ePractice takes the pain out of billing for orthopaedic practice
used to be a laborious and time-consuming task for Jennifer Moore but she is delighted that ePractice has made the process more efficient and productive.
These days, Jennifer Moore finds invoicing a breeze but that has not always been the case. Three years ago, when she began working for consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Mr Andrew Brooksbank, billing was a manual task which could take up nearly all her time.
A specialist in shoulder injuries and diseases, Mr Brooksbank’s private practice is based at Glasgow’s Ross Hall Hospital where he sees around 20 patients each week over two days. As Mr Brooksbank’s PA, Jennifer is responsible for the billing process, from checking a patient’s PMI membership to chasing outstanding payments. On average, she processes 120 invoices per month, mostly to PMIs and has seen the practice grow in the time she has been working there.
“In the beginning, I created invoices in Word and sent them in the mail but paper billing takes time and incurs costs for things like postage and letterhead,” she explains. “Then Vitality informed us that they were only going to accept bills electronically and introduced us to Healthcode’s online billing system. We found that this would also allow us to send e-bills securely to other insurers so it seemed the right way to go.
“Using Healthcode’s ePractice is more time efficient and this has made a real difference as I am part-time. For example, I don’t need to record invoices on a spreadsheet any more as everything is on system and it is reassuring to have proof on my computer that a bill has been received.”
Jennifer is particularly impressed with the membership verification feature which enables her to confirm in a few clicks that a patient has current insurance and that their information matches that on the insurer’s database. “It is my favourite thing because it saves all the time that I had previously spent calling round the insurers,” she says.
Ebilling insurers has been such a success that Jennifer jumped at the opportunity to join a pilot of an online patient ebilling and payment service developed by Healthcode and Patient Zone. It enables practices to create e-bills in their ePractice account and send them to patients securely via Patient Zone. Patients are notified by email or text that they have received a bill which they can then access and pay on the Patient Zone online portal.
She explains: “Our main reason for taking part was that we could only accept payments by cheque or BACs transfers but we had a lot of patients who don’t have chequebooks anymore and many wanted to pay by credit card which wasn’t possible. The Patient Zone feature means we could give patients a convenient way to settle their bill.
“Another factor was time: as I work part time, I was having to spend a lot of time sending bills and chasing up patients for payments. Billing through Patient Zone was really easy to do and we even had a patient pay their bill within 45 minutes.”
“Overall, ebilling has had a huge, positive impact on our cash flow because we are now getting paid quicker by PMIs and Mr Brooksbank will certainly be delighted if all his patients pay within 45 minutes,” she smiles.