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10 Questions to Ask About Electronic Health Records (EHR)

June 19, 2015 Posted on Categories EHR, Electronic Health Records, Electronic Medical Records, EMR, Medical Practice, Medical Software, Uncategorized

by Michelle Tohill

Electronic Health Records (EHR) software can significantly improve your practice on almost every level. But since the average cost to purchase and install an EHR system ranges from $15,000 to $70,000* per provider, you want to be really smart about making the right choice.

Here are some questions to help you determine what matters most to you. Rank the following options in terms of highest to lowest importance:

1. Cost

2. Fee structure (e.g. subscription vs. installed)

3. Ease of use

4. Technical support

5. Opportunity for software customization

6. Practice management system integration

7. Billing system integration

8. Eligibility verification included

9. Staff training

10. Software update schedule (e.g. daily, quarterly, annually)

If you are currently using an EHR, are you happy with its performance based on the above conditions? If you are getting ready to start “shopping” for a new EHR, take these conditions with you and ask the companies you are interviewing how they perform on each level.

Michelle Tohill is Director of Revenue Cycle Management of Bonafide Management Systems and oversees all billing programs and processes. Her specialty is conducting AR audits to expose inefficient billing practices that fail to fully reimburse physicians for their work. She conducts AR audits and provides Bonafide customers with training and consulting on how to improve every aspect of billing and practice management to maximize revenue.

*www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/faqs/how-much-going-cost-me

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The Front Office: More Than Just the Face of Your Practice

June 5, 2015 Posted on Categories Billing Service, Documentation, Medical Practice, Medical Software, Uncategorized

by Michelle Tohill

You never get a second chance to make a first impression – we’ve all either been told that or realized that on our own. Experts say that we form opinions about new people in 30 seconds to 2 minutes – that’s not a lot of time and the opinions we form can last and be hard to change.

This first impression theory applies to the front office of your medical practice, too – and it’s important for your front office to know the power they hold in keeping your practice successful.

Not only are they the gatekeepers in charge of the obvious tasks like greeting and scheduling, but your front office should also be doing a few other things to make sure your office running smoothly and maximizing revenue.

Your front office often operates at a frenetic pace with phones ringing, faxes and emails coming in, patients arriving for appointments, so it’s important for them to stay organized and on top of important things like patient information. If an patient interaction slips through the cracks, it could lead to high levels of frustration and a loss of revenue.

In addition to a friendly smile, your front office should also manage these things to keep your office running smoothly:

– Patient information collection & management

– Insurance verification

– Payment collection

– Insurance claim submissions

– Coding Compliance

– Balance reviews and collection take out

– Scheduling next appointments/tests/scriptsfilm Boyka: Undisputed IV online

– Organize visit information

Luckily, much of the above can be streamlined with the right Practice Management Software (PMS). If you get a system like Bonafide, managing patient information and maximizing your medical billing be seamless for you, your front office staff, and your patients.

So go buy your front office staff lunch this week – what they do makes the whole office run smoothly!

Michelle Tohill is Director of Revenue Cycle Management of Bonafide Management Systems and oversees all billing programs and processes. Her specialty is conducting AR audits to expose inefficient billing practices that fail to fully reimburse physicians for their work. She conducts AR audits and provides Bonafide customers with training and consulting on how to improve every aspect of billing and practice management to maximize revenue.

Subscription Software Model On the Rise – What It Means For Medical Practices

May 20, 2015 Posted on Categories Medical Practice, Medical Software, Practice Management Software, Uncategorized

by Michelle Tohill

The software industry is gradually changing from one-and-done licensing purchases like Microsoft Word and Excel to ongoing subscription models in which businesses pay a monthly fee and in exchange get constantly-updated software along with technical support.

This move makes a big difference along a number of factors, including lower start-up costs, lower staff training requirements, and the promise of ongoing software support and improvements.

Many medical practices are moving to subscription-based practice management software. Before jumping on the subscription bandwagon, it pays to compare licensed practice management software to subscription practice management software. By making the right choice up front, you can avoid costly changes down the line.

Licensed Practice Management Software

Licensed software has the benefit of paying just once, up front, with no strings attached. But there are certainly some pretty significant negative drawbacks as well, including:

– high upfront costs
– no support with installation and setup
– no training for employees
– no access to constant updates, and often updates require re-purchase
– little to no customization options for specific needs and customization

Subscription Practice Management Software

With a subscription-based model, you are engaging in a longer-term relationship with your practice management software vendor, and you will be paying on a regular basis for access to the software. The advantages include:

– low up-front costs
– installation and training provided
– access to support team
– trouble-shooting support
– cloud-based, seamless software updates
– customization often available

Bonafide’s Solution

At Bonafide we have switched entirely from licensed software to a comprehensive subscription model because we believe our customers benefit from the ongoing support and interaction provided with the subscription software model.

