While not used by every private practice, electronic health records (EHR) have become the norm for independent physician offices. Adoption has been rising over the last 18 years — in 2017, 86% of office-based physicians reported using an EHR.
EHRs are crucial for managing patient care — they simplify and organize communication and records to ensure consistent, quality treatment. But it’s also important for physicians to consider the relationship between their EHR and revenue cycle management (RCM).
Healthcare RCM intersects with many parts of the patient care continuum and a solid integration between your EHR and RCM is essential to running a successful practice. Streamlining these systems will improve efficiencies and increase revenue opportunities, giving your team more resources to spend on patient care.
What Does It Mean to Integrate Your EHR and RCM?
An EHR and RCM integration means seamless, streamlined communication between the two software platforms. In other words, you have one cohesive system for patient records and billing.
When you integrate your EHR and RCM systems, important information from the EHR (such as patient demographics and appointment details) automatically flows into your RCM platform. This information exchange allows the RCM to create claims for payers efficiently.
Benefits of Integrating EHR Systems with an RCM Platform
As a private practice, you must spend your time and money wisely. So, why invest in two separate platforms and integrate your EHR system with RCM software?
One primary benefit is reducing administrative burden and waste — a major problem in healthcare today. A 2020 study published in JAMA showed that the industry wastes an estimated $266 billion yearly in administrative expenses.
But with an integrated EHR and RCM, you can improve efficiency throughout your billing and revenue cycle. A successful integration can:
- Pull accurate patient and appointment data to ensure accuracy when verifying insurance eligibility and submitting claims
- Automate claim editing and submission
- Automate payment posting and patient billing
- Clearly visualize claim status, denials and rejections
- Give complete transparency into the billing process
- Improve payer-provider communication
It’s also important to consider that having a dedicated RCM platform means you’re investing in a tool that focuses on one area: making sure you get reimbursed. Often, all-in-one platforms don’t have the resources to create a best-in-class tool for every aspect of practice management. While your EHR may be the best option for handling patient data and communications, it may not have the best tools for managing your RCM.
How an Integrated Revenue Cycle Platform Will Help Your Practice
When it comes to an integrated revenue cycle and EHR system, the key theme is streamlined processes. But what does that mean for your practice?
Boost Collections by Reducing Errors
When you integrate your EHR and RCM platforms, you’ll have seamless data flow between your clinical tool and billing system. That will help reduce the likelihood of errors from manual data transfer. Fewer errors lead to cleaner claim rates and fewer rejections and denials, which means less time spent on accounts receivable (A/R) follow-up and faster payment.
What’s more, your RCM platform may be able to create automated workflows that edit and correct claims based on specific rules. These features will also help reduce errors in your billing process, which means more money for your practice.
Saves Time and Increases Productivity
The integrated revenue cycle and EHR systems also save your team time. Patient demographic and appointment data will flow seamlessly between the two platforms, making it easier verify insurance or check a claim status.
If you have a small billing team or a busy practice (or both!), having automated workflows within your RCM tool can also ease administrative burden. These workflows can automate claim editing, payment posting and patient billing reminders, giving your team more time to focus on patient care.
Improves the Patient Experience
There are many ways an integrated EHR and revenue cycle management platform can directly affect your practice’s revenue. But this integration will benefit patients, too — and happier patients mean higher patient retention and more referrals.
Reducing errors in your claims process means patients are less likely to experience frustration or confusion during the billing process. And with patient demographic data flowing seamlessly from your EHR to your billing platform, your team can more accurately verify insurance and determine patient cost estimates. Patient estimates are a great way to spur patient loyalty while increasing upfront collections.
The time savings from an EHR-RCM integration also has a knock-on effect on your patient population. When your team spends less time on administrative work, they can focus more on the patient experience.
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Find a Best-in-Class Integration
With fewer claim errors, less administrative burden and burnout, and happier patients, an EHR-RCM integration can pay dividends for your practice. Plus, the integration will give more transparency into your billing, allowing you to find opportunities to improve your reimbursement process.
If you’re considering an integrated revenue cycle and EHR setup, Gentem integrates with some of the largest EHR/PM systems private practices use today. Our fully-managed RCM solution uses AI-powered workflows to automate eligibility checks, claim edits, patient billing and more. And when you work with Gentem, you also get a team of revenue cycle experts who partner with you to find ways to maximize reimbursements and increase revenue.
Ready to hear more about our EHR integrations and powerful RCM tools? Contact one of our RCM specialists today.