The Benefits of Automated Medical Billing
The Benefits of Automated Medical Billing
By: Mick Polo | Read Time: 9 minutes
Healthcare practices need strong revenue cycle management to provide top-notch care to their patients. Every healthcare practice is reliant on the medical billing process to function and perform. However, medical billing is easier said than done. The process is repetitive, time-consuming, and complex. Automated medical billing is a helpful solution to streamline processes and reduce payment errors.
Automated medical billing helps practices recover payments, stay on top of the revenue cycle process, and free up medical practice staff’s time. Staff can then prioritize and focus on patient care and satisfaction. NCDS Medical Billing has identified the benefits that practices receive as a result of automated medical billing.
What is Automated Medical Billing?
Medical billing occurs in an ongoing loop. The ongoing revenue cycle of medical practices is shown below. This includes the regularly occurring steps such as registration, benefit eligibility determination, data entry, and prior authorizations.
Revenue cycle for healthcare by Experian Health
The revenue cycle is complex, has many steps, and can be time-consuming. Due to this challenging nature, many practices currently aren’t operating with well-optimized cycles.
To see medical practice revenue improvements, practices need an enhanced Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) process that will maximize reimbursement.
In order to achieve an optimized RCM process, practices must combine technology, automation, and expertise. This combination creates the full package of RCM. It encompasses all the administrative functions throughout the entire life of a patient account. To learn more about optimizing RCM, read on at NCDS’s RCM solutions page.
One major part of an optimized RCM process is automated medical billing.
Automated medical billing services offer a wide range of benefits from increased accuracy to cost savings. This directly impacts the success of the medical industry in multiple ways. Automating medical billing also provides patients with improved care through enhanced security and access to cloud-based platforms.
Precedence Research Healthcare Automation Market Size Predictions
The healthcare automation market is predicted to reach nearly 100 billion USD by 2030. Automated medical billing services will become an increasingly integral part of the healthcare industry. Especially since automated technology continues to advance at a rapid rate.
NCDS SOLUTION: The first step in automating the medical billing process is creating the right connections. NCDS integrates and interfaces with multiple EHRs, clearinghouses, and third-party vendor partners.
This is so that we can gather all the necessary billing information and move it seamlessly through the proper channels. These integrations accelerate every step of the revenue cycle and collection process. Our industry associates add depth and expertise for added value as well as speed and accuracy to our services.
Benefits of Automated Medical Billing
Automated medical billing makes a massive difference for the practices that take advantage of its benefits.
Healthcare providers have been finding success with automated medical billing. For revenue cycle operations, over 66% of hospitals and healthcare institutions now employ automation systems. Past that, usage of automation technologies was well received by over 80% of healthcare institutions with revenue that exceeds $10 billion.
Below are 7 examples of how automated medical billing can improve your practice.
Healthcare workers are taking on more and more roles within practices. They are stepping up in ways they have not in the past. Unfortunately, this concern is likely to continue. 58% of medical practices have reported staffing as their biggest concern for 2023.
MGMA data reporting medical practice concerns for 2023.
In fact, data from Mercer identifies that demand for healthcare workers is expected to outpace demand by 2025.
As a result of the compounded effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, challenges with staffing needs, and various other concerns, feelings of burnout for healthcare workers have increased. 80% of healthcare leaders reported that their stress levels and feelings of burnout had increased in 2022.
Automated medical billing is one effective method a practice can take to remove additional responsibilities from overly burdened staff. With the help of automation, practices allow staff to prioritize their efforts on providing excellent care to patients.
Additionally, automated medical billing reduces the risk of human error throughout the process. By reducing this human error risk, automating processes can drastically improve administrative operations within a medical practice.
By implementing automation tools for the medical billing process, practices can reap the benefits of streamlined operations and decreased human error.
NCDS SOLUTION: We offer tools for verifying insurance eligibility digitally through a real-time fully integrated API. Insurance eligibility is also available to you through the NCDS Client Logins. In addition, we offer outsourced Verification Of Benefits and Claim Prior Authorization services to help you streamline these front-line processes. As a result, this saves time for your staff and customers, reduces denials, and improves your rate of return.
Streamlined Payment Processing
Healthcare practices are rethinking the patient experience and focusing on patient satisfaction. When determining top priorities for patient experience improvements in 2023, bill pay was the second most important priority to focus on across healthcare providers.
MGMA Stat shares top patient experience priorities for 2023
Nearly 1 in 5 medical groups identify bill pay as an area of improvement for the patient experience. This is a clear opportunity to make the billing process simpler.
Automated medical billing helps speed up the bill pay process while making it more accessible and easier to complete for payers.
In fact, more patients nowadays prefer electronic payment processes. 82% of patients say they’d like to be able to make all their healthcare payments in one centralized place. Additionally, 85% of patients prefer electronic payment as their method of medical bill payment.
With medical billing automation, patients reap many benefits as a result. It’s quicker and easier for patients to access their bills and pay on time. This makes paying bills as stress-free and simple as possible.
