Did you know that, according to a 2012 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey, half of all qualified physicians’ offices use electronic health records (EHRs)? A staggering 80% of eligible hospitals, on the other hand, have EHR systems in place. Electronic files promote efficient, comprehensive, and relatively simple record-keeping. What are the various types of electronic record-keeping, and how can medical professionals with limited staff and time maintain these systems?
Different Types of Medical Record Keeping
First and foremost, medical billing and medical coding are two separate things. Medical billing services gather, interpret, and maintain medical billing information. A medical billing specialist, including physicians billing and radiology billing specialists, need to understand and read medical coding. The task of inputting codes, however, typically involves a medical coder. Medical coders know the specific code for each medical task and duty and input these codes into the system (which are ultimately used for billing and invoicing). Although some services combine these responsibilities, medical coding requires specific certifications and typically pays more, especially with experience.
Finally, medical billing services sometimes differentiate between electronic medical records (EMRs) and electronic health records (EHRs). According to Healthcare IT News, EMRs typically include records and data gathered from a single medical provider. By contrast, EHRs entail an all-inclusive, complete medical history. EHRs follow patients from different clinics, hospitals, etc., whereas EMRs typically remain in a single location.
Should You Outsource Medical Billing Services?
Maintaining comprehensive EHRs can be challenging and time-consuming. Outsourcing medical billing saves doctors and staff valuable time. Medical billing services purchase and maintain relevant software, perform coding, and tackle all aspects of the billing process. In other words, doctors’ offices will not waste time trying to collect past due balances on medical invoices.
Electronic health records promote organized and thorough patient data. Even modestly sized physicians offices can keep convenient, electronic records, without devoting valuable time to billing and coding, by teaming up with medical billing services.