Why I Use EZClaim – A Billing Expert Interview

Why I Use EZClaim – A Billing Expert Interview

If you’re thinking of investing in medical billing software, there’s no better person to give you the answers you need than Chelsea Graven, a revenue cycle director for Alert Medical Alarms. With over ten years in the medical billing industry, she’s been in numerous roles including billing and claims submissions. A longtime customer and champion of EZClaim since 2013, Chelsea has referred the software to many other partners because she knows firsthand not only how simple it is to use, but how effective the software is.

Recently, we found time to interview Chelsea about her start in the industry, why she continues to recommend EZClaim, and her advice on anyone starting out in medical billing.

EZCLAIM: Working with EZClaim’s medical billing software platform, what role does their software impact your work?                               

 

GRAVEN: “The company I currently work for was originally either submitting paper claims or billing through portals. EZClaim has allowed us to transition to electronic billing and it cuts the amount of time we spend in provider portals or filling out those forms. I would say seventy-five percent of the workload has been cut using EZClaim. Previously, it took one person three weeks to bill 6,000 claims. Now, we are billing 7,000 claims in a matter of minutes just by submitting and using the features within EZClaim, such as the recurring claim option.”

 

EZCLAIM: If you were going to share something with your colleagues about EZClaim, what would it be?                                                     

GRAVEN: “How spot on the name ‘EZClaim’ is. It’s exactly what it’s called, EASY. Other software programs do not accommodate the simple recurring billing that we need. EZClaim is the only software I have used that does that and makes it easy. Of all the billing software platforms I have used, EZClaim is the simplest to use and the most user-friendly.”

 

EZCLAIM: What would you say are some strengths needed to be an effective medical biller?                                                                       

GRAVEN: “Analyzing, troubleshooting, and resolving. There is a lot of that involved. You must be able to troubleshoot and independently find resolutions in order to be effective at billing. I think EzClaim has customized reporting capabilities that allow the companies to better follow current trends that they are seeing in claims, denials, and payments. Tracking the trends is what will lead to the troubleshooting, analyzing, and resolving of any issues, having customizable reporting makes all the difference to successful billers. You can’t fix something if you don’t know it’s wrong, EzClaim reporting brings all of that to the biller, so you don’t have to go looking for problems/solutions on top of your daily billing processes.”

 

EZCLAIM: Do you have any advice for anyone who is starting out in the medical billing industry?

 

GRAVEN: “EZClaim is my go-to for anyone who is doing medical billing and is wanting to learn and get into the industry because it is the simplest software to use. EZClaim makes it easy to grasp the electronic billing end-to-end process without feeling overwhelmed by the complexity of the software. I would say for anyone starting out the first thing I would do is find an electronic billing solution and a clearinghouse.”

 

EZCLAIM: Why did you get into the medical billing industry?                                                                                                                             

GRAVEN: “I actually fell into this industry by default. I was working on private pay collections for a company and at the time the state of Illinois in 2010 transitioned to manage care programs, and no one was really prepared for that. I was then asked to take on the role of billing manager. It grew so large that doing HCFA 1500 forms was not efficient, so I started looking for electronic billing solutions. What I enjoy most about the billing industry is closing the claims entirely. Getting that amount to zero dollars. Most people wouldn’t say it’s the money coming in, but for me, it’s the gratification for the end-to-end process of the revenue cycle. It’s all about getting the receivables closed.”

 

EZCLAIM: Final thoughts?                                                                                                                                                                                         

GRAVEN:With EZClaim, the value is beyond just the software. Yes, it’s easy to work with, but the IT team and all the people involved make the experience favorable.”

 [ The above answers were paraphrased as closely as possible to the original answers given by Chelsea Graven on October 22nd, 2021. ]


ABOUT EZCLAIM:
As a medical billing expert, EZClaim can help the medical practice improve its revenues since it is a medical billing and scheduling software company. EZClaim provides a best-in-class product, with correspondingly exceptional service and support. Combined, EZClaim helps improve medical billing revenues. To learn more, visit EZClaim’s website, email them, or call them today at 877.650.0904.

 

 

 

4 Strategies to Simplify Patient Payments

4 Strategies to Simplify Patient Payments

With healthcare costs on the rise and an increasing segment of uninsured consumers, the patient payment landscape is changing rapidly. How can medical offices evolve and optimize collections while keeping patient satisfaction high? Thankfully advancing technologies are making it easy to simplify collection processes to increase revenue.

