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ICD-10 Codes: Are You Underusing Them?

difference between icd 9 and icd 10

In our last blog, we mentioned that one billing practice that raises red flags for insurers is using the same code over and over for multiple patients. The truth is, ICD-10 codes are a departure from older diagnostic coding systems. And limiting yourself to a single code presents problems for both the insurer and the patient. Here are some reasons why:

You might be accustomed to relying on what are known as “pain codes.” These are ICD-9 codes that refer to the patient’s actual complaints during consultation. But the problem with handling diagnoses in this fashion is that you’re only describing symptoms. Treating symptoms does not necessarily result in increased wellness. ICD-10 codes are meant to encourage and enable best practice when it comes to diagnosis and billing. As a result, ICD-10 works best when you’re choosing codes that address the root cause of a problem.

The new ICD-10 codes are specific enough that they need to be used together to paint clear “portraits” of individual patients. The use of a single code can come across as inaccurate simply because it’s monochromatic. If it were a painting, a single code would be Snow White in a snowstorm. When that’s all you submit, insurers worry that you’re not investigating deeply enough when you diagnose a patient, or that you’re not understanding the importance of clearly communicating with insurers. Use multiple codes to provide a detailed rendition of your patient’s needs.


There’s an even bigger issue to think about: non-specific codes can cause confusion because they don’t seem to justify the services the patient receives. Whether you recommend additional procedures, referrals, or prescriptions, if the code you’re using doesn’t seem to reflect your reasoning, you’re cruising for a denial of reimbursement. Underusing ICD-10 codes denies patients services.

Another important factor to keep in mind that individual physicians aren’t islands unto themselves. You are one link in the chain of providers that serve any given patient. The codes you choose will help other healthcare professionals glean insights and draw conclusions about the next steps they should take. There are even “cause codes” that explain how and where an injury occurred. An inaccurate or non-specific code can lead to misdiagnosis and even the implementation of inaccurate therapies. The right code opens a dialogue between the initial physician and specialists.

The goal, obviously, is not to simply pile on additional codes, but rather to thoroughly document a patient’s condition and serve as a valuable participant in the dialogue between providers. By understanding how to apply ICD-10 codes in combination with each other, and implementing them as they were designed to be used, you streamline patient care, billing, and reimbursement.

The Value of Hybrid RCM Platforms

The separate benefits of RMCs and EHRs are clear: using a Revenue Cycle Management system frees you up to focus on your practice. EHRs improve patient care. However, have you considered the benefits of choosing a system that integrates both? Integrated EHR/RCM systems are on the rise. Here are some reasons why.

Improved charge capture. With an integrated system, you can use methods such as bar code scans on the EHR side of the system to initiate billing on the RCM side. This improves the efficiency of your billing cycle, which is always a good thing!

Fewer vendors. Large systems may still require multiple vendors, due mostly to the fact that some specialty areas already have preferred systems on a national level. However, even in large organizations, systems that aren’t fully integrated need to coordinate well with each other, so that sort of functionality is something to look for and ask about when considering a new vendor. That said, it’s still worth streamlining where possible. Anything you can do to reduce the number of vendors you’re working with will also reduce your IT headaches.

Single Vendors. Small practices can set up single-vendor systems much more easily than large organizations. Working with a single vendor saves time and money, and you won’t have to worry about system conflicts the way you would if you were trying to integrate applications from a variety of vendors. In fact, smaller practices report high satisfaction with integrated EHR and RMC systems, and that metric is still on the rise.

Paperless billing. Making the switch to paperless billing saves you money, and as it turns out, 70% of Americans prefer to view their bills online! Going paperless can free up physical space in your office. It also helps to reduce redundancies in your workflow, so you and your staff can budget your time more efficiently.

