Practice management

Successful dermatology practice adopts Healthcode's billing solution

Kelly Ewens Healthcodes epractice case studyAfter years of manually producing invoices for her employer, ePractice biller has transformed a laborious process into a pleasure for medical secretary, Kelly Ewens.

“This is how it should be,” she says, “e-billing saves time, costs and is more reliable than sending invoices by mail.”

Kelly had been invoicing manually since 2007, when she began working for dermatology consultant Dr Roy Palmer. At that stage, Dr Palmer had just established his private practice and held only one clinic each week. Now working entirely within the private sector, Dr Palmer sees between 50 and 70 patients each week at the BMI Princess Margaret Hospital in Windsor, Berkshire and BMI Mount Alvernia Hospital in Guildford, Surrey. Insured patients make up around 60% of Dr Palmer’s caseload.

Dr Palmer’s reputation for treating debilitating acne makes him one of the consultants of choice for the parents of affected pupils at Eton and Wellington College and his expertise is much in demand by patients who are worried about possible skin cancer. With the practice thriving, Kelly estimates that she was spending two or three hours each week typing out invoices.

When Aviva suggested she consider e-billing, Kelly researched ePractice biller and was quick to highlight its potential to her boss. She remembers: “As far as Dr Palmer was concerned it was an easy decision as the practice would be able to save money on postage and get paid quicker.” With his consent she began using ePractice biller in May 2015 and is now an enthusiastic convert to the service, using it to submit approximately 200 electronic invoices per month.

“It has dramatically reduced my invoicing time,” she reports. “Previously I might spend four to five minutes on each invoice, and more if I had to look up different procedure codes. Now it takes me about 30 seconds per invoice and it is really quick and easy to search for the right procedure codes on the system.”

For Kelly, it’s particularly useful to receive confirmation that her submitted invoice has been received. She explains: “It’s good to be sure because in the past I have chased up an invoice that I sent by post and been told that it hadn’t been received. Given that each invoice includes the patient’s name and insurance details, I also like the peace of mind that comes from sending it through a secure, encrypted channel.”

“Another key benefit of e-billing has been that we are generally getting paid more quickly,” adds Kelly. “I have noticed that we are now receiving remittance advice soon after invoicing rather than 2-3 weeks later. In fact, I recently billed Cigna and I was surprised to receive confirmation 48-hours later to say they had paid! This really helps practice cashflow so as you’d expect, Dr Palmer is delighted.”

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