Term Paper: Transformation of Electronic Billing Systems

Pages: 5 (1450 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Healthcare  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Further, the selected system must be capable to service the financial needs of the healthcare organization as well as safeguard patient information and not add needless work for those who are responsible for the input of patient information. To this end the healthcare organization must always seek to answer the following questions:

What is the history behind the software package?

What types of healthcare organizations currently use the package?

What is the availability for set-up and support with respect to installation and training?

Does the new system have the capability of importing data from a previous system?

What are the hardware and networking capabilities of the new system?

What is the cost of the new system and what does it include?

In addition to the above requirements healthcare organizations must always keep at the forefront of any software program the need for system accuracy when choosing codes for rendered services, setting up multiple "code sets" in order to bill the correct payment carrier; tracking procedures involving "global surgery" regulations, and monitoring the total number of patient visits permitted visa via any given service authorization. All implemented systems should also feature easy patient history data retrieval, charge reviews, and financial responsibility coding. Although there currently exists numerous software programs for electronic patient information retrieval the practice has yet to be fully evaluated and systems have yet to be compared with respect to a best-fit program.

The lack of any comparative assessment between electronic billing systems appears to be a result of not finding any well-grounded evaluation model (Dick & Andrew, 1995; Friedman & Wyatt, 1997). Whether or not electronic patient information systems are not fully utilized, regardless of system, is the result of the lack of training, unavailability of computer access, or reliance on old practices are areas that need investigation in order to assess the factual usefulness of any software system (Heeks, Mundy & Salazar, 1999). In fact, according to Cork, Detmer and Friedman (1998) many medical practitioners and registrants continue to use the paper method as doing so provides the practitioner an avenue of convenience in areas such as prescription writing, small group meetings, and portability of records. However, until there is developed a strong level of electronic integration, paper records will likely remain as a mainstay source for the completeness of patient records. Also, and oftentimes forgotten by healthcare organizations who implement electronic patient record systems, is the fact that any garnered usefulness of an electronic record system that can influence and manipulate large amounts of data will not occur until patient historical information has accumulated for an extensive period of time. Although paper records are still currently in use there must exist a discussion as to the pitfalls of such a system in light of the fact that software systems are more accurate, capable of housing more patient data, and can import patient data for port to port instantaneously.

The shortcomings of the paper patient record system are, according to Bleich (1993), is a discredit to the medical profession as patient charts are generally tattered, disorganized, illegible, disorganized, and confusing. As such information contained within medical patient records are susceptible to error, misleading information, and historically inaccurate. Further, and as a direct result of badly kept medical records users who are in need of different types and levels of information are generally hidden amongst clutter and trivia. When this happens key medical points are often missed and some required information might not have been collected or even recorded. Also, paper medical records are seriously deficient in terms of processing needed codes for contracts and statistical returns. With there being a growing need to share medical information between providers, provider and patient, and provider/patient and insurance carrier, the paper medical record program is extremely slow and deficient as paper records can only be in one place at a time. As such paper medical record keeping creates logistical issue that make moving materials around fast enough for immediate need. Serious problems are often created as each and every healthcare unit or organization has a separate record for each patient and oftentimes problems of continuity of patient care arise.

With so many problems existing in the paper record keeping process [END OF PREVIEW]

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