Making the Switch to Web-based Medical Practice Management

Posted on January 22, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and 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 recently invited the President and Owner of Great Acclaim LLC to do a guest post for this blog talking about the benefits of switching to a web based medical practice management. The hope was to illustrate the increased reimbursement that can be achieved by using a well managed practice management software (or SAAS – Software as a Service).

This blog has focused a lot on EMR and EHR, but hasn’t focused enough on the benefits of an electronic practice management service. The following guest post from Dan Williams will hopefully shed some more light on the benefits of a web based medical practice management implementation.

Guest Post by Dan Williams
Physicians face an array of options linked with the decision to switch to Web-based practice management solutions. Like EMR implementation, some doctors are reluctant to make the switch, citing reasons such as fear of change, fear of commitment to a provider, or fear of investment (“it’s just too costly”). However, once practice managers understand the value of a Web-based solution, and how that solution can easily and immediately lower claim rejection percentages, the fears will be seen as unwarranted.

With an industry average of nearly 30% in third party claims rejection, a client-server model cannot keep up with the constant process and coding changes the insurance companies are introducing into the reimbursement system. There are millions of coding combinations and they change regularly. Many doctors hire out to manage the business aspects of their practices, and may not even realize how much money they are losing through poor management, security threats, or simple ignorance of the solutions available. Medical professionals are accustomed to trusting in the newest proven advances to solve medical problems for their patients. It’s time they trust proven technological advances to solve business problems as well.

After firing their previous outsourced billing providers, several Seattle-area physicians’ practices recently hired Great Acclaim, a specialized outsourced medical billing firm, to handle billing functions. The firm had selected AdvancedMD practice management software based on its Web-based model and customer average of fewer than 5% rejected reimbursement claims. Using this Web-based practice management software, client monthly deposits and reimbursements increased by 50%, as fewer claims were denied and electronic financial transfers (EFTs) now account for 75% of insurance company payments.

Practice management software simplifies staff workflow by combining billing, scheduling and EMR functions. With no need to purchase additional hardware, install server-based software or perform manual data back-ups, initial investment is low, while ROI is maximized. Many practices and billing services find that the need for human review of claims and therefore, the number of man hours required to perform office functions is reduced, leading to greater efficiency and higher profits.

After initial setup and training all of its clients’ staff with the same software, Great Acclaim has eliminated integration obstacles. Nothing gets lost in paper transfers. From a new patient’s first appointment, physicians and their staff have access to the same information as Great Acclaim does through the Web-based model – anytime and anywhere.

Not only have client practices’ workflows improved since making the switch, but they no longer face a high financial security risk, as those receiving payments aren’t the same individuals who manage the billing. The software is designed to inhibit fraud. All of this equals less risk and more rewards for physicians. Or, as Great Acclaim’s clients have concluded: 50% higher returns for the same effort on the part of doctors—a great deal.

Dan Williams, a former software industry expert, is the President and Owner of Seattle-area outsourced medical billing firm Great Acclaim LLC.