Is Medical Billing Online
Right For You?

You can do medical billing online is a few different ways:

The most comprehensive method is to use web-based medical billing software like TotalMD online. This is an ideal solution for a full time provider or small group practice that requires the full functionality of a practice management system and can afford the monthly subscription fee.

Another option is to enter claims online using clearinghouse software like PracticeMate. The features are minimal but the monthly fee is low.

There are also insurance carrier websites that allow you to manually enter claims online. This is the least desirable method since some kind of follow-up system is also required.

For our purposes, I’d like to discuss only the web based practice management systems because they offer the most advantages for your potential clients:

Here are some of those advantages:



Shared database

Medical billing on the web allows you to share your database with the office staff. The most obvious advantage is that it eliminates redundant data entry and photocopying. The staff can enter and scan information needed for billing; including patient demographics, insurance cards, authorizations, chart notes. The office can view patient balances, view collections notes from you, etc. You, as the medical biller, can see the patient scheduler and the demographic information needed to bill claims and send patient statements.

Providers like the sense of security they get from having access to their own data.


Communication

Most web based practice management software offers a means of communication between office staff. This feature allows you, the provider, and the office staff to request information from each other.

For example, you can request clarification or confirmation from the provider about coding. The office staff could pass along requests from patients that require information.


Backups

When you use a web based practice management system, the data is backed up for you. This is a very nice feature. I could tell you LOTS of stories about lost patient data. It’s pretty ugly.

If you have a medical billing service, you are responsible for backing up your client’s data and maintaining a copy of it offsite in the event of fire or natural disaster.

After all, your client’s livelihood is at stake. I consider this to be one of the biggest benefits.


Extra features and a wide area network for your client

Practice management systems that are online usually offer many features that the medical office can take advantage of. These are features that can help you sell your medical billing service.

They can include patient scheduler, patient recall capability, mail merge letters, scanning, patient forms, and inter-office messaging.

In addition, if your potential clients have multiple locations, they have the added benefit of a system available at all those sites. This type of system can save thousands of dollars in networking costs.


Web based systems are becoming the norm for obvious reasons.

However, as beneficial as the web based solution is, the cost is prohibitive for some. Part-time providers who don’t generate enough income may  not good candidates because of the overhead cost. Since it is easier to obtain work with part-time providers, new medical billers may want to consider low end desktop software like TotalMD Essentials instead of an online soution

Still, medical billing online has so many benefits, it makes sense to adopt it when you can. It's a great sales tool for adding new clients to your medical billing service.


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