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Revenue cycle management

What's in store for medical billing software?

By Seth Flam, DO

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Attempting to predict the future can be a tricky gamble, especially in healthcare. Today’s game-changing technology could quickly spiral into tomorrow’s litigious, medical bust.

When it comes to the future of medical billing software, there does seem to be some indications of where it may be heading. And that can help us make some educated guesses.

You don't need to be Nostradamus, for instance, to know that the rise of electronic statements through the patient portal will continue to lead a growing reduction of paper bills. As more patients become comfortable handling bills online, costs related to the acquisition of paper office supplies and the time spent managing them will largely evaporate. In fact, that's already happening, as the trend of electronic medical billing gains strength.

Patient portals are common with leading EHR software. And as the continuing widespread adaptation of EHR and EMR software grows, medical offices will become more tech savvy. This trend will likely manifest itself in a number of different ways, such as increased workflow efficiency and more automation with patient communications, invoicing, and claims processing. The expansion of EHR will also likely lead to a rise in interoperability that connects thousands of medical groups and expedites payment cycles.

Another benefit of EHR software adoption for physicians medical billing practices is the increased accuracy of data. Since staff and patients are no longer relying on human handwriting for intake forms, for instance, we can expect fewer errors when it comes to billing submissions. And that could lead to quicker returns on submissions via insurance billing software, for example.

Whether a medical office chooses to handle billing in house or outsource it, data is also poised to play a much larger role. For instance, medical billing companies will have the ability to deliver much more accurate analytics via medical billing software to forecast clients' profits and measure their ongoing pain points and overall viability. Likewise, in-house staff can use statistics to keep a running tally of everything from costs for procedures to incoming revenue to make sure there's a steady stream of income to balance expenditures.

Physician billing software will also make further headway into simplifying the coding process. Many types of leading software already include functionality to make ICD-10, and its future iterations, a breeze. The inclusion of this feature into more electronic medical billing software will instantly help guide staff to the most precise code, and future iterations will only refine this process so it's nearly an afterthought. Plus, with ICD-10 offering more specificity for ailments, it should lead to higher rates of reimbursement.

It's intriguing to speculate about any number of big, coming innovations in the healthcare industry, but in the immediate future it feels like we'll at least see a continuing expansion of today's burgeoning technologies related to medical billing software. Perhaps further down the line, the current billing process will be totally disrupted with powerful technologies that further reduce the risk of complications for all parties involved, making millions of lives easier in the process.

One thing we can be sure of is there will always be medical professionals needed to assist patients, and some compensation process to facilitate that treatment. The continued acceleration of physician billing software will be an exciting area to watch, as it evolves in fantastic ways we can't even yet imagine.

Seth Flam, DO

CEO and President, HealthFusion

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The financial and clinical challenges you face now are evolving rapidly. Here are resources, solutions, and ideas we think will help.

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