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EMR’s Affect on Medical Billing Costs

Posted on September 29, 2008 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I received an email not too long ago from a medical billing company who talks about the crazy costs associated with medical billing. In their email they offered the following statistics on the costs of medical billing.

The statistics below represent industry averages taken from the MGMA.

Claims Rejected on 1st Submission – 30 %
Underpayed Claims – 20%
Gross Collection Rate – < 60% Preventable Denials - 90% Denials that are Recoverable - 67% Average days in A/R - 52.32 Cost per claim - $5-$7 Cost per FTE physician - $30,000-$60,000 Cost of billing operations - 18-22% Cost of Billing Personnel - 58-62% Cost of Technology/ Practice Management Solution - 18-22%

Source: Avisena whitepaper

I must admit that billing is far from my expertise, but it’s a well described necessary evil for almost any practice. Plus, the better you do it, the more money your clinical practice can make.

Of course, my question is how did implementing an EMR in your clinic either help or hurt these various costs? Were you better able to process claims, because the charting was done electronically and the coding done at the time of visit? Were you able to process claims at a higher rate because your documentation was more complete using an EMR? Could you more quickly process denied claims because it was electronic? Did you need more or less employees to do your billing after implementing an EMR?

I guess it would also be important to know if you decided to go with an integrated Electronic Medical Record and Practice Management System or if you tried an interface between your legacy system and a new EMR system.

Generic Electronic Medical Record Description

Posted on September 26, 2008 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I get a bunch of email from all sorts of electronic medical record vendors telling me about their software and their company. I don’t mind when people contact me with something innovative and interesting. The problem is that most company press releases are all the same. They all tout the more or less the same feature set of every other emr company out there. I’ll put an example press release I got below so you can see what I mean.

At the end of the day, reading press releases like the one below I wonder if 1. companies understand what it gets bloggers and media to use their press release and 2. emr companies have really stopped innovating the way they should.

On the first point, if you want me to write about you or your company then you better tell me something cool and different. Sure, add in the list of standard features at the bottom, but sell me on a feature that makes you better than every other EMR company out there. Otherwise, I’m just going to ignore you as one of the other on the long list of EMR vendors. You’ll notice I didn’t even put a link to the company whose press release is found below, because there’s nothing interesting or unique enough about the company in that press release that makes me want to send people to their website.

As far as the second point, it’s been a while since I’ve seen some truly creative and innovative thinking from an EMR company. I’m talking about things like Medtuity’s granular method of data entry or Brendon’s beloved eMedRec which is a really interesting hybrid of a scanning/document work flow with some of the EMR features layered on top. I’m sure there are more cool things being done with EMR, but it gets lost in everyone needing the standard boring features.

So, keep the emails coming, but make them interesting so I don’t just go straight for the delete button.

WITH MTBC, THE LOCAL DOCTOR’S OFFICE FINALLY JOINS THE PRESENT – AND FUTURE – OF HEALTHCARE IT

New integrated IT system provides patient scheduling, touch-screen check-in, integrated records and billing with mobile access, real-time adjudication of insurance claims and more