1) Communicate responsibility

How many times have you purchased a good or service without knowing the cost beforehand? Probably not many. Healthcare should not be any different. By providing cost expectations, care providers can give patients the opportunity to not only understand their fiscal responsibility but to also take a proactive, involved approach. Communication allows patients to determine if the value of the service they are receiving is worth the cost. When finances and choices are transparent, patient satisfaction rises.

2) Collect upfront

It’s said that medical providers collect only 25 percent, on average, of available co-pays and deductibles at the time of service. If the patient departs after the initial visit without making a payment, the likelihood of receiving the co-pay drops significantly. Consumers are used to paying for a product at service at the time of use, so why should medical care be different? Capitalize on patients that are willing to pay at the time of service by collecting upfront. Processing payment during the appointment is a step toward helping the patient to be invested in their care, which increases the chance of gaining future payments.

3) Empower patients

We know that patients are taking a more active role in their care and like to be in control of costs. Knowledge is power, and giving patients the information and tools needed is critical to empowering patients to pay. An effective strategy engages the patient early to learn their payment and communication preferences, then proving the proper options.

4) Build awareness

When adding payment options or considering changes to your payment workflow, increasing awareness is key. Be sure to engage your staff and provide the most accurate information on your website and within advertising tools (such as posters in the waiting room). If time and budget allow, conduct a survey to gain patient feedback. A small sampling of users will give insight into the likelihood that patients will adopt new tools and practices. It’s critical to explain the value in an informative, yet simple to understand the way that will resonate with your audience.

Thinking your practice may not have the staff or means to optimize payment processes? Consider tools from TriZetto Provider Solutions that can enable patients to conveniently pay by utilizing a variety of methods, including easy-to-understand statements. Learn how our partnership can help you streamline your workflow, improve efficiencies, and get paid faster.


ABOUT EZCLAIM:
As a medical billing expert, EZClaim can help the medical practice improve its revenues since it is a medical billing and scheduling software company. EZClaim provides a best-in-class product, with correspondingly exceptional service and support. Combined, EZClaim helps improve medical billing revenues. To learn more, visit EZClaim’s website, email them, or call them today at 877.650.0904.

Innovative Enhancements Can Maximize Revenue

Innovative Enhancements Can Maximize Revenue

We see it all the time, a patient visits their doctor’s office to seek treatment and then receives a bill in the mail for their portion of the medical expenses.  When a patient receives the bill, they are often alarmed at the amount that is due and may not have the funding to pay the balance in full.  In a recent study conducted by UCLA, it is estimated that there is $140 billion in medical debt that has been reported on credit reports (VeryWellHealth, 2021).  In fact, this research study found that one in every five consumers was already in collections prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As cases of COVID-19 increased in 2020, many consumers feared visiting their doctor’s office that they avoided their routine office visits, and/or lost their employment further impacting a patient’s ability to pay for any medical expenses.  As providers continued to keep their offices open, many providers witnessed a decrease in patient volume while also seeing a reduction in revenue.  According to a recent article published in Medical Economics (2021), 55% of practices were impacted by a decrease in revenue while 60% were impacted by a decrease in overall patient volume.  Combined with the number of patients that were already in medical debt and/or collections, many practices faced a financial crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the COVID-19 pandemic seemed to become more stable in early 2021, many patients felt comfortable returning to visit their doctor and/or were able to secure employment, providing patients with employer-sponsored insurance coverage. With the current rise of COVID-19 cases increasing again, practices are left with the ongoing challenges of attempting to maximize revenue collection with the risk of history repeating itself and the patient’s inability to pay their medical bills or avoiding their office visits.

Contrary to belief, consumers actually want to pay their medical bills and are seeking more payment options.  According to the 2020 Trends in Healthcare Annual Report, providers and consumers must adapt to a new payment experience in order to enhance how they interact with one another. In addition, more than half of consumers would consider changing their provider for a better payment experience.  One may ask, what constitutes a better payment experience?  Consumers are showing a higher demand for contactless payments and the ability to work with their providers to create a payment plan or auto-payment options. Unfortunately, many providers have not adapted to their consumer’s needs and continue to operate with traditional methods creating dissatisfaction amongst their consumers

How can providers change their operations to facilitate a more consumer-friendly experience for their patients? Front-office staff play a pivotal role when interacting with patients and should be collecting up-to-date contact information to ensure patients are communicated with effectively, have the most recent insurance data to avoid any processing delays, and should collect a patient’s consent ahead of time for new features such as eBills, texting, and payment preferences.  EZ Claim customers can streamline their revenue collection opportunities by partnering with BillFlash for innovative billing opportunities and various payment collection features that consumers highly desire.  While nobody can predict if this recent wave of COVID-19 cases will lead to another quarantine phase or not, it is important for providers and consumers to enhance how they interact with one another to create solutions for healthcare needs.


