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10 Amazing Advantages of Web Based Software
More and more providers and billing services are seeking the benefits of web-based software over old-fashioned server-based practice management systems. After running a medical billing business with server-based software for fifteen years, we decided it was time to look at some of the newer features.
The field of medical billing is always changing and improvements must be expected in our software capabilities. As technology develops, we must find our software that does more work for us in less time and deal with rules and coding changes in real time. Of course, we want all this available to us at a reasonable cost. We have found that with the newest technology web-based practice management systems can really save time and money.
The newest software offers incredible features that create shortcuts that save time, money, mistakes, denials and improve cash flow. With a web-based practice management system, you can sign into a secure program on the web on any computer, not just the one with the software installed. Here are ten amazing benefits of some of the best new web-based medical billing software.
1. Save time – The development of new technology has automated many processes that previously depended on employee data entry that can be saved incredible amounts of time. Electronic payment entry, one-click printing capabilities, trouble claims stored in a queue rather than searching through electronic reports, and one-click playback of the latest claim codes are just a few of the amazing shortcuts now available.
Just imagine the time saved just by not having to enter payments. The eobs can be scanned and converted into an 837 file that electronically enters insurance payments and automatically bills the secondary insurance carrier or patient.
In our server-based system we had to open a box and choose whether to print a primary insurance, a secondary insurance or a patient statement. When you clicked on one of those it asked which form you want to use. After clicking on the appropriate form, a box should ask you which printer you are using. So if the printer has more than one drawer, you have to click on the properties and choose the drawer with the correct type of paper for the form you are printing. If one of my workers only printed 25 paper statements or patient statements a day, a one-click print job would save over 100 orders per day. As a billing service, we receive hundreds of electronic reports per week that we must open, read, and deal with the claims of the problem. This task was overwhelming with the server-based program. The new web-based program we are using now only sends the problems to a queue. Now let’s go to the queue and just check the problems instead of going through all the accepted claims to find the rejects.
These are just a few of the time saving systems available now with some web based programs. These systems have allowed us to increase our workload by 50% without hiring more employees or increasing our hours.
2. Save money – With so many time-saving advantages of web-based software, we can take on extra accounts without increasing our pay. We put our employees to work much more productively. Web-based software can also save you the initial costs of purchasing server-based software with the necessary licensing, support, and upgrades. The web-based program we decided to charge a small monthly fee. That’s it. No extra fees for electronic submission, support, provider scheduling, providing a superbill, online patient payments, ICD9 and CPT codes, code request, creation or backup fees. No upfront cost. Not only does this cost less, but it works better.
3. Eliminates many errors that create rework. The automated methods used with the newest web-based software take out many tasks that were once entered manually by billers and now eliminate human errors through automation. A simple typo can cause a claim to be rejected or denied slowing down the payment cycle and causing a lot of extra and unnecessary work. Rework is one of the most costly problems in an office. Anytime you can eliminate rework with better systems, you save money.
4. Works in “Real Time” – When you are used to working in a software based on a static server, you have no voice in updating a process until a new version is released that you must buy if you want to be able to update to these new requirements. This can be a problem when you have an old code that you want to change or there are new requirements such as NPI numbers, the addition of taxonomy codes, or changes to the composition of workers. A web-based program can provide for these changes when they become necessary. Instead of spending thousands of dollars to buy the latest version of a server-based software, the web-based program is updated when it becomes necessary to make any changes. As diagnosis codes and CPT codes are added or removed, the web-based software can handle these changes immediately, not with the next update. This feature can eliminate insurance claims coding denials due to CPT or ICD9 changes.
5. Claims scrubbing – Claims scrubbing can go well beyond letting you know that a patient’s date of birth is missing. A small example of how useful an effective claims scrubber can be is when a chiropractor bills a claim to Medicare where Medicare requires the AT modifier. If the modifier is not on the claim to Medicare it will be denied and if the AT modifier is on a claim to another insurance company, that claim may be denied for invalid modifier. A good claims scrubber will flag the claim if you have used the modifier incorrectly.
6. Ability to bill UB04 forms and CMS 1500 forms – Small facilities, such as rehabilitation clinics and mobile surgery centers, are sometimes required to submit their claims on UB04 forms, depending on whether they are credentialed as a facility or provider with the carrier of insurance. We have found web based software that will allow submission of UB04’s as CMS 1500 claim forms eliminating the need for two separate billing programs if you are billing for a facility. This is a great option for a billing company that can take a small facility and has no way to print UB04 forms and also for a small facility that needs to bill UB04 forms.
7. Preloaded ICD9 and CPT codes for your specialty – Our server based medical billing software did not have preloaded codes. We are constantly adding diagnosis codes and unfortunately some invalid diagnosis codes have been added. When an invalid code was used, usually the claim was denied for an invalid diagnosis code. The claim was corrected and resubmitted – a good example of the recovery I was talking about earlier. The web-based program we decided on has all the diagnosis codes and procedure codes for the provider’s specialty already preloaded. There are no useless codes, but you can add codes. As codes are updated, added or removed from the AMA, they are automatically changed in the program. This will be especially useful when we go to ICD10 codes.
8. The automatic updates of the insurance company – You do not have to keep up with the changes of address of the insurance company or electronic payer number for your compensation house. Our preferred web based software preloaded all insurance companies that could go electronically with the correct payer number. If a carrier changes their payer ID # it is automatically updated by the web based software. You don’t have to worry. How many of us have suddenly all the claims for a particular carrier fall into a black hole and find out that it was because they changed their payer number and only notified the providers in a small sidebar on their website. With good web-based software this does not happen. Because they work in “Real Time”, insurance companies and their electronic identifiers are added or updated as the clearinghouse adds/updates.
9. Eliminate the need for accounting software – A billing service finds the need for accounting software such as Quickbooks to track the billing of its suppliers for its services. With the new technology, a billing service can now bill its suppliers, print statements, send past notices, run reports, and enter payments all in the web-based system eliminating the need for Quickbooks. The web-based software we chose performs all the functions that we once used Quickbooks.
10. Multiple practices, eligibility and electronic submissions at no extra cost – This makes a big difference to a billing service. When we started to look at web-based software, we were afraid that the prohibitive cost for a billing service with many providers as most companies charge on the number of providers. We were excited to find an application that not only has more technical features, but did not charge from the provider or practice, but rather from the user.
After studying the advantages of web based software, we found that we cannot afford to ignore the advantages of web based software. The next step was to find an application that was affordable for a billing service.
We found that a company that used the SaaS concept (Software as a Service) could offer a much more reasonable product than a typical license product. Most web-based programs charge per provider or practice, so if you’re billing 60 providers, it can be really expensive. Using the Saas concept, web-based medical billing software could now be offered to medical offices and billing services for a reasonable monthly fee and no setup costs.
The Xena-Health software quickly showed us a superior product with a host of benefits we didn’t know existed, resulting in our data entry time being cut in half. We never dreamed of all the possibilities that the newest technology could provide and at such a reasonable cost. With many medical office costs increasing every year, it was a wonderful surprise to find a cost saving product that really increased our efficiency. Xena was great to work with and we were thrilled with the results.
Copyright 2009 – Alice Scott – Medical Billing Solutions Inc
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