A new year, and a new decade, is upon us. This time of year presents an excellent opportunity for reflection and looking back at our successes so we can take a moment to appreciate them. It’s also a time to take a look at our shortcomings, so we can learn and grow from them.
And we can use these lessons from the past and apply them to the new year to see how we find success. We want to assist you in this by looking at which billing and operational trends you can look forward to so you can plan for a more successful 2020.
Medical Billing and Coding Trends
If the physicians and the staff are the engines that keep your practice going, then it is safe to say that the billing and coding is the fuel. After all, if you don’t get paid for your services, your practice won’t be around for too long. The following trends utilize technology with one goal in mind: make the process of getting paid more accessible and more efficient.
- Cloud-Based Medical Billing Software – The “cloud” has become a popular mechanism for many industries. For medicine, it remains a bit controversial due to concerns with security. It is safe to assume that companies are taking significant measures to make the cloud a more secure option for medical billing. As this happens, you can count on the cloud becoming a more attractive option for practices needing to access their patient info on the go.
- Electronic Claims Processing – This is not a new trend as the software for processing claims electronically has been around for quite some time. However, in the coming year and beyond, the software developers will improve the capability of their programs. This will open the door for automated billing options that are more useful and easier to operate.
- Computer-Assisted Coding – Designed to make the coding process more efficient, Computer-assisted coding, or CAC, helps determine which codes might be needed and highlight any errors. As with any new technological development, when first introduced, there was skepticism around CAC. Like other technological developments, it is more widely used now that the technology has improved (and will continue to do so).
The big takeaway for billing trends is to keep an eye out for how technology is impacting the process of submitting claims and getting paid. Chances are there is something in development that can help address a problem you are experiencing. As always, you can contact us with any questions you may have.
Many things can impact how well your practice runs on a day-to-day basis. Let’s look at a couple of trends that might help your practice run a little smoother:
- Outsourcing RCM Services – In 2019, a record number of practices outsourced their revenue cycle management (RCM) services. The trends mentioned above take time and effort to learn and monitor. And if you choose to implement a change, that is time, money, and effort that you have to invest in making the change. It may be more cost-effective to outsource your RCM services so you can focus on taking care of your patients and managing your staff.
- EHR Integration/Interoperability – The global digital health market is forecasted to surpass $379 billion by 2024. Integrating electronic health records (EHRs) with other technologies practices daily has helped propel this trend forward. One of the most significant inefficiencies many practices face is having an EHR that is not integrated or does not operate with another essential program or service they use. In 2020 and beyond, addressing this inefficiency will be a priority.
As with billing, keeping an eye out for what may help you manage your practice more effectively and efficiently will be essential. Start with writing down where you believe the most significant problems or inefficiencies rest and research how you can address them. If you need any help, you know who to call.
Bonus: Patient Experience
We would be remiss if we did not take a moment to highlight what may be the essential part of your practice: your patients. They are truly what keeps your practice going, and like any other business, you have to keep your customers happy. So whether it is setting up virtual visits or making a bill easier to pay, make sure to take the time to make your office experience as pleasant as it can be.