One of the benefits of choosing the right practice management software is a faster billing cycle. Speeding up the process of documenting, submitting, and processing billing information will not only help accelerate your revenue stream but actually increase reimbursement rates as well. Here’s what to look for.
1. A partner who will evolve with you. Find a software provider that wants to build a long-term relationship with your practice, not just make the sale and move on to another customer. Since the healthcare industry never stands still, your practice needs a hands-on partner to keep you ahead of changing technologies, regulations, trends, etc., in medical billing for years to come.
2. Intuitive features and straightforward on-boarding. Make sure your new software offers an intuitive user experience that makes sense. Training should be straightforward. Operation should be simple and automated as much as possible. This will minimize the amount of time it takes to enter data as well as reduce the opportunity for user error. Productivity goes up, and the number of man-hours your staff spends on billing goes down.
3. A emphasis on accurate, thorough billing features. The right software can help ensure that the physician’s time and all billable services are accurately documented and billed. The faster data is entered into the system, the more likely it is to be complete and accurate. Reducing days to final billing (DFB) helps ensure nothing is overlooked or accidentally omitted.
4. Dedicated, personal customer support. Remember the human element. When you’re talking with your software provider, are they looking for ways to adapt their services to your needs? Or are they constantly trying to convince you to change your practice around to fit their model? It’s not just the software that needs to be flexible, but the people behind it. An uncooperative partner will not only create an unnecessarily long learning curve, but it could even prevent your practice from ever using your software to its full potential.
4. Seamless interfaces with your current systems. Make certain your software offers complete interoperability with payer systems, including Medicare and other government programs. Documents and data should move seamlessly from your system to theirs. The advantage of submitting documents electronically is a significantly faster processing time.
6. Flexibility and transparency. Look for flexibility, especially in reporting capabilities. It seems like no two practices (and sometimes no two people within the same practice) want to see their numbers reported in the exact same way. What’s important is that you’re getting your billing and reimbursement information in a way that makes clear and immediate sense to you. Flexibility in reporting can also help simplify and speed up the auditing process.
Another important quality to look for is responsiveness of customer service. There will always be times you need to contact your software provider with questions, special needs, upgrades or new functionality, etc. Look for a provider who offers a direct contact rather than a general help line. This can reduce response time from days to hours (or even minutes), which helps ensure your billing cycle stays on the fast track.