Deciding whether to use paper or electronic billing and claims processing is a big decision. There are pros and cons to both; and what you choose for your business depends, ultimately, on what you prefer. Let’s go over some of the differences so you can make a more informed decision about your billing and claims process.
The faster you get paid, the better off everyone is. You don’t have to worry about that account anymore (or at least that payment), and the client can mark it off their outstanding bills for the month. When it comes to turn-around time, electronic billing and claims is faster. The wonderful invention of the Internet allows businesses around the world to send billing statements to their clients almost immediately. Healthcare facilities can also choose to file health insurance claims electronically to speed up the reimbursement process. Electronic payments are processed more quickly than paper checks or money orders and claims can start processing almost the same day! This saves time for everyone involved. Electronic payments are more secure than cash, too. There’s no need for a lockbox or cashbox. There’s also no need to make a bank run.
Compare electronic processing to a paper bill or claim form being sent to the client or insurance provider through the mail and the client or insurance company sending the check back the same way. Depending on where the client lives and where the insurance company is located, (getting paid could anywhere from a week to 90 days to get everything taken care of. This is precious time everyone could save for more important things.
Your paper versus electronic billing and claims filing decision may involve how you feel about the environment. Paper billing and claims filing means more paper used. Paper purchased for printing isn’t always made from 100% recycled material. This may equate to more trees being cut down and processed. We all know the environmental downsides to deforestation. Whether this makes a difference in your business operations is entirely up to you. For small healthcare offices, this may not be a big issue since there may be fewer bills to send out (and claims to process) than larger facilities. However, if deforestation is something that concerns you, the electronic option is the way to go. This saves trees and you can also advertise that your company is environmentally friendly.
There are ways that seek to guarantee delivery whether it is by paper or electronic sending. Everyone has their preferences and it’s up to you to decide what is best for your and your clients. Paper billing can be sent certified mail and require a signature to guarantee the client received their statement, and the same goes for the client sending in claim forms for processing. The good side to this? The sender knows that what they sent is received. The down side? It costs more to send anything certified mail no matter who it’s from or where it’s going. This cost would be something to consider as well when making this paper versus electronic decision.
For electronic bills and claim filing, you can request a ‘read receipt’ when sending bills. Many electronic claim filing systems will provide you with either a PDF that lists when the claim was filed (along with a claim number) or an email confirmation. A read receipt shows you when the electronic bill was opened since it is sent by email. It can request the receiver to click a ‘read receipt’ button when opening it and an email will be sent back that the email has been seen. Of course, there’s no guarantee that the person receiving the read receipt request will send the confirmation.
All clients have their preferences on whether they receive paper or electronic bills. Many insurance companies prefer electronic claims processing. Taking into account what your clients prefer is the best way to make a decision on which to use for billing. There will even be clients at times that would prefer both options! You can always make your choice easier by leaving it up to the client. Use paper billing for those customer that prefer it, and same goes for those that prefer electronic. For electronic claims filing, consult the healthcare insurance company to learn more about their preference and how you can submit a claim.
Clients ARM Can Help!
No matter which way you choose to go (paper, electronic, or both), Clients ARM can help. We have over 30 years of experience helping businesses with their billing practices and we can help you, too. Feel free to contact us to see how we can help you with billing and claims processing. We offer a free consultation, so don’t hesitate!