Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Reclaim time for your practice; initiative can help
Taking back time physician practices lose to administrative tasks, such as making telephone calls to verify insurance eligibility and manual claims processing, can be a simple process with help from an AMA initiative.
Physicians and their staff can participate in the AMA's Rapid Process Improvement Initiative to make meaningful practice changes with a minimal time commitment. The initiative provides tools to easily assess the practice's workflows, identify areas of inefficiency and implement effective process improvements.
In the first step of the initiative, physicians take a practice assessment to evaluate four key areas: business operations, connectivity, collections and patient satisfaction. A guidance tool then pinpoints inefficiencies and offers simple steps that can save time and money while increasing patient satisfaction.
Designed to foster participation that does not significantly disrupt the practice's daily schedules, the initiative helps physicians implement each process change as quickly as possible. Get started today by watching a 10-minute webinar introduction.
Email the AMA Practice Management Center for additional information about this initiative.
Electronic remittance advice offers many practice benefits
An AMA toolkit can help physicians glean numerous benefits, including financial savings and faster payment, by automating the claims remittance process.
Physicians who use electronic remittance advice (ERA) eliminate significant parts of the manual processes in their office's routine, including much of the time staff spend opening mail, filing papers and talking with health insurers. The AMA has calculated that the average physician saves nearly $9,500 annually by receiving ERA instead of paper explanations of benefits.
Automating this process also can speed up claims payments and expedite filing to secondary payers.
The AMA's ERA toolkit guides physicians through this transition. The toolkit includes specific scenarios of how a physician's practice might adopt this electronic process and questions physicians should ask their billing services, clearinghouses and health insurers before getting started.
Under the new Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act version 5010 standards, the ERA transaction has been enhanced to include such information as a patient's coverage expiration date and the claim received date. ERAs for Medicare claims also will include national and local coverage determinations so physicians can easily identify which items and services Medicare will cover. These changes will eliminate much of the time-consuming research physicians previously had to perform.
Physicians can get started today by viewing an archived AMA webinar that explains how the ERA transaction works and outlines the steps for adopting it in the physician practice.