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Why you need practice management as part of your EHR?

3 Apr. 2012 Posted by Steve in EnableDoc Blog

For decades, practice Management Systems have been deployed by groups to manage their schedules, patient registration information, and claims. But with the advent of electronic health records, a change is underway to redefine practice management. Groups are realizing that having an efficient and well-managed business requires a management system that connects appointment schedules, patient registration, clinical documentation, medical coding and billing in one integrated workflow. The benefits of having one system are quite powerful for the following reasons:

  1. For physicians and providers to be paid by Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance companies, medical documentation must describe the symptoms and conditions that support the selected diagnosis codes and procedure codes. Having two systems requires diagnosis and procedures codes to be entered twice. This just propagates errors and potentially not getting paid. 
  2. Allowing diagnosis and procedure and evaluation and management codes to be entered once in one system, inserted into a note, and then released for claims processing, reduces labor of documenting and entering codes, while speeding the processing of claims and improving cash flow. 
  3. Recovery Act meaningful use criteria requires patient demographic information be entered, which would require entry into a practice management system and electronic health record system. This extra entry increases labor costs. 
  4. Medical documentation must be created for every patient encounter for both clinical and bill purposes. Having to enter appointments into two systems just doubles the labor and promotes errors when patient encounters change. 
  5. Appointment calendars can display when patients own money or have insurance eligibility problems. Alerting front desk employees to these issues makes it easier to collect patient payments and reduce insurance collection problems, which improves cash flow. 
  6. Having one system allows a note to be viewed and printed from a claim, reducing the time to find a note to verify coding and easily print documentation that may need to be sent to insurance. 

It is clear that having standalone EHR and PMS systems increases costs for groups, while combining them together reduces labor costs and improves cash flow.

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Comments

Submitted by Augustine Ireland on August 20, 2012 - 01:26 #

For physicians and providers to be paid by Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance companies, medical documentation must describe the symptoms and conditions that support the selected diagnosis codes and procedure codes. Having two systems requires diagnosis and procedures codes to be entered twice. This just propagates errors and potentially not getting paid.