People who work outside of the emergency medical services (EMS) profession typically assume that the job is about medical care first, then money later. But in truth, financial matters are also important, and they are more critical than most people might think.
A profitable EMS organization that has a good handle on its finances is the likeliest to fulfill its duty of saving lives. Unfortunately, too many EMS providers across the United States encounter significant financial challenges that hinder the sustainability of their operations. Worse, some EMS organizations are already be scrambling to plug the holes in its coffers.
These problems highlight the importance of having a reliable EMS billing software. This software solution can boost your organization’s ability at handling its financial resources, and thus guarantee a brighter financial future.
To illustrate, here are six finance-related challenges that an EMS billing solution will allow you to address. Adopt and implement the right solution, and see for yourself the difference it will make.
Billing Mistakes Due to Inaccurate or Incomplete Patient Care Reports
Some of the biggest deficits in your department’s finances may be attributable to billing mistakes, particularly those that pertain to patient care reports. Common errors include lack of detail about a patient’s medical condition, what medical procedures they had gone through, and how much the overall cost of treatment really is. These mistakes can stack up, and when they do, they can seriously hurt your organization’s finances as well as your credibility when you file for claims.
The right EMS billing solution should be integrated with your ePCR so patient care reports are accurate. It should also provide customizations so that crew members, when providing medical care, cannot skip essential information. The EMS billing software solution provided by Michigan-based Traumasoft, for example, is integrated not just with ePCR, but with CAD, scheduling, and other modules to ensure data integrity. Their billing software also includes custom rules to ensure crew members input the right information, no matter which state regulations they need to follow. This essentially eliminates the need for your staff to enter data manually, and ensures inaccurate and incomplete reports.
Lack of Integration with Clearinghouses
Another reason why your department or organization may be bleeding cash is your staff’s inability to consolidate billing-related data in a fast and accurate manner. They might be relying on manual methods or using separate programs to complete their billing processes. But this lack of speed and efficiency costs money, and it’s more prone to the human errors that often result in hefty losses.
That said, it’s worth investing in an EMS billing solution that can streamline data from different sources and that integrates seamlessly with the third-party organizations or clearinghouses that you use for billing and payments processing. This allows your staff to swiftly complete processing of claims and billing forms, resulting in smoother billing and payment experiences for all the parties involved.
Delayed or Forgotten Reimbursements
One good example of an invisible, but consequential issue to your EMS organization’s finances is your outstanding reimbursements. Without either party being fully aware of it, your reimbursements from the government and private insurers you work with may have gone unchecked. Every delayed or forgotten reimbursement decreases your budget for your operations.
An efficient EMS billing solution can provide a dashboard or generate reports to help you keep track of your reimbursement statuses so you can follow-up with them when necessary. Make sure that you get reimbursed as soon as possible because the later it gets paid, the more likely it’ll never get paid.
Ballooning Accounts Receivable
A fourth financial challenge that your organization may be facing is from your accounts receivable. Before you know it, too many patients may owe you a significant amount of money because they haven’t fully settled their bill or their deductibles are not met with their insurer.
A good EMS billing solution should integrate with insurance providers to see whether a patient’s deductible is met. It should also enable you to keep tabs on all your accounts receivables and how many days they are overdue. In turn, your staff will know which bill they should prioritize when chasing after payments to prevent the accounts receivable from becoming delinquent.
Fraudulent Claims Prevention
No EMS organization or department wants to be giving out fraudulent claims. But given the desperate and unpredictable financial circumstances, fraud is more common in the EMS field than most people expect. Some are intentional with malicious intent, like the National Care EMS in Houston who provided kickbacks. Others lack malicious intent, like the EMS employee in Rutherford County who falsified Physical Certification Statements to expedite Medicare reimbursement.
With that in mind, you’ll want your EMS billing solution should have rule-based customization and configurations to safeguard your business from these fraudulent claims. The rule-based configuration settings should verify the data involved in every claim, ensuring that only the valid ones go through the system.
If you lack a proper EMS billing solution, don’t wait till it’s too late to implement one. Financial problems can easily snowball out of control and overwhelm you. Not only does it hurt your business, it’ll also detract you from your ability to deliver excellent emergency care to your patients. Find a reputable EMS billing solution, and use it to your improve your billing process, receivables collection, and your bottom line.