2015 Medical Billing Trends
What is happening with medical billing in 2015?
1. The market is shifting - changes from both Obamacare and the onset of ICD-10 have helped to consolidate the smaller EHR software companies that struggle among the many software options. Not every EHR works the same way, and a paired EHR and Practice Management package, while seemingly easy, can lead to a lot of headaches when it doesn’t perform as billers and doctors need it to.
Billers should look squarely at their EHR applications and make sure they’re up to par with the needs of their client practices.
2. The billing management for practices is moving outside the doctor’s office into the hands of professionals at a medical billing service. This is a good season for billers and those who want to start a medical billing company - there should be far more jobs available as increased billing muscle is needed to handle the massive increase in coding requirements when ICD-10 becomes official in October.
3. The incompatibility between different EHR applications, coupled with the expense and hassle of interfacing EHR and practice management software makes getting a truly useful and comfortable EHR program of high importance.
Billers need to play a greater role in pushing for legislation and private resources to deal with the proliferation of meaningful use requirements regarding data and its interoperability.
4. The commitment to patient data privacy is as critical as ever. The President’s State of the Union address, with its first time focus on cyber-security, is a preview: "No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids. We are making sure our government integrates intelligence to combat cyber threats, just as we have done to combat terrorism."
The issue of data encryption is one that billers will need to assess when choosing not just medical billing software, but the way they use it on their various devices each day. It affects the way physicians see the cornucopia of applications on the market.
HIPAA compliance becomes increasingly important in this brave new digital world. Getting the right safeguards is terribly important for every doctor who is using the internet.
5. There’s a problem that EHR software is typically designed by experts in software design, and not doctors who are the people who actually use the products. That amounts to friction between doctors and their applications, and complaints of poor workflow and daily process. The more that doctors can assist developers and provide clear channels of communication, the better the digital enhancements to the medical profession will become.
6. Getting mobile ready software applications is the future of medical billing, and will help both billers and doctors become more savvy in their interaction with clearinghouse partners and patients.
Welcome to the future of medical billing:
Smooth interaction between EHR and practice management, an increased need for third-party billing services, increased focus on cyber security, and better, mobile ready design.
Changes in each of these areas may, over time, create a streamlined future we can’t yet imagine. In the mean time, getting the right practice management software that can handle the trends as they stand is a key to practice management success.