For more information about automated patient statements and patient payment options, contact EZClaimNexTrust BillFlashGetPaid@BillFlash.com, or call BillFlash at 435.940.9123 (Option 3). For more details about EZClaim’s medical billing software, visit their websitee-mail their support team, or call them at 877.650.0904.


Resources

Hui, K. (2021).  Americans owe $140 billion in medical debt. Here’s how to avoid it.  Very Well Health. Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/medical-debt-medicaid-study-5194846

InstaMed (2021).  The Trends in Healthcare Payments (11th Annual Report) 2020.  Retrieved from https://www.instamed.com/white-papers/trends-in-healthcare-payments-annual-report/

Luz, M. (2021).  How an effective revenue cycle management strategy can help reduce burnout.  Medical Economics.  Retrieved from https://www.medicaleconomics.com/view/how-an-effective-revenue-cycle-management-strategy-can-help-reduce-burnout

 

4 Steps to Designing a Superior Patient Experience

4 Steps to Designing a Superior Patient Experience

Designing a Superior Patient Experience

We live in a world of increasingly lofty consumer expectations—one where 44% of U.S. consumers will switch to a competitor following a poor customer service experience.

The medical industry is no exception to this trend.

In a study by PatientPop, 58 percent of Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen Xers, as well as 63 percent of individuals 55 and older, said that responsiveness to follow-up questions via email or phone outside of the appointment is critical or very important to overall satisfaction.

Patients want more than just excellent care from their healthcare providers. They expect easy access to medical records, convenient online scheduling and appointment reminders, prompt responsiveness, and painless ways to contact your office—24/7/365. And they’re also seeking compassionate and knowledgeable representatives who are willing to provide caring and accurate resolutions to their issues.

As a medical provider, you should not only focus on bringing in new patients but also continually strive to improve patient retention. Growth in customer retention rates by 5 percent can increase profitability anywhere from 25 to 95 percent, after all.

So how do you design an experience that increases patient satisfaction and retention? Let’s dive in.

1: Make Prompt Call Answering & Convenient Appointment Scheduling A Priority

As we mention above, patients want—and nowadays expect—your office to answer quickly as well as provide effective and swift resolutions to their health matters. But in a busy office, the staff is often focused on dealing with patients. Even front desk and administrative teams can become inundated with in-office tasks at a busy practice, leaving calls, messages, and emails unanswered.

A superior patient experience starts with prompt call answering and convenient appointment scheduling—a service that’s available to your patients whenever they need you, including weekends and holidays, and answers every call addresses delicate patient concerns with empathy, and schedules appointments quickly. If your staff is struggling to keep up with demand, consider outsourcing your phone answering and appointment scheduling. Not only will this improve patient satisfaction, but it also brings a sense of work-life balance to internal staff and allows you and your team to focus on what you do best; caring for patients.

2: Streamline and Perfect Your Patient Intake Process

The patient intake process is tedious, but it’s incredibly important to your operations, and speed and accuracy are vital. Streamlining and perfecting patient intake starts with leveraging the right software—one that makes it easy for patients to fill in their information and access their records, and provides all of the valuable data your practice needs to operate in an easy-to-navigate platform. For starters, your intake software should:

  • Be encrypted for data transfer through the internet and HIPAA compliant
  • Be intuitive and user-friendly
  • Not require special software or hardware downloads or installation for the user
  • Be portable into back-end systems

Your intake process should also be integrated with your electronic health records (EHR) software, and information should be updated and available in real-time for a smooth experience—for patients, admin staff, and providers—so that everyone is up-to-speed. Both technology and your process should remove redundancies from your workflow and streamline the intake experience.

3: Provide HIPAA-Compliant Live Chat & Text For Swift and Convenient Communication

Another great way to improve patient experience is via live chat and text, through which you and your staff can communicate with patients wherever they are, send appointment reminders, have two-way private and secure conversations, multitask as needed and be available when emergencies happen.

HIPAA-compliant chat and text messaging lets you communicate efficiently and accurately with patients and simultaneously safeguards electronically protected health information (PHI) while taking full advantage of the speed and flexibility of today’s communication technology.

