Thank goodness, gone are the days when all the ambulance billing paperwork had to be done by hand! At one time, every step of the process had to be entered and filed, resulting in endless amounts of paperwork. Needless to say, this was a tedious process, with much double-checking and manual verification required.
More and more, billing for EMS services is done electronically, and this has resulted in cost and labor savings. Getting to the next level in electronic billing means finding software or tweaking your billing system so that data entry is not duplicated, and information is entered once, or as needed. And that means accurate transfer of data from the EMS Crew to the Billing Service.
From the initial 911 dispatch call, to the EPCR (Electronic Patient Care Record), to the billing system and maybe even to the hospital, why not utilize systems that can transfer and store important client records, medical information and signatures, allowing users to import information from system to system, and to enter only the new data, as required?
As we all know, for those working in the emergency medical field, documentation is key. When working with ambulance billing, the room for error is large. From the time a patient calls 911 or requests a basic transport, until the time a bill is sent, there are many opportunities for information to be missed, or entered incorrectly. By eliminating duplication of entry, the room for error is minimized, ensuring that all parties involved have access to complete and accurate records, and are only required to enter the new information that pertains to their task.
All aspects of the ambulance service can be handled electronically with the latest in ambulance billing technology. This system allows for data to be entered into the system one time, and then it is accessed by all parties electronically, saving on time and labor costs. Instead of clerks re-entering data from forms filled out by E.M.T.’s, they simply add any new information to an existing file. This will save on paper and clutter by eliminating paper forms and unneeded filing cabinets. Many of the best EPCR systems also automate the sending of documents gathered in the field to the Ambulance Billing and EMS Billing services. The latest software in ambulance billing also features a very handy pop-up window so that all relevant data can be viewed during entry. In this way, the biller entering data can view the narrative from the E.M.T. personnel and find the pertinent information needed to complete the ticket for billing purposes.
Another great feature that will save on paper storage clutter is the ability to store EOBs (Explanation of benefits – Payment information) that are received electronically, or even paper documents that you receive by scanning them into the system, thus allowing them to be sent along to the appropriate parties. Even checks received from patients and checks from insurance companies and their EOBs can now be stored with each transport or Bill and retrieved at the press of a key. The best systems will take you from the transport entered, to the page of the EOB in one mouse click or enter key. All stored electronically along with the ticket and patient data for safe record keeping.
The ability to connect related documents is also important during the ambulance billing cycle. An example of this is to attach a copy of the EOB to the bill that comes in from the insurance company. In this way, with one simple click, users can view the explanation that goes with each ticket.
Another way to improve your system is ensure that patient information, such as medical history, medical conditions and any other pertinent data, does not have to be re-entered for multiple ambulance trips by the same client. A good system will ensure that all relevant data for the patient is stored is handy and accessible every time the patient is picked up. In this way, care decisions at the EPCR level are based on the most current and thorough information.
Storing your records electronically can save you precious time by making all aspects of documentation easier and more accurate. A seamless system that goes from the initial dispatch call to the patient billing will help everyone involved work together and be informed.