A well-integrated staff. EHR and RCM integration can actually improve the overall organizational structure of your practice. In order to be effective in the modern healthcare marketplace, everyone in your organization needs to understand billing and how the revenue cycle works. If you integrate your systems, it makes obvious sense to cross-train employees as well. You’ll also be more likely to involve a broader cross-section of staff in meetings, and so on. This dual integration of both systems and staffing improves your revenue outlook.

When we talk about healthcare management “systems”, we sometimes forget to treat them as just that: a single, integrated system. As a decision maker for your practice, you should be looking to make your patient records, billing, and staff practices as integrated as possible. Approaching healthcare management technology from this perspective will avoid needless inefficiencies within your practice.

Coding Changes are Coming! An EMR system can help

The ICD-10 codes have been out for less than a year. ICD-10 sports five times as many codes as ICD-9, and already major code additions and revisions are on the way. 1900 code changes were proposed at the March meeting of the Coordination and Maintenance Committee, covering everything from ectopic pregnancy to the Zika virus. That’s on top of nearly 4,000 new codes already set to roll out in Fall of 2016.

The increased specificity ICD-10 provides is meant to improve diagnostic coding and even streamline payout rates. But it’s a lot to keep track of, and plenty of practices are intimidated by the prospect, even with this year’s specificity grace period. EMR software can be the partner you need to help you navigate the complexity of the ICD-10 system, and make sure your practice is implementing the changes smoothly. How can it help?


1. EMRs conduct automatic updates. If seventh-character code extensions are intimidating your office staff, imagine how nervous they are about new and revised codes. New codes are longer, too, up to seven digits compared to the three to five digit ICD-9 codes. But EMRs can help make the process of adopting new codes relatively painless. As changes roll out, cloud-based EMR software can roll with them, providing you with constant code updates so that you can be sure you’ve got the correct codes.

2. EMRs provide easy access to prior patient visits. Because you’ve got centralized, digital records, you won’t have to go hunting for codes. You’ll be able to build a complete portrait of a patient’s needs using multiple codes. You can feel secure that none of that information is being lost or forgotten from visit to visit. And you’ll be able to pass it along to specialists, therapists, and lab technicians, too.

3. EMRs make finding the right code easier. As we mentioned earlier, physicians are still operating in what the CMS is calling a “specificity grace period”, which means that as long as the codes you choose are in the right family, you’re unlikely to be penalized if they’re not as specific as they ought to be. That said, the grace period will draw to a close right as the 4,000 codes we mentioned earlier are added. So, how do you ensure that you’re choosing the specific codes you should be? Well-thought-out EMR software is designed to help you search for and narrow down codes, saving you time and effort.

EMRs are not a substitute for medical and billing expertise. It’s important to train employees on ICD-10 using the many free resources available, and make sure they understand how to use the many tools your medical record and billing software provides. But EMRs are a flexible resource that can help a savvy practice improve implementation of ICD-10 codes and stay abreast of updates.

Payment Portals and Proactivity: Why They Matter

It can be intimidating to use push reminders and patient portals if you’ve never tried them before, but there are good reasons to do it! Let’s talk about some of the factors that might lead you to implement a patient portal for your own practice.

Medical Debt is a Big Problem

Surveys indicate that repayment is medical practitioners’ biggest concern, higher even than the cost of supplies. Rising medical debt is an increasing issue for many Americans, and small practices and hospitals are bearing the brunt of this trend. In fact, Community Health Systems recently wrote off 169 million dollars in debt, citing low collection rates.

Higher Deductibles Lead to Higher Debt

One reason why there seems to be such an increase in the amount of medical debt patients carry is because patients have higher deductibles. The average American has to pay $1077 dollars out of pocket each year before their plan will cover any expenses. That reflects a 67% increase over five years. Because deductibles are going up faster than household earnings, many well-meaning patients are in a cash crunch when it comes to paying their medical bills. We’ll talk more this month about patient education and how crucial it is to the repayment process, but the bottom line is that arming patients with flexibility and more ways to pay can help with repayment rates.

