How will you use EMR’s in your future career?
EMR (Electronic Medical Records Software) is sometimes perceived as a threat to the medical billing and coding profession. Some fear that EMR providers will sell their product as handling the billing responsibilities in addition to providing a means of storing and querying patient medical records. There’s sometimes an implied labor savings with EMR that a medical billing specialist will not be necessary – some how the EMR software will automate the process.
Some EMR products have the capability to be linked to the practice management or medical claim software. While other EMR vendors sell an integrated EMR/Practice Management system. But anyone experience in medical billing and coding really doesn’t feel threatened by EMR.
I can tell you from my experience that EMR has made my job easier and made me more effective as a medical billing specialist and coder. How? By making it easier and quicker to access insurance, treatment, and demographic information on a patient.
Instead of bugging the office staff for information from the patients paper records, I can access the information electronically in minutes without the waiting and burden on the provider’s office staff that paper records require. With paper medical records this used to take days – and sometimes I never could get an answer.
If there’s an incorrect address or insurance ID, I can directly access the copy of the patient’s insurance card to verify the information. If a claim is rejected because of an incorrect birth date the billing specialist can access the electronic copy of the information the patient provided to verify the info. If treatment or diagnosis codes appear to be incorrect or incompatible, the medical record for a specific date of service can be viewed to see what the providers treatment and diagnosis was.
In summary EMR is a tool to allow the medical billing or coding specialist to be more productive, locate and correct mistake quicker and easier, and overall contribute to the success of the provider’s practice. Many of the providers I have billed for have an EMR system in place and have no plans to reduce staff. A large part of the responsibilities of the medical billing specialist are time consuming and tedious tasks such as tracking claims, calling insurance companies or patients, working out issues with the clearinghouse, posting payments, answering patient questions about a bill, etc.
In a round about rambling way I hope I’ve answered your question. An EMR system really doesn’t affect many of the tasks a medical billing or coding specialist performs or make them any easier or harder. However it is a great tool for helping us to quickly get information to correct claims, reduce rejected ones, and minimize unpaid claims – it makes us more efficient and productive in getting the provider paid.
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