Automated medical billing is a straightforward way to enhance a practice’s patient experience. Creating this ease of payment through automation is mutually beneficial for patients and practices. The benefits come back to the medical practice when patients can pay bills fast and on time. Practices receive payments more efficiently for the services provided.
For other tips on improving patient revenue collection, refer to NCDS Medical Billing’s top 5 tips here.
Real-Time Insights and Reports Provided
A major benefit of automated medical billing is its ability to provide real-time insights. These insights shed light on financial performance, enabling practices to make informed decisions based on accurate and up-to-date data.
Automated medical billing also has the ability to generate automated reports on a regular basis to be shared across practices. The ease of creating and sharing these reports makes it easy to provide visibility, distribution, and analysis of financial results.
NCDS SOLUTION: We take reporting one step further. We do this by customizing your reporting package with details on the information critical and useful to your organization. Then, we continue to drill down on the data to provide you with insight at the right frequency and level of detail.
NCDS allows you to make real business decisions. Your data can be put into your preferred format and even integrated into your software.
Automated systems make significant improvements to a healthcare practice’s organization. With the ongoing management of paperwork, forms, claims, and more, automation saves hours of time and creates greater efficiencies.
Automated medical billing leads to patient data being instantly added and maintained within a database upon collection. With patient data being readily accessible via database, practices can share information across departments, providers, and other facilities as needed. It becomes much easier to share that information quickly.
Instead of managing a ton of physical paperwork, automation puts practices in control of their information. When all data is organized through an automated system, forms, and claims can be accessed faster. As a result, overall operations will be more efficient.
Practices must remember when embarking on an automation process that security and privacy must be of the utmost importance. Security is absolutely critical with all information, particularly personally identifiable information and patient data.
With this in mind, be sure to verify that potential partners for automated medical billing have security certifications. You want to make sure you will be in compliance with all necessary standards such as HIPAA.
Many practices work with a single vendor to oversee the revenue cycle medical billing process to keep organization streamlined. More than one-third of healthcare companies reported partnering with one single vendor that oversees the full medical billing process.
Minimized Overhead Costs
Medical billing automation leads to a reduction in costs. Implementing automation solutions help reduce the overhead costs that are associated with manual medical billing processes.
With the assistance of automation, healthcare providers can focus more on the tasks related to care rather than focusing on the minutiae of billing. The result of this reallocated focus is:
- Less overtime
- Fewer human errors
- Decreased stress
- Accomplish more within a typical workday
Manual medical billing processes take valuable time out of each day and require staff’s attention and energy.
When staff is required to spend time focusing on time-consuming manual medical billing, overhead costs increase. However, with a quick automated process, these unnecessary overhead costs are then saved or reallocated to provide more care to patients.
Ensured Regulatory Compliance
A great automated medical billing partner will ensure their partners stay in compliance with existing and regularly changing regulations.
Automated solutions are built to protect patients and practices by offering a configuration that already complies with the various relevant regulations.
Between HIPAA regulations and ensuring to keep personally identifiable information (PII) safe, properly created automated solutions offer protection, privacy, and compliance out of the box.
When working with an automation provider, be sure to collaborate on a mutual approach to key regulatory and privacy actions:
- HIPAA regulation application and compliance
- Determine security policies and procedures
- Create a contingency plan in case of a security/privacy brief
Automated medical billing software helps ensure regulatory compliance. It does this by keeping track of all required data and allowing you to generate reports quickly and accurately.
NCDS has earned the HBMA Compliance Accreditation for 5 years running. We were also one of the flagship companies successfully participating in the program since its inception in 2018-19.
NCDS SOLUTION: We ensure your transactions are handled securely. All PHI, private information, and sensitive data are protected to the highest degree of HIPAA, HITECH, and OIG standards. Rest assured that NCDS always handles your business information ethically and confidentially.
Improved Cash Flow
A practice with a healthy cash flow is able to focus on 3 main priorities:
- Staying on top of top-notch equipment
- Providing quality patient care
- Keeping the practice in top-notch shape
Automated medical billing improves cash flow for a variety of reasons, including:
- Decreased overhead costs as mentioned previously
- Decreased errors
- Decreased re-submitted claims
- Increased efficiency
- Automatic billing follow-ups
- Decreased administrative costs
Medical billing automation helps streamline the payment process and stay on top of timelines, enabling faster collection and improved cash flow.
For other ideas for improving practice cash flow, read up on our 6 tips for maximizing revenue.
Find an Automated Medical Billing Partner
Automated medical billing has a multitude of benefits for medical practices including but not limited to:
- Increased revenue
- Improved patient experience
- Reduced billing errors
Prioritizing medical billing automation will provide significant results to your practice. This will also improve the experience for both your staff and your patients.
Identifying a medical billing company is all about finding a partner that can help your practice be the best it can be. NCDS Medical Billing is here to help.
Contact NCDS Medical Billing to see how we can help with automation, revenue cycle management, and any billing needs your practice may have.
We will set up a discovery workshop to review front and back-office best practices in great detail. NCDS strives to help your staff manage patient information and payment collections onsite, effectively, and efficiently. We also offer FREE onsite and remote consultations to assess your practice's processes.
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