Collection Costs Have Increased

Collection costs have increased a full percent in recent years, anything you can do to encourage payment before an account goes to collections benefits your revenue cycle. Push reminders help keep medical bills on patients’ radar. Portals enable them to pay while they’re thinking about it, without having to make a phone call during business hours or find a stamp.

Portals Fit with the Modern World

Patient portals are the obvious solution in a world where everything from utilities to major retail chains offers online payment. Portals can also be mobile-friendly. Companies with portals optimized for mobile indicate they receive as much as 20% of their payments that way.

In addition, patient portals can help you implement an increasingly talked-about option: the up-front payment model. You can inform patients ahead of time what the total cost of a medical service will be after insurance. They can go home, review the information, and pay through the online portal. Research indicates that patients across all age groups will use portals, and that the size of the practice doesn’t have an effect either way on rate of use.

You can see why a patient portal could be beneficial to your practice. But how can you be sure that your patients will use it? The key is education. We’ll talk more later this month about how patient education can improve adoption of patient portals, and payment rates in general.

Using Tech in Front of Patients

Many physicians hesitate to employ portable technology at their practice for fear patients will dislike it. The reasons for this concern vary. Doctors long accustomed to paper-based records may be self-conscious about using handheld devices in front of patients, especially long-term ones who were around before these gadgets were in use. There’s also concern that patients will see mobile devices as a barrier between themselves and their caregivers. However, patients feel very differently than you might think.

Patients Expect Tech

Nowhere is it more important to have the latest technology than in the medical field. Patients want to know that cutting edge technology is available when they’re being treated, so they’re not as put off by the use of electronic record-keeping technology as you might think. Nowadays, you might even give off the impression that your practice is outdated if you’re jotting things down on paper while patients talk. After all, most of them have smartphones in their pockets.

Privacy Matters, but Not the Way You Expect

A study which surveyed 4,500 patients about EHRs found that the vast majority were fine with the use of devices like tablets during an appointment. The idea of someone transcribing a doctor’s notes after the fact was two times as likely to bother them. When you take a moment to consider this, their reasons seem obvious. A third party could unwittingly introduce errors. Having a digital record of the original notes makes good sense.

If you feel like you’re striking out into treacherous territory by using tablets or laptops in your office, rest assured that you’re actually in good company. Research indicates up to 80% of physicians use a tablet, and as many as 75% of them alternate between smartphones, tablets and laptops. Smartphones tend to be used for smaller or app-based tasks, like looking up medications. More involved tasks like note-taking and research occur on tablets or laptops. These devices are increasingly normalized throughout the medical community.

Mobile Devices Make EHR Management Easier

EHR management is cited as the number one professional task physicians do on tablets. Early adopters of EHRs and tablet technology indicated that they were saving as much as an hour a day by removing redundant workflows.

Tablets May Be Less Intrusive than What You’re Using Now

If you’re not using tablets/laptops, consider the placement and positioning of computers throughout your practice. Do they require your staff to sit with their backs to patients? Portable devices allow patient and caregiver to face each other without a physical barrier between them.

Handheld devices and laptops offer seamlessly updated information, reduce the potential for errors, and are so streamlined that they may actually increase face time for you and your patients. What’s more, patients recognize these advantages. You can feel confident that tablets and laptops will optimize your use of EHRs.

Yes, Outsource Revenue Cycle Management in 2016!

Yes Outsource RCM in 2016

If you are a small to medium sized practice rebuilding or improving your revenue cycle management system can be daunting. Won’t we spend more on staff and processes and end up possibly with the same problems we have now? If we outsource it, won’t that be a headache on top of expenses? Revenue cycle management isn’t only for large medical practices or hospitals. It’s for every practice. Here we define revenue cycle management as not only a solution that needs to function well, but as one that is the lifeblood of your practice.

