a solution that comes with automated email and text confirmations, which will ultimately reduce cancelations.
If you don’t have full reporting, how will you ever be able to identify if your practice is running as efficiently as possible? Real-time analytics are essential to determine if resources are being utilized as needed and point out workflow issues that need addressing.
Even the most comprehensive solution will still require good ol’ human tech support, which is why it’s important to look for practice management vendors that are available to answer your questions and solve your problems in real-time.
Scheduling and billing are two facets of your practice that can greatly impact its financial viability. Practice management software will not only maximize cash flow but also streamline administrative tasks and make your life so much easier.