Even better, our practice management software is included free with our top-notch billing service. This means that customers get free software with excellent support and they only pay a small fraction of their revenue for it. We think it’s a great model that is benefiting our customers in all sorts of ways. Let us know what you think!

Michelle Tohill is Director of Revenue Cycle Management of Bonafide Management Systems and oversees all billing programs and processes. Her specialty is conducting AR audits to expose inefficient billing practices that fail to fully reimburse physicians for their work. She conducts AR audits and provides Bonafide customers with training and consulting on how to improve every aspect of billing and practice management to maximize revenue.

 

Electronic Health Records – Benefits and Challenges

April 6, 2015 Posted on Categories EHR, Electronic Health Records, Electronic Medical Records, Uncategorized

by Michelle Tohill

Making a decision to adopt or change your EHR software can be a major undertaking. Just thinking about picking the right software, training your staff, and making the capital investment is enough to force many physician practices to avoid EHR entirely or stick with a bad system just because of the costs involved. It’s overwhelming, it’s complicated, the fear of the unknown, then there’s the cost – forget about it!  Consider a few things before you throw in the towel.

Let’s just take a few minutes to remember why EHR is important …

Benefits of EHR
EHR allows physicians to effortlessly share patient information across caregivers, get automatic updates, test reminders, and more. A result of EHR is frequently increased patient safety since EHR software can automatically identify potential issues. One study found that patient mortality decreased by as much as 48% in the three years following EHR implementation in New York City dialysis centers.

Challenges of EHR
One of the greatest barriers to EHR is choosing the right technology that will serve your physician practice today and for years to come. The cost ranges from $15,000 to $70,000 per provider for many systems. Once you have implemented an EHR, you will likely stick with it for as long as possible to avoid additional capital expense and re-training. But as EHR enters a new stage of development, technology has greatly improved, and there are even some solutions, like the ones from Bonafide, that allow you to get EHR for free with the purchase of its billing service.

Sometimes making the choice between the many EHR options can feel overwhelming when you are juggling a full practice, but don’t let that stop you from seriously considering EHR implementation.

Rather than staying with a system that you merely work around, I challenge you to find the right  system that works for your practice.

Your EHR system should:

1. Be ready for ICD-10 
There are fewer than 180 days until ICD-10 implementation, and your practice, including all of your practice software, needs to be ready to transition to thousands of new codes. From our software to our billing staff, we’re ready at Bonafide for ICD-10!

2. Meet Meaningful Use Standards
Avoid the penalty, as more and more insurances change to evidence based outcomes MU will play a larger role in reimbursements. Bonafide was a very early adopter for MU certification.

3. Meet your needs – web-based or in-house server
A recent survey showed that 61% of practices changing their EMRs were switching from server-based systems to web-based EHRs. Consider how many EMRs that were originally server-based have now “gone to the cloud” (nearly all), and you see that most practices now see the benefits of being able to log in anywhere, get regular updates and have your data secured safely off-site

4. Your EHR should not interfere with patient interactions
There is always a learning curve with new software. Patient interaction is not helped by having the doctor typing away on an EHR in the exam room, rarely making eye contact, and there are EHRs that offer a better kind of interface. Bonafide provides a streamlined process allowing you to chart, e-prescribe, and provide excellent patient care with a minimal amount of clicks and time spent on anything other than patient care.

5. Provide excellent customer support, without additional charges
Excellent customer support is vital to your success with an EHR; in fact, that’s one of the reasons many practices are switching to new EHR systems. “Many providers feel ignored by EHR vendors who provide poor or non-existent customer service,” according to an article on EHR switching. Bonafide is proud to say, excellent customer service and attention to your practice needs do not come at an additional cost, our experts and knowledge are included with our service.

Whether or not you choose Bonafide for your practice needs we encourage you to find a system that works best for your practice needs.

Michelle Tohill is Director of Revenue Cycle Management of Bonafide Management Systems and oversees all billing programs and processes. Her specialty is conducting AR audits to expose inefficient billing practices that fail to fully reimburse physicians for their work. She conducts AR audits and provides Bonafide customers with training and consulting on how to improve every aspect of billing and practice management to maximize revenue.

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Bonafide Management Systems 241 Lombard St.
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

805-908-2333 info@bonafide.com
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