There are many advantages of electronic medical records for physicians which tend to fall into one of three main categories: workflow benefits, federal incentive payments, and administrative benefits. Focusing just on the financial benefits of EMR, here are 5 ways physicians can save money with EMR!
1. Save time and increase efficiency. EMR can allow you to increase the efficiency of your practice by reducing the time spent on various tasks required with paper records, such as:
- Filing paper records
- Recovering patient records
- Translating illegible notes to the paper file
- Prescribing medications
- Billing patients
Less time spent trying to manage paper records means additional time to see more patients each day.
2. Eliminate storage costs. Storage costs can be eliminated with EMR systems because:
- EMRs require less space than paper records
- Electronic records are stored on hard drives or a “cloud”, instead of a whole storage room
- Paper record storage rooms can be used more effectively (ie. as additional exam rooms)
3. Cut material costs. Implementing an EMR system will cut the costs of various office materials needed for paper records, such as:
- Paper and toner
- Paper folders and other supplies
- Printing lab test results and x-rays
EMR maintenance costs are inexpensive in comparison. The money saved from cutting material costs may even help pay for useful paper-less devices, such as tablets, to replace paper forms.
4. Increase Claim Revenues. Documenting each patient process is time-consuming without EMRs, but is important because:
- Many doctors bill government payers for less than the work they actually performed
- Medicare requires detailed documentation, so incomplete documentation deprives doctors of up to 15% of reimbursements yearly
- Insurers can downcode a medical code, meaning the claim is unsupported and insurers can therefore pay less
EMRs can help physicians easily and quickly document details of a patients visit, and keep all of a patient’s information in one place, ensuring an increase in claim revenues.
5. Government EMR Incentive Program. EHR Incentive Program reimburses physicians if they show “meaningful use” of EMR systems by various deadlines. These reimbursements are:
- Medicare EHR incentive program provides up to $44,000 over five years
- Medicaid provides up to $64,000 over six years
- Both cover significant chunks–if not all–of the initial investment
- Furthermore, physicians may face penalties for not implementing an EMR system
Although there are many financial benefits of EMR systems, it is challenging to select a suitable EMR for your practice with all the available choices. To simplify the selection process, visit medicalrecords.com’s MRCbase, the largest online directory of EMR software!