To start, revenue cycle management (RCM) refers to a process which manages and tracks medical practice claims and payments. It does this by using state-of-the art software technology and specific billing knowledge which allows you to keep track of your claims process while simultaneously increasing the amount of revenue you collect. In sum, an effective RCM partner specializes in the technology and billing knowledge that your practice needs to focus on getting financially efficient in 2016.

 

Here is a quick test to see where your practice is when it comes to an effective, efficient RCM (revenue cycle management system)

 

How effective are the following in your practice?

  • Patient registration
  • Insurance and benefit verification
  • Charge capture
  • ICD codes
  • Claims processing

Yes, these are just five functions within you practice, but each one plays a pivotal role in your practice’s viability. If even one of these is not running efficiently, it will impact the others. Just like a supply chain, an error or problem with one will bump into the next and cause downstream issues which may repeat until resolved at the root, and translate into lost revenue month after month. Many small and mid-sized practices are turning to RCM partners to help them address the inefficiencies within their own practices.

What they are discovering is that outsourcing billing and claims processing (among other services) actually gives them more time and energy to focus on patients, to focus on building streamlined workflow within the office, and building financial efficiency, the last of which should be one of your biggest priorities in 2016.

Outsourcing does not mean relinquishing responsibility today—it means partnership, collaboration, and improvement. It does not mean more work, it means expert support and partnership—your RCM supports your office in its strengths and by coming alongside and pouring into what you do well while identifying areas of weakness and a plan for reducing and eliminating those. What’s more, we bring the technology and the billing knowledge that your practice needs for reducing denial rates and developing a healthy cash flow.

SAVI Group works as a virtual extension of your medical office to supplement your support staff and provide a complete solution for your medical billing and health insurance collection needs. Our client portfolio consists of over 100 physicians across multiple medical specialties ranging in size from a single practitioner to large multispecialty groups, hospitals and pharmacies. Learn more about what our services include by clicking here.

Find a medical billing specialist and revenue cycle management company you can trust. Call SAVI Group from Irvine, Orange and Anaheim at 714.648.0977. You can also use our Request a Free Assessment link.

 

6 Ways a Claims Processing System Builds Efficiency in Your Practice

6 Ways a Claims Processing System Builds Efficiency in Your Practice

With health care reform and Medicare penalties for practices which don’t attest to Meaningful Use this year, many small and mid-sized practices feel intense pressure to push patients through the office quickly. The bottom line is your practice has to stay in the black to stay in business. What many practice managers and owners are not aware of however, is the that a well-tuned revenue cycle management system can not only keep you out of the red but can deliver more time and energy for you to spend with your patients.

The solution starts with getting all the gears running in the right direction at the right time. In your practice, one of the easiest ways to see whether this is happening or not is to look at the front office. Is it running efficiently? What about the back of the office? Do your workflows allow for optimal time and energy for patients?

You can build efficiency into your system by evolving to ensure that your electronic workflow systems actually match the functions and workflow of your specific practice. This means that the flow doesn’t stop at electronic health records, but also includes your claims and payment processing services.

With the right claims processing system in place, your practice can do the following more efficiently. Imagine having all six of these functions in place in your practice, all of which translate into more time and energy for your patients.

  • Managing the release of information (ROI) fulfillment efficiency, permanent history, detailed audit trail and HIPAA compliance with our exclusive proprietary ROI+ solution
  • Proactively shortening your pay cycle by reaching out to patients via text and email up to three times before going to collections
  • Providing a custom at-a-glance dashboard for streamlined front-office medical practice management
  • Improving denial rates – analyzing low/no-pays within five days
  • Charging a single fee for all services with revenue-share pricing
  • Using a fully customized medical billing and collection engine

At SAVI Group, we’re all about collaboration and evolution. We collaborate with you and your office management staff as a seamless extension of your front office. We also evolve quickly and proactively as regulations and claims filing processes change over time. If you’re business is ready to do the same, get in touch with us today.

