As Pres. Bush was touring the Midwest, shortly before he was re-elected as President, and even after, he spoke of medical reform centering on liability costs. He called it "defensive medicine." Searching for a good medical billing specialist who is familiar with reliable electronic medical record systems is quite possibly one of the best defensive medicines that consumers and practices can employ. I say that because small practices spend an average of $150,000 per year in liability costs. That may include insurance or even law suits. Consumers may also have to fit the liability bill if things get ugly.
In actuality, a medical billing specialist and a good EMR, or electronic medical record system, will save consumers and practices from adding hundreds of thousands of dollars to their balance sheets. Both the medical billing specialist and the EMR system they use must be able to keep up with the needs of the day-that is, are they both able to transcribe, edit, and store; or to batch, secure, organize? And are the records accessible to approved personnel even on a pocket PC or when traveling?
These are considerations to be taken into account. Defensive medicine requires research and homework for both medical practices and consumers. In fact, the one implication in Pres. Bush's phrase, "defensive medicine," is that in order to practice medicine, a doctor undergoes extensive education and training. For the consumer to find a medical billing specialist that they trust, he or she must also pay the price of extensive research. Paying the price to do some research requires only time, while waiting may mean paying a higher price later.
Find a qualified medical billing specialist. If you take the time to search classified ads online or in the newspaper for a medical billing specialist, you will see that businesses realize the importance of defensive medicine. In listing requirements and preferences businesses look for experience with insurance information, collections, coding, and EMR technology which manages most of those things.
Be sure to find a medical billing specialist who is familiar with and uses a qualified EMR. Remember, now a days it is difficult, if not impossible to separate the two. An trustworthy EMR is just as much a part of defensive medicine as the trustworthy medical billing specialist. Some of the qualifications of an EMR to look for include scanning, transcription, accessibility, SOAP note management, security, billing and collection management.
Strike the liability costs from your balance sheet, whether you are a practice or a consumer. Effective record management by a good medical billing specialist with a good EMR is good defensive medicine. It will keep your check book healthy.
Joe Miller is specialist in online advertising. For more information on medical billing specialist, please visit AdvancedMD.com.
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