Mention medical billing and most pharmacists will tell you all about the steep learning curve and error-prone processes that often get in the way of accurate, efficient reimbursement for patient care services. However, in order to keep up in a competitive industry, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must learn the ins and outs of medical billing, which typically introduces the need for timely and comprehensive training.
As FDS’ CEO Adam McMullin aptly explained, “Offering and being properly compensated for medical services is an important element in the playbook as pharmacies transition their business model to become a New Era Pharmacy. As pharmacies make this transition, some are now seeing 20-25 percent of their revenue coming from sources other than traditional dispensing and they are becoming closer to their customers. It’s not easy to identify the right services, add those services, and manage the billing and reimbursement steps while also providing the care patients deserve.”
So how can pharmacists ensure they’re paid fairly and efficiently for the services they provide? The right software can help pharmacies streamline medical billing training. It can:
Standardize and Simplify Medical Billing Processes
Inefficient administrative tasks eat up time and impede quality patient care. Medical billing workflows in particular still have a tendency to be complex and prone to human error. The need for streamlined medical billing processes has proven even more necessary amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with 42 percent of pharmacy employees expressing concern about managing workflow with vaccine administration.
Fortunately, technology has empowered many independent pharmacists to say sayonara to inefficient and often outdated manual processes. With a medical billing solution to help standardize and streamline internal processes, pharmacies can get rid of manual, time-intensive workflows, freeing pharmacists and technicians up to spend more time focusing on training—not to mention taking care of patients. (After all, every single minute wasted on manual administrative tasks is one that could be better spent counseling a patient at the pharmacy counter.)
Standardized medical billing processes also ensure everyone is trained the same way, which helps with navigating workflow interruptions due to employee turnover, paid time off, sudden absences, emergencies, and so on. This way, independent pharmacies that employ in-house medical billing experts can rest assured they’ll be adequately reimbursed despite potential disruptions.
Serve as a Handy Guide for Medical Billing Training
One of the biggest challenges associated with pharmacy medical billing is a lack of internal knowledge on the topic, particularly when it comes to independent pharmacies that lack the corporate resources and support of big-box retailers. Although there are medical billing training and certification programs, finding the time to focus on them is easier said than done. That’s where software can prove to be a great support.
A great medical billing solution—with the right must-have features—empowers pharmacy staff to jump right in and begin learning to submit pharmacy claims by doing it firsthand while allowing the software to do the heavy lifting and alert team members when they’re entering the wrong information. This way, pharmacists and technicians can learn by trial and error without said errors leading to missing financial security and cash flow concerns due to delayed medical reimbursement.
Certain medical billing solutions, such as FDS MEDBILL, even include built-in educational resources, both clinical and operational, such as point-of-care programs and on-demand webinars. Some even take it a step further by offering clinical documentation support in addition to exclusive point-of-care education. This not only helps to streamline internal medical billing training processes, but also to ensure the training is as accurate, engaging, and interactive as possible.
Ensure Medical Billing Accuracy with Built-in Resources
Receiving initial medical billing training is one thing, but ongoing education is important as well—especially when it comes to something like medical reimbursement for pharmacists, which is a continuously evolving space.
For example, the COVID-19 pandemic introduced new clinical opportunities for pharmacists to offer point-of-care testing and administer the new vaccine. As a result, pharmacy staff is tasked with learning new billing codes and regulatory requirements. Keeping up with these changes in addition to all the other responsibilities of the modern pharmacist is an understatement—to say the least.
Medical billing tools utilize system alerts to help pharmacists and pharmacy technicians stay up to date on the latest changes in the industry. Software also plays a significant role in catching errors before they occur, not only improving billing accuracy and efficiency but also allowing for stress-free learning. In other words, employees can practice submitting claims without fear they’ll cause real claim denials or payment delays.
Look for a Pharmacy Medical Billing Solution
By investing in a medical billing solution designed for pharmacies such as FDS MEDBILL, pharmacists and technicians can streamline training processes and quickly begin offering—and getting paid for—the clinical care services and durable medical equipment that patients need access to most.
Independent pharmacists who are on the hunt for a comprehensive medical billing solution to optimize reimbursements should look for a tool that offers:
- Integration with an existing pharmacy management system
- Ability to optimize reimbursements for clinical care services
- Electronic insurance eligibility verification to avoid delays
- Comprehensive data analytics and reporting capabilities
- Access to claims status, responses, and management queues
- Educational resources and point-of-care training programs
- Ability to track refills, rentals, secondary claims, and held claims
- System alerts on the latest medical billing and coding regulations
- Access to customer support in case of technical issues or errors
With a robust medical billing solution, pharmacies can rise to newfound challenges, protect their financial security, work toward becoming a New Era Pharmacy, and ultimately, improve their business for the long haul.