SAVI always goes the extra mile for you. We know you worked hard to become a doctor so you can care for patients, not paperwork. We know that by helping you, we are also helping your patients.

Find claims and payment processing you can trust. Call SAVI Group from Anaheim, Irvine and Orange at 714.648.0977. Please feel free to use our Request a Free Assessment link or ask for a complimentary consultation.

Your Practice Can Become Financially Efficient with the Right RCM Partner

RCM

Many small medical practices struggle to simply do business efficiently on a day by schedule, let alone to be financially efficient. Perhaps this is why revenue cycle management has become a buzzword in the last few years among health care professional. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not one that you meet with a bit of intimidation. After all, you’re already managing an overwhelming set of other priorities—managing employees, staying up to date with government programs and daily admin tasks.

Where is there time and space to take on yet another priority?

Add to this dilemma the rates of claim denials by the CMS. Did you know, for instance, that the CMS rejects nearly 26% of all claims, and that up to 40% of those claims are never resubmitted?

What many health care organizations have come to realize is that there is no shame in getting help from a revenue cycle management partner. Let’s take some of the intimidation factor out of the term and simply refer to what RCM means for your practice.

Successful RCM requires are three important components:

  • Technology
  • Billing Knowledge
  • Time

We know that time is not something you have extra of—in fact, the sheer number of patient. Adding more staff may not be a financially viable option either as the time, energy, and money as you need help, and knowledgeable help now. This is why partnering with an RCM organization such a great fit for many smaller medical practices. Billing Savi, for example, specializes in the technology and billing knowledge that your practice needs to focus on getting financially efficient in 2016. The best part of the solution is that your RCM partner doesn’t get interrupted by patients!

Consider the fact that when you implement your RCM, you implement a management system which focuses on:

  • Identifying patterns among claims the CMS has denied
  • Resubmitting denied claims
  • Reducing denial rates
  • Improving the net revenue to your practice
  • Increasing the average percent of current claims (0-60 days)
  • Decreasing bad debt write-offs
  • and More

These outcomes come from your RCM through training, communication and workflow specific to your medical practice. Billing Savi is more than an organization that specializes in claims processing and electronic health records—we cooperate and evolve to develop solutions that help your practice optimize practices that build revenue and reduce losses.

Find a revenue cycle management partner you can trust. Call SAVI Group from Los Angeles, Irvine, Anaheim and San Diego at 714.648.0977. You can also use our Request a Free Assessment link

Is it Possible to Get Your Denial Rates Under 5%?

SAVI Group

What are normal denial rates in San Diego and the Los Angeles area? Claim denial rates from health insurance companies vary from practice to practice, but some experience upwards of 30% denials of total claims! That’s a pretty penny. We know, however, that top-performing practices experience rates below 5%. Let’s talk about how to ensure that more of your claims get reimbursed so that you can get your rates down.

On one end of the spectrum some medical practices are experiencing denial rates of 30% of their total claims, yet the percentage of other practices experiencing denials of 10% or 20% are also stunning. The industry average at this point is something between a 5% and 10% denial rate, but getting that rate below 5% should be your practice goal.

With so many responsibilities and priorities to juggle, practice managers often feel overwhelmed as their profits get smaller and smaller and that red line gets bigger and bigger.

 

Automated processes can help ensure your practice has lower denial rates and healthy cash flow.

With evolving health care initiatives and government requirements like Meaningful Use and the transition ICD-10 codes, small medical practices like yours need expert knowledge as well as tools and they need time to get both of these pieces in line—however, time for many groups, not to mention lack of resources to vet, hire, and train staff to do this work is extremely limited.

These are just a few reasons why more and more small and mid-sized medical practices are turning to groups like SAVI for denial management systems to help them understand more about claims reimbursement and then automate them to ensure lower denial rates and a healthy cash flow.

