How Automated Billing Helps Healthcare Workers November 15, 2021
The ongoing battle against COVID-19 has left doctors, nurses, medical assistants, and other frontline hospital staff members exhausted and overwhelmed — adding to the burnout that has long existed before the pandemic even began. In an article published by NPR, many healthcare professionals offered insights on solving this crisis, often by focusing on smaller details of the work. One thing that bothers many healthcare workers is the paperwork that sucks up their after-hours and weekends.
Managing insurance forms and billing statements is a frustrating reality of clinical experience. As time-consuming and tedious it may be, however, handling the bills is a vital part of operations. The financial success of any healthcare institution depends on translating patient visits into actual reimbursements, which is why streamlining medical billing through automation is necessary. Here are three ways automated billing can greatly assist healthcare providers:
Reduces billing errors
Medical billing is a complex process that involves monitoring, calculating, and evaluating bills for each patient. As many as 250 people may be involved in this process, from nurses to medical coders, and manual data entry can result in errors. Even the most competent employees are not above an occasional mistake, more so if every member of the staff is stretched thin by administrative tasks. With an estimated 80% of medical bills containing mistakes, professors from John Hopkins University are campaigning to standardize metrics for billing quality. They argue that financial difficulties patients encounter in medical care is also a medical complication, and healthcare institutions should provide care for the patient’s entire person — not just their body.
Automating the billing process ensures each bill is prepared correctly every time. Bots can accurately calculate the total amount patients have to pay, and take into account costs for tests, medications, doctor fees, and insurance claims. The billing software can automatically notify patients and collect payments to speed up account settlements, opening up enough resources for activities and tasks which can’t be automated.
Minimizes overall workload
One study from the peer-reviewed journal Nursing Open revealed that many healthcare workers take on multiple roles to reduce gaps in primary care. Nurses, in particular, are in charge of paperwork related to assessments, admissions, and evaluations. They also work as relationship builders, patient outreach professionals, program facilitators, and care coordinators; Maryville University’s outlook for doctor of nursing practice graduates points out that advanced nurse practitioners are often called to provide services in health assessment, pathophysiology, and pharmacotherapeutics on top of their general nursing duties.
Juggling all these tasks can cause burnout, even for the most experienced of nurses, so automated billing can lessen their workload and allow them to focus on patient outcomes. Instead of entering data by hand, an automated billing system manages information between systems, saving healthcare workers administrative time and improving overall efficiency.
Improves budgeting and resource management
In our blog post on ‘5 Signs You Need to Call a Medical Billing Specialist’, we discussed how being focused on day-to-day patient duties can leave you to neglect a dwindling revenue stream. Payment problems cause revenue cycles to slow down quickly, especially as medical billing deals with multiple payers at a time. The unpaid bills slip through the cracks, and incorrect reimbursements cause your organization to lose money.
An automated billing system can follow up on outstanding claims and reduce the administrative workload, which can cut overtime staffing costs so you can funnel additional funding into areas like patient care. Automation enriches data collection and reporting as well. With more accurate and organized information, you can make strides in closing any financial gaps. The automated process delivers a continuous feedback loop, so you can optimize your practice and scale-up.
If you’re interested in an automated medical billing and coding solution, call us at 5 Star Billing Services today.