As we enter 2011, many of us assess our lives and what we want for the New Year, and some make resolutions to improve or change things. This makes perfect sense—and I’d like to suggest that you do this not only for your personal life, but also for your practice or business. And this includes your medical billing software.
What do you want for 2011?
Most business owners and professionals want to be successful and to better serve their patients or customers.
Will your current medical billing software take you where you want to go? Does it enable your success and allow you to focus on practicing medicine instead of on billing issues?
To answer these questions, ask yourself the following things:
- Is my medical billing software as user-friendly as I need it to be? Many programs are designed for larger practices, and if you have a smaller practice or a medical billing service, it may not be the right fit for you, even though it’s well-known. With all the choices available to you, make sure the software you’re using fits your needs. There’s no reason to settle for anything less these days.
- Is my medical billing software as accessible as it should be? As you can tell from Microsoft’s “To the Cloud” ad campaign, the current trend with software is to go web-based. And the reason for this is that it makes so much sense: no software upgrades to pay for, no servers to maintain, fewer security and HIPAA concerns, and you can access it from any computer. If you can’t access your data anytime, anywhere you need to, then your software is holding you back.
- Do I get the reports I need from my medical billing software? You should be able to slice and dice your data any way you need to in order to assess the productivity of providers, profitability of various services, payers that need to be “fired”, etc. If you can’t quickly and easily get the reports you need, it’s time to look around—many software programs offer excellent reporting options, and some, like Kareo, offer the ability to completely customize your reports or download data to Excel for further analysis.
- Can I get the supporting data from my reports easily? Your app should allow you to easily drill down to supporting data in order to find the underlying causes for issues. If you can’t click through from a report to the data, it’s time to rethink your software.
- Is my medical billing software affordable? There’s no longer any need to pay exorbitant amounts for software, especially with web-based models. The idea of paying tens of thousands, or even thousands, of dollars for medical billing software is outdated. Don’t pay more than you need to!
- Are there additional fees for your medical billing software that you don’t need to pay? Don’t buy into the idea that you need to pay set-up fees or training fees. Many providers, including Kareo, require no set-up fees and don’t charge for basic training and implementation. If you’re looking at software that includes these outdated fees, look elsewhere.
- Does the contract include outrageous demands? As I wrote in this blog on Tuesday, some vendors require medical billing services when terminating to notify their own customers that they can continue with that vendor. And they require that customers promise not to “disparage or denigrate” their product. Do you want to be looking over your shoulder every time you give a colleague or customer an honest opinion about the software? There’s no reason to put up with these heavy-handed tactics with all the options (and better ones, at that) available to you.
- Does your medical billing software include insurance eligibility verification? This important tool can save you $2.95 for every verification, according to the AMA. Be sure to get and use this valuable tool for reducing denials, as it will save your staff hours on the phone and virtually eliminate denials for lack of coverage.
- Can you reduce or eliminate the amount of paper in your office with your medical billing software? Everyone wants to be more green these days, and one excellent way to do that is to reduce the amount of paper in your office. You should have the option of being able to scan and store, or receive from clients and other medical practices, nearly all of your documents. This will not only reduce storage, but also the amount of time it takes to locate a document. And with apps such as Kareo, you can click through to documents right from the patient record—a tremendous timesaver.
- Does your medical billing software offer free EMR? If your office or clients are looking to implement an EMR, you will want to consider an integrated solution. And if you want to save significantly on your EMR, you can choose a free option such as Practice Fusion, which is integrated with Kareo to provide the lowest-cost option in medical billing and EMR software.
These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself as you prepare your practice or business for 2011. With the continued threat of Medicare cuts, the implementation of ICD-10 looming and ongoing challenges from payers, you need the very best tools in your toolkit. Make sure your medical billing software is the right one for your needs for 2011. And if you’d like to hear from your colleagues how well Kareo fits their needs, please visit our Reviews page.