 

Making a Denial Rate Calculation

 

If you’re not sure what your practice’s denial rate is, there is a simple way to calculate it. The AAFP provides this sample calculation and short video to show you exactly how to figure out where your practice stands:

(Total of Claims Denied/Total of Claims Submitted)

  • Total claims denied: $10,000
  • Total claims submitted: $100,000
  • Time period: 3 months
  • $10,000/$100,000
  • Denial rate for the quarter: 10%



While this is just at the top end of the industry average, again, your practice goal is to get your number below 5%. We are ready to help you do that!

SAVI’s mission is to help your practice, not matter how small, collect more money faster and increase your practice revenue on a monthly basis. Our strong workflow process includes getting the right information to the insurer the first time, correcting denials within five days, keeping close track of all claims and documenting successes and failures.

The SAVI Group works closely with all types of healthcare practices – from solo practices to large, multispecialty practices – located throughout Southern California, in Los Angeles, Anaheim, Orange, Irvine, San Diego and other communities.

For medical billing services you can count on, call SAVI Group at 714.648.0977 or use our Request a Free Assessment link to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Your Front Office Staff Can Help Drive Revenue Too

Your Front Office Staff Can Help Drive Revenue Too

 

You know very well how important it is to manage claims processing. You may even understand the value of a solution that can help you achieve that. Have you thought though about how the right front office staff could help you proactively build your revenue? Or how the right staff plus an integrated EMR/EHR-billing solution could optimize that growth?

Front desk staff sometimes get over looked over as claims processing liasons. Yes, one of their biggest responsibilities is to ensure claims are managed well—in fact as much as 60 to 80 percent of your revenue comes from claims according to the article Biggest Revenue Cycle Challenges for Medical Practices. So yes, it’s a must that this component of your practice functions well, and that your staff know their role in that. But their job doesn’t stop there.

In fact, although you may have an excellent billing system in place, and run it all in house, one that is not integrated with your EMR/EHR could be losing you money. On the flip side, when you integrate the two, you have an enormous opportunity to grow revenue.

Back to the remaining 20 to 40 percent of your revenue coming from non-claims related revenue. Has your practice evaluated how it can proactively manage revenue that comes from incremental and compliance aspects? Consider what Medical Practice Insider Editor Frank Irving writes:

When a patient comes in the door, you're going to need an integrated approach to capturing their demographic information, checking their eligibility, understanding what their financial responsibility is going to be before any care is delivered, and then collecting on that at the point of care — but also having a mechanism to collect from them subsequent to insurance adjudication down the road. This is not a mainstream practice, at least in my experience.

Gone are the days of seeing a patient, billing insurance, and receiving payment. The complexity of the data, the sheer amount of it, and the specificity and attention each patient’s situation requires is more than your front desk staff can possibly manage daily if you’re looking to grow revenue in 2016. Adding to that, Irving points out that the largest share of revenue that is growing is actually coming from patients. This is a tremendous change in just a decade, especially for small and mid-sized practices.

How is that the case?

Well, today many patients hold high-deductible health plans and are required to pay a substantial portion of the procedure upfront. As a result, rather than medical practices collecting money from patients after billing the insurance company, this process takes place ahead of it, and patients are paying for it ahead of time.

Medical practices are proactively building revenue is through offering “incremental cash businesses.” These are offered according to the article through “concierge services or the addition of elective procedures offered by the practice.” Front desk staff are instrumental in making sure that patients get the materials that showcase these additional services, especially when it comes to answering questions about these offerings.

A third stream comes from the compliance aspect, which may surprise you. What does compliance have to do with revenue growth? First off, it’s a must to stay in compliance with CMS for Medicare and Medicaid to simply prevent you from losing money in penalties or fees for abuse or waste. Not only do practices need to be in compliance with CMS, but they must also respond to increasing regulatory demands from the private insurance market. Your front office staff play an instrumental role in helping communicate to the private payer what they are responsible for paying and when as well as what would disqualify your practice from receiving a reimbursement for a particular service.

