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Posted on October 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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A recent article by the New York Times entitled ‘«£The Ups and Downs of Electronic Medical Records‘«ō has generated a lot of discussion among the HIT community and among healthcare professionals.

It‘«÷s an excellent article, looking at concerns that a number of healthcare professionals have about the efficiency, accuracy and reliability of EMRs. One source quoted, Mark V. Pauly, professor of health care management at the Wharton School, said the health I.T. industry was moving in the right direction but that it had a long way to go before it would save real money.

‘«£Like so many other things in health care,‘«ō Dr. Pauly said, ‘«£the amount of accomplishment is well short of the amount of cheerleading.‘«ō

Seriously? I can‘«÷t believe we‘«÷re still having this conversation.

In a world where I can go to Lowe‘«÷s and they can tell me what color paint I bought a year ago, or I can call Papa John‘«÷s and they know what my usual pizza order is, how can we expect less from our healthcare systems?

I recently joined a new healthcare system, and I have been impressed and pleased by their use of EMR and technology. I no longer have to worry about whether I told the new specialist everything he or she needed to know about my health history; it‘«÷s in my record. I no longer have to remember when I had my last tetanus shot; it‘«÷s in my record.

My care is coordinated between doctors, labs, etc., better than it ever has been before. In the past, I felt as though my healthcare was a giant patchwork quilt‘«Ųand some of the stitches were coming loose, frankly.

This new system with a widely used EMR, to me, is a huge improvement.

Granted, the problems cited in the article are real and need to be addressed. However, the article itself mentions some redundancies that are in place to insure that a system going down doesn‘«÷t throw the entire Mayo Clinic into freefall. And certainly, additional redundancies may be needed to insure that prescriptions aren‘«÷t incorrectly sent to a pharmacy for the wrong patient, etc.

Do doctors and medical staff need to learn how to code correctly so that they aren‘«÷t accused of cloning? Yes‘«Ųbut that‘«÷s a relatively easy problem to fix. The problem has already been identified, and training has already begun to address the issue.

I have been through this type of problem before, as have many of you, with new systems. It‘«÷s called a learning curve, and it‘«÷s relatively easy to work through with patience and determination. I have encountered situations before where the team I was working with threw up their hands when they ran into problems learning a new database system and said ‘«£It doesn‘«÷t work.‘«ō Yet in time, they learned to love the system‘«Ųand some of the biggest doubters became the experts on it.

Healthcare professionals overcome more difficult challenges than this every day; they bring people back from the dead, for Pete‘«÷s sake! I have no doubt that they will adapt and learn to utilize EMRs so that they improve healthcare and take patient care to levels currently unimaginable.

And to say, as was quoted in the article: ‘«£The technology is being pushed, with no good scientific basis‘«ō? Ridiculous, with all due deference to Dr. Scot M. Silverstein, a health I.T. expert at Drexel University who reports on medical records problems on the blog Health Care Renewal and made the statement.

Database management of information has been proven to be an improvement on paper records in just about every industry there is; healthcare will not be an exception.

Is it hard? Yes, it‘«÷s hard. To quote the movie A League of Their Own, ‘«£If it were easy, everyone would do it.‘«ō

Everyone can‘«÷t do it. But I have no doubt that healthcare professionals will do it. Remember that part about bringing people back from the dead? This is a lesser miracle.

Posted on November 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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Medical Billing – Wading Through the Volumes Of Paperwork
In most medical practices, the biggest concern for proprietors is billing. For the small practice, billing consumes vast amounts of time better spent in the practice of medicine. In-house medical billing usually results in higher costs for salaries, benefits and pensions that decrease revenue. The answer to the problem is medical billing outsourcing to increase your income and production.

Medical Billing Outpouring – What To Look For
Many medical billers find this is a profitable source of income resulting in single owner or larger billing firms. Depending on the number of clients billing is done in a timely, efficient and cost-effective manner, three significant elements to keep in mind when searching for a medical billing outsourcing practice. The other prerequisite is experience in medical terminology and billing techniques. Medical billing outsourcing practices maintain state-of-the-art billing technology and stay current with changes to medical billing resulting from interface healthcare insurance industries. Medical billing practices should be well versed in various versions of wide ranges of healthcare insurance providers’ policies.

Costs For Medical Billing
Generally, medical billing practices base their costs to clients on the number of patients billed as well as specifications required by each medical practitioner. There are variations in medical billing such as those generated by primary care physicians and specialists as well as hospital care and diagnostic services. Thus, medical billing practices should have a strong background in the particular area of healthcare as well as the number of versions healthcare providers offer. These elements are generally part of the overall costs of outsourced medical billing practices.

Where To Find Outsourced Medical Billing Practices
In most cases, those in the medical field want the most experienced and reputable medical billers to manage their invoicing. In some instances, this might also include billing to medical vendors such as pharmacies, diagnosticians who perform services in-house or ambulance services for office to hospital transport in the event of emergencies. Medical billing is one of the fastest growing industries because of the huge volume of medical practices and increased hospital care. Outsourced medical billing practices can be found online or through the local medical associations. Medical associations offer a wide range of services that include assistance with finding a medical billing group.

Key Factors To Discuss Before Engaging A Medical Biller
Obviously, timely billing is essential to increase income and production. This is one factor that should be discussed before committing to a particular service. Initial billing data may be entered into an in-house computer system and then transmitted to the medical biller. Or, data may be downloaded by the medical biller on a daily basis with the use of an intranet module.

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