Before the time of paperless statements and electronic billing, we would spend a sunny Saturday morning sipping coffee and paying bills – credit card, medical, mortgage… too many to count! It would take hours away from our leisurely time to sort statements, write checks and mail them. We would hold our breath hoping that they’re delivered with no problems.
Now we can pay our personal bills in a matter of minutes thanks to the introduction of electronic bill pay and get our precious hours back! Luckily, healthcare organizations are following suit and are updating their systems to incorporate electronic billing.
In July 2015, Mental Health Center of Denver (MHCD) decided to go out with the old and in with the new. They implemented Netsmart’s electronic health record (EHR) system at nine locations with the intention to digitize their manual billing process.
“Before we had electronic billing, we would bill Medicaid once a month because it would take a full day to process those payments,” said Stephanie Orecchio, Director of Accounts Receivable at MHCD. “For all of our other bills, we had to process those bi-weekly with it taking up to three days to run the full process. Now, we can process all billing payments in under an hour. We’re so glad to be saving so much time with our new system!”
The switch to electronic billing allowed MHCD to reduce the amount of paperwork and increase their efficiency, which allowed their organization to grow. MHCD associates were super excited about the new electronic billing system because of the flexibility and ease of use it offered.
“I can’t even imagine going back to all manual postings!” said Orecchio. “We can post a $500,000 check in about two minutes, then work the errors, which in most cases aren’t very many. We still have a few bills that we have to post manually, so we remember the pain. But our new system has freed up so much time.”
MHCD also added additional features to improve day-to-day operations. Role-based consoles and widgets help simplify billing and guide users through a multi-step workflow. The accounts receivable team is more efficient thanks to using these widgets because they can easily see tasks they’re responsible for.
“Having ‘to-do’ items present on their home screens makes us more accountable and allows managers and billing staff to see what work has been done and what still needs to be done,” Orecchio commented. “It’s reduced the back-and-forth emails when a task moves from one person to another.”
Managers can also view productivity metrics to report data that previously wasn’t available, allowing them to manage their teams to be more efficient.
For example, MHCD front desk associates, who often receive a cash payment from consumers, are now empowered to post payments themselves instead of relying on accounts receivable. This new, faster process allows checks to be posted instantly at the time of patient check-in. By processing at check in, this eliminates the need for accounts receivable to complete this task.
“Before, it took three full days a month to post and make corrections,” said Orecchio. “Now the people who are collecting the money can print receipts and do their corrections, and accounts are up-to-date and accurate.”
Just like online bill pay gave us hours back to sip coffee in the sun, MHCD has recovered lost days back into their month with the integration of electronic billing, role-based widgets and productivity widgets in their day-to-day operations. Considering the benefits and rewards, don’t you think it’s time for your organization to go digital and reclaim your time.