Without an integrated EMR/EHR-billing service, revenue growth may be much harder to pinpoint and track, and the best front office staff will only add to that optimization. The advantages of an integrated solution include the ability to mine the copious amounts of data coming in and give you the specific points to look at and make decisions with. We at Billing Savi would love to explain exactly how this works. Let’s connect today! We can’t wait to show you just what an integrated system looks like and how your small or mid-sized practice can benefit in 2016.

The Key to Managing External Drivers of Revenue

The Key to Managing External Drivers of Revenue

Why are medical practices less effective at managing external revenue drivers? The answer isn’t really news to practice managers or owners. Smaller practices just aren’t very strategic at how they bill for services. For some practices, the unknown of technology as a solution becomes is so big that even the thought of a conversation with an IT specialist seems overwhelming. For others, the knowledge of cost in utilizing technology as a solution is the barrier.

So that’s what’s on our agenda here. First of all the drivers of revenue.

Internal Drivers:

  • Provider productivity 
  • Patient volume
  • Fees for services
  • Insurance

External Drivers

  • Patient payments (deductibles, self-pay)
  • Collections

The nature of practice billing and collection (lengthy billing cycles) makes it all the more difficult for practice managers and owners to control when payment is received. Very few patients pay at the point of service, and insurance claims take time as well. You may not realize that you can focus on these last two and optimize your revenue cycle.

So how can you tap into these external drivers?

In a sentence, you can optimize your claims submission process. Here’s are five tips on doing just that.

  • Avoid Claim Rejections: If you want to speed up your billing cycle, focus on how you can reduce your claims rejection rate for both complex and non-complex patient visits.
  • Avoid Unnecessary Collection Cycles: Pay attention also to specific payer requirements so that you reduce the number of claims that are submitted by not accepted by payers.
  • Avoid Resubmission Fees: By focusing on improved claims submission you can also eliminate the resubmission fees which leaves more revenue in the bank for your practice.

Secondly, look at revenue from patients which include self-pay, co-pay and deductibles. Here are a couple things to think about.

  • Communicate Patient Responsibility: Responsibility for payments is not only moving more and more to patients but the amount of responsibility is increasing. If your practice can work with patients to communicate before the point of service what their service entails, when they will pay, how they will pay and how billing will be managed, the billing cycle can be positively impacted.
  • Alleviate Patient Confusion: This shift in greater patient responsibility has many patients confused and frustrated, leading many of them to overlook or misunderstand what may seem like simple billing, payment, or service info. Take time to alleviate this confusion with providing patients answers to questions and a clear path for communicating any questions they may have.

We know that in many cases practices chose to stay with in-house solutions, and may even shy away from or not get the chance to learn how technology can in fact optimize their revenue cycle.

The Tech Question

So the final question is how you can use technology to do all of this? We are glad you asked. We’d love to share exactly how we can help you do that. Let’s get connected first and unpack what that would look like in your practice. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today to learn more. You can also check out our site and learn more about us from clicking here.

 

Make Your EHR Adoption Successful with these Tips

EHR Adoption

Small medical practices face barriers to EMR/EHR adoption which larger practices do not. For example, many vendors push products on small practices which don’t take into account office workflow patterns. Practices which do not anticipate the change that implementing an EMR/EHR system experience more challenges as they adjust to the system, not to mention lost revenue from time waste, time spent on resolving issues and more.

Successful adoption, on the other hand, is not out of reach. This report from the US National Library Medicine outlines ways for practices to achieve this goal. We share two important tips from the report for you as a practice aiming for successful adoption.

  1. Successful adoption requires close attention to office workflow. Many practices are unaware that EHR software can be configured, tailored and expanded to match the specific exam types and workflow needs required by your practice. This is especially important for specialty practices, which require this kind of customization to optimize workflow.

