One of the most significant advances in the healthcare field over the last few decades has been the introduction of electronic medical records (EMRs). The range of benefits that have resulted from this technological advance are innumerable. EMRs make it possible for physicians like you to see more patients in less time, and they facilitate the streamlining of medical documentation. However, this can also lead to problems with medical coding. Read on to learn more about one way that EMR can actually end up slowing down your revenue cycle.
How Streamlining Documentation Can Lead to Medical Coding Errors
Most electronic medical records utilize templates for medical documentation. This is one of the things that allows them to speed up the documentation process. Instead of having to write out information about the patient’s medical history and current conditions, a physician can simply fill in outlines and check certain boxes within the patient’s electronic medical record. The same is true for the tests that the doctor orders. Instead of having to write each one down individually, the provider can simply mark them within the electronic medical record and move on.
However, this can end up leading to problems when minor tests get overlooked. It is not uncommon for a physician to order a minor test — such as venipuncture or an EKG — and then end up forgetting to bill for it. It simply gets buried among the vast amount of information that is contained within the patient’s electronic medical record. In cases like these, it is clear the EMR is improving documentation in the healthcare field — but causing problems for medical coders at the same time.
Problems for Your Revenue Cycle
When billable tests get lost in the deluge of information in the electronic medical records, they aren’t gone forever. Eventually, questions about reimbursement for the tests will arise, and the office staff at your clinic may have to spend hours trying to track down the source of the problem. Time drains like this can seriously disrupt your revenue cycle and significantly increase your AR days.
If your healthcare practice is looking to take advantage of the benefits of electronic medical record technology without dealing with the pitfalls, outsourcing your medical coding is a great place to start. The experts at AnnexMed can help you avoid coding errors that commonly arise in clinics that have adopted the EMR systems that are revolutionizing medical practice. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do to meet your needs!