SOMERSET, N.J. – Sept. 9, 2008 – Unable for years to match the cost-cutting IT advances of deep-pocketed insurance companies and hospitals, private physician practices are now embracing a level playing field with innovator MTBC.
This playing field extends throughout the patient-physician-insurer continuum, from the Internet to the paperless doctor’s office, creating enormous efficiency for all involved parties—even the pharmacy and medical laboratory. Through MTBC’s integrated system, patients schedule appointments online, receive automated reminders by phone, and check in at the doctor’s office at a touch-screen kiosk.
“Technology becomes far more dynamic as it enhances the patient-physician relationship,” said David Rosenblum, president of MTBC. “Our newest services reduce the time the patient spends in the doctor’s office and increase the care the physician can provide.”
Patients whose physicians use MTBC can schedule appointments privately with their doctors on a secure web site, while viewing available blocks of time. The reason for the appointment and medical symptoms may be entered, along with current insurance information. The patient will receive automated reminder calls prior to the appointment, minimizing no-shows—a bane of most doctors’ offices.
At the doctor’s office, the kiosk scans a patient’s insurance information with a swipe of a card and then conducts a brief survey of medical questions. This information is integrated into MTBC’s EMR software for easy access by doctor and staff.
During and after the appointment, doctor and staff enter notes, diagnoses, and prescriptions into MTBC’s EMR software. Prescriptions are transmitted by electronic fax to any pharmacy—handwritten prescriptions are obsolete. Lab reports are also electronic, accessible securely by the doctor on the web.
Insurance claim data, such as procedure and diagnosis coding, is entered and transferred securely via automated synchronization on a daily basis to MTBC’s web-based billing platform, with its real-time financial reporting and array of practice management tools. MTBC’s dedicated teams in billing, practice and patient support complement the cutting-edge service package.
After the patient examination, MTBC will determine exactly how much of the visit is covered, and how much the patient needs to pay out of pocket, thanks to Real-time Adjudication (RTA), a new service spearheaded by certain insurance companies.
MTBC’s system means no more waiting in a doctor’s office for hours due to poor scheduling practices. It means having the physician know what the problems are the moment the appointment begins. It means no more uncertainty or confusion over insurance payments, avoiding the unpleasantness of an unexpected bill that arrives weeks later.
And for the physician, MTBC creates a streamlined scheduling and billing system that allows substantially more time to be spent on the patient’s needs and questions.
“These advances demonstrate that we’re a nimble technology company that acts quickly on the issues reshaping the entire healthcare industry,” said Mr. Rosenblum. “We are always committed to maximizing and accelerating our clients’ collections.”
MTBC’s system integrates several advances in healthcare IT—previously available only at hospitals or insurance companies— to revolutionize private practices:
· Doctors migrate to MTBC’s free EMR (electronic medical records) software and slash records-related administration.
· MTBC provides access to real-time adjudication (RTA) of insurance claims for patients with UnitedHealthcare insurance, greatly accelerating related payment.
· MTBC recently launched the PDA version of its billing platform so that clients can access their practice’s financial reporting, claims data, and scheduler through an iPhone, Blackberry and Windows Mobile device.
· MTBC is now rolling out physician web sites that allow patients to schedule appointments online.
· MTBC conducts automated phone reminders to patients.
· MTBC is integrating a detailed survey program that patients can access online when an appointment is made. This survey gives a physician a better sense of the patient’s symptoms before the appointment even begins. And unlike other companies that have started to offer patient survey services, MTBC does not sell patient information to third parties – everything is kept confidential between doctor and patient.
· MTBC is testing patient kiosks that read a patient’s insurance card, take his or her picture, and conduct brief medical surveys. This will dramatically reduce waiting times and bottlenecks in physician offices.
“We’ve always been committed to bringing state-of-the-art technology to private practice physicians and practice administrators,” said Mr. Rosenblum. “Our business model makes all these innovations easy to use, integrated, and remarkably affordable.”

Funny Video About Dragon Naturally Speaking (DNS)

Posted on September 10, 2008 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Lately, I’ve been getting a ton of traffic with people looking for Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 Medical (DNS 10 Medical). Well, in honor of the launch of DNS 10 Medical, here’s this video that all doctors should appreciate if they’ve used Dragon Naturally speaking in the clinical environment before (even if the final “doctor” does a bad job acting and feels like he’s trying to sell the software).

If anyone else wants to do a review of Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 medical, please let me know and I’d love to have you do a guest post on it. Especially in the context of Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 medical being used in an EMR.

Thanks Eric for pointing me to the movie.

Check out the following prices for the various versions of DNS on Amazon:
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Preferred – Currently $151.49 with $50 rebate ($101.49 after rebate)
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9 Preferred – Currently $92.97
I’m still looking around for the best location to buy Dragon NaturallySpeaking Medical.