  2. Successful adoption requires close attention to the way tasks are organized. When an EMR/EHR system is adopted, one of the very first things that must be assessed is how the front desk works, specifically the tasks that must be managed an organized. These include scheduling, registering new and repeat patients, verifying insurance, dealing with referrals, organizing and collecting reports and information, performing prescription-related activities, organizing the charts, mailing letters, copying, faxing, attending to telephone calls, and issuing certificates. That’s not all. Nurses also are required to perform specific tasks, as do physicians—and while many small practices still use paper to document, moving to digitized records and an EMR/EHR system offers tremendous savings, chief among them time savings.

Learn more about just how interconnected workflow and EMR/EHR implementation are with each other and how moving toward adoption can be a streamlined process, one that will help you maximize revenue and even develop new revenue streams.                                                                               

Let’s Connect

Electronic health records are vital to your future. As more medical practices of all sizes switch from paper to electronic health records or EHR and meaningful use, SAVI Group is there to help maximize your investment in your chosen EMR/EHR solution or help you find the right EMR solution for your specific needs. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today to set up a consultation.

Five Questions to Ask Before Digitizing Patient Records

Medical Record Image

A good number of small and medium-sized practices have not attested to Meaningful Use yet, mostly because of the cost barrier of implementing an EMR/EHR system. That being said, the penalties have jumped from 1 to 2% and will continue to rise year after year.

If your practice is ready to digitize patient records, you are making the right decision. However, before you press go, consider the following five questions outlined by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Which types of information need to be converted?

  • How far back in a patient's history does the electronic version need to go?

  • If not all information in the paper record is to be digitized, will the practice need to store the original records?

  • Will the files be scanned into portable document format (PDF) documents, which may be faster, or will data be entered into the EMR itself, which will allow it to be searchable and potentially improve continuity of care?

  • How long will the conversion process take?

Small and medium-sized practices have to get costs right at the planning stage. This means knowing what exactly needs to be converted, how much of it and the timeline for conversion. It also means getting a good estimate of cost into your project budget.

Not only will getting an accurate picture of your costs upfront prevent unnecessary delays during the conversion process, but it can also help you mitigate running over costs down the road.

Your Vendor Can Digitize Records for You

Did you know that we can take care of digitizing your patient records? We can work with your practice to ensure that your EMR/EHR system functions with your office workflow as well as work with you through the preliminary stages of your implementation. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to set up a free consultation today.

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Testimonials

  • I am very impressed with the quality and professionalism of the work that SAVI Group performed for me. Not only did they customize the electronic deliverables to fit the specific needs of my practice but they also organized the paper as I needed for shredding and archival. I would without hesitation refer the SAVI Group to any practice
    ~OCMA Board Member Dr. Smita Tandon, Dr2Kids, Client Since 2015
  • I strongly recommend SAVI Billing to anyone who enjoys excellent customer service and more revenue! Savi Billing discovered services that had slipped through the cracks, under coded and even services not billed at all, the outcome was increases in our practice revenue. We greatly benefited and generated more revenue because of SAVI's efficient billing processes.
    ~Carolyn M., MLSA, Client Since 2006
  • SAVI stepped in almost overnight and in a relatively short period of time has already surpassed our expectations. They have improved our monthly collections almost ten percent while helping to reduce our overhead. Their performance speaks for itself!
    ~Kelly Tucker, M.D. Orange County Heart Institute, Client Since 2004
  • Our experience with the SAVI Group in scanning our paper charts to our EMR system was a seamless, professional and most of all cost-effective one. The process was easy for my staff, as well as, little disruption to the operations of our practice. We would without hesitation refer the SAVI Group to any practice!
    ~OCMA Member Dr. Eric Wechsler, Nephrologist in Newport Beach
  • I am very happy we switched to SAVI. The billing is accurate and always up to date. The SAVI Team is very responsive and timely, with personalized service. Very professional and knowledgeable. I highly recommend SAVI for any Practice.
    ~Dr. Said F. Hakim, Client Since 2014