Some of the many benefits of secure live chat and text in the healthcare realm include:

  • Reduced response times, including in the off-hours and on weekends or holidays
  • Ability to provide immediate recommendations for care and preliminary diagnoses
  • Ability to send follow-ups, like reminding patients to take medications, which creates better relationships between you and your patients
  • Secure PHI storage that acts as a record of past conversations, symptoms, or complaints to improve future care, diagnosis, and treatment plans

4: Leverage Technology and Software Integrations For Smarter Decision-Making

Technology and software integrations have transformed healthcare and are vital in any medical practice. Why? Because when you streamline your office functions and workflows, you improve all aspects of patient care and experience.

First, your office should be using an EHR (electronic health record) system. This system automates access to client information, helping to improve workflows and reduce incidences of errors by improving the accuracy and clarity of medical records. It should include all the key clinical data relevant to each patient’s care, including:

  • Demographics
  • Progress notes
  • Problems
  • Medications
  • Vital signs
  • Past medical history
  • Immunizations
  • Laboratory data
  • Radiology reports

Communication data collected throughout your patients’ experience with your office—such as phone conversations, appointment scheduling, and reminders, and live chat and text transcripts—should also be sent to and recorded in your EHR system.

Finally, the right software can help you make better patient and business decisions. For instance, maybe you want to know the percentage of patient calls versus the percentage of calls from hospitals that come into your office. Or, maybe you want to know which hospitals call you the most or you want to know the main reasons patients call so you can use that information to improve patient care and education.

How The Highest-Performing Medical Practices Prioritize Patient Experience

Medical practices that provide a superior service experience are available to their patients 24/7, have a streamlined and accurate intake process, are tech-forward, and have omnichannel communication options that empower patients to reach out any time and from anywhere. But most medical practices don’t do it all on their own. The highest-performing medical providers leverage an outside service provider like Nexa to improve client satisfaction, increase retention and grow their revenue. Learn more about how Nexa can help your medical practice level up by visiting nexa.com/medical.


ABOUT EZCLAIM:
As a medical billing expert, EZClaim can help the medical practice improve its revenues since it is a medical billing and scheduling software company. EZClaim provides a best-in-class product, with correspondingly exceptional service and support. Combined, EZClaim helps improve medical billing revenues. To learn more, visit EZClaim’s website, email them, or call them today at 877.650.0904.

[ Contribution from the marketing team at Nexa ]

Medicare Revalidation is Critical to Maintaining Eligibility

Medicare Revalidation is Critical to Maintaining Eligibility

Medicare is the largest payer for most practitioners, so it’s important that providers maintain current credentials. Medicare requires providers to revalidate every five years to verify credentials and ensure they meet Medicare qualifications. Providers must confirm or update information including the legal entity name, physical address, phone, fax, national provider identifiers, employer identification number, and board certifications and licenses if applicable.

While typically a straightforward process, if not completed correctly and on time, providers will be terminated from the program and required to reapply. Until a new application is processed and approved, which can take anywhere from 90-120 days, reimbursements will stop, disrupting the revenue cycle.

Occasionally, providers may receive off-cycle revalidation requests. These are typically triggered when anomalies are identified such as billing rates that are significantly higher than other providers in the same geography, billing for services not rendered, or billing patients for services that Medicare doesn’t allow.

To comply with Medicare revalidation requirements, providers need to know their revalidation schedule and make sure applications and supporting documentation are submitted through Medicare’s PECOS online application portal. Revalidation dates cannot be extended, so it’s important they’re submitted on time. Using a third party to navigate the nuances of Medicare revalidation and PECOS removes the burden from provider staff and ensures accurate and timely filing.

TriZetto Provider Solutions (TPS) offers an end-to-end credentialing service that includes continuous payer follow-up and insight into enrollment status. Our dedicated team takes provider data, verifies it for accuracy, and submits credentials for revalidation through PECOS. All Medicare-participating providers are subject to revalidation, and mistakes made before or during the process can result in loss of eligibility and other penalties.

Having nearly four decades of experience working with payers and providers, the TPS credentialing experts understand the importance of maintaining current credentials. Contact us to learn more about our Medicare revalidation services.


ABOUT EZCLAIM:
As a medical billing expert, EZClaim can help the medical practice improve its revenues since it is a medical billing and scheduling software company. EZClaim provides a best-in-class product, with correspondingly exceptional service and support. Combined, EZClaim helps improve medical billing revenues. To learn more, visit EZClaim’s website, email them, or call them today at 877.650.0904.