The Role of Electronic Health Records in Insurance Billing for Mental Health Practices
Electronic health records (EHRs) play a crucial role in insurance billing for mental health practices. These digital record systems allow for the easy storage and sharing of patient information, streamlining the billing process and reducing the likelihood of errors. In this blog post, we fill you in on what we think are the best features of an EHR and how to maximize the benefit for your private practice.
The Best Features of Electronic Health Records (According to an Insurance Biller)
Storing and Sharing Patient Information in Compliance
EHRs provide a secure platform for storing patient data which can be accessible by authorized personnel only, thus ensuring the protection of patient data and privacy. A good EHR should be regularly keeping up with HIPAA guidelines, and provide transparency into what they are doing to ensure that your practice is HIPAA compliant.
We especially appreciate EHRs that allow you to assign different levels of access to different users. For example, a biller role only has access to the information necessary for billing purposes, while a therapist has broader access including a patient’s progress notes and treatments plans that a biller would not see. This feature allows Practice Solutions to bill directly from your EHR while maintaining HIPAA compliance.
An EHR also provides uniform fields for each patient so that all information can be stored exactly the same each time for each patient, streamlining intakes and updates. The fields programmed into an EHR are an excellent template to what you need from your patient to bill insurance, and any blank fields can guide intake conversations with your patients, especially if you are running into problems with a patient’s insurance billing.
Another important aspect of EHRs is that they allow for real-time access to patient information. This means that practitioners can easily and quickly pull up a patient's treatment history, which is crucial for insurance billing. This can also be useful when dealing with insurance companies, as practitioners can quickly provide documentation if there are any questions about a patient's treatment or diagnosis.
Simplification of Coding and Billing
One of the main benefits of EHRs in insurance billing is that they can automatically generate codes for mental health treatments. This eliminates the need for practitioners to manually enter codes, reducing the potential for errors and increasing the speed of the billing process. Additionally, EHRs can simplify the billing process by automatically generating claims utilizing the information stored for you and your patients. Automatically generated claims should always be reviewed before submitting, but as long as you are keeping your patient information updated it can reduce time spent filling out claim forms.
Electronic submission of claims and remittance advice, or EDI and ERA, completed directly from your EHR is another great advantage. It requires an amount of setup to establish a connection between your EHR and the insurance company, but it ultimately reduces the time from claim submission to payments. Practice Solutions even completes EDI and ERA setup for you as part of our billing services!
In addition to streamlining the billing process, EHRs also have the potential to increase revenue for mental health practices. This is because EHRs can help practitioners ensure that they are billing insurance companies correctly for their services, reducing the likelihood of denied claims.
How to Maximize the Benefit of Your EHR
We always recommend that you stay informed directly from the source; your EHR company! Many of them offer support pages, blog posts detailing updates, and video tutorials that can help you understand the features of your EHR, and make sure that you are using them correctly. If they have a regular email publication, be sure to subscribe!
Practice Solutions is also happy to help you make the most of your EHR when you sign up for our billing services. Our billers have years of experience utilizing EHRs to submit claims, follow up on outstanding claims, and post payments, all included in our billing service. Your personal Practice Solutions Biller is accessible to you to answer any questions and provide guidance. We also make sure that patient information is recorded properly for claim submission, and that all EDI and ERA transactions are functioning. We currently work in both TherapyNotes and SimplePractice, and are happy to provide you with a free consultation to see if our billing services are a good fit. If you aren’t using one of those EHRs, we would still love to hear from you!
In conclusion, EHRs play an important role in insurance billing for mental health practices. By providing an automated and streamlined system for coding, submitting claims, and storing patient information, EHRs can save practitioners time and reduce the likelihood of errors, while also potentially increasing revenue. Be sure that you fully understand all that your EHR has to offer to maximize your benefit!