:dropcap_open:A:dropcap_close:re you financially “well off?” Do you have enough money to continue living your lifestyle after you retire? What will happen to you if the auditor knocks on your door, says your SOAP notes are worthless and demands that you refund to the insurance company a fortune that wipes out your retirement funds? Do you want to collect more from insurance and be able to keep it for your retirement, or other personal pleasures?
Electronic Health Record (EHR) software can save you, IF you implement it BEFORE the auditors arrive. How? There are several features that give you audit protection built into EHR systems, provided that you use the system as it was designed. And this is in addition to the EHR features of increasing your income and PVA (patient visit average).
A complete EHR program generates the fees for each visit based on your SOAP notes. In other words, as you document what you are doing, the system produces the billing for it. This requires that you enter at least the services you provided while the patient is still in the adjusting/treatment/exam room. Note that both Federal and State rules, regulations and laws REQUIRE the timely entry of information in the patient file, whether it is paper or electronic. “Timely entry” varies from state to state, but is usually considered to be on the date of service while the patient is still in the office. And that SOAP note must be very thorough. Documentation that was considered super fantastic five years ago would not meet the newest Federal and State standards, making you liable for refunding substantial amounts to the insurance companies. EHR keeps you compliant with the current SOAP note requirements.
:dropcap_open:EHR keeps you compliant with the current SOAP note requirements.:quoteleft_close:
EHR systems provide numerous options as to the depth of detail that should be in a SOAP note, empowering you to create documentation that meets the specific requirements of each and every insurance program that you work with. Just because a SOAP note meets the requirements of one program does not mean that it will meet the needs for all others. By complying with the specific demands of each insurance carrier, you are more likely to get paid and, when audited, be able to keep what you were paid.
When the patient attests to the fact that he/she received the care billed for, you have additional confirmation that protects you in both audits and collection proceedings. How do you get this attestation? Have the patient sign out electronically, placing his/her signature on a statement that says “I received the care described here-in and I am responsible for paying for it.” In this way, you not only document the charges in your SOAP notes, scheduling and billing, but also have the patient as a witness that you actually provided the services. Why is this important? Because some insurance companies are claiming that doctors have padded the bill charging for services they did not provide. The patient’s electronic signature makes it much more difficult for you to be falsely accused. The electronic sign out signature also means that you win every collection case.
Government certified software, which qualifies you for the Medicare stimulus incentive payments, includes another audit protector, the EHR Audit Log. This Audit Log is a non-editable report that records every entry, every access, every edit or modification, and every deletion that you make in a patient file. How does this protect you? The Audit Log proves that your entries were made in a timely fashion and that you did not “doctor” your notes.
EHR systems never forget an outstanding bill, whether it is patient direct or insurance. EHR never lets a missed appointment remain ignored. And EHR eliminates the time wasted going in and out of filing cabinets empowering your staff to be productive with recalls, collections, reactivation and practice building. Each of these features maintains or increases your income. Nothing falls through the cracks to be lost or forgotten.
The bottom line is that you can protect your retirement by audit proofing your practice with Electronic Health Record software. And using EHR programs now will help you to have the funds to keep you living the lifestyle to which you are accustomed.
Dr. Paul Bindell, a 1975 Palmer graduate, has been in practice in Rockaway, NJ, since 1976. He has lectured on chiropractic in Brazil and Israel and is a past Chairman of Public Relations for the Northern (NJ) Counties Chiropractic Society. The Chiropractic Answer produced by Dr. Bindell in the 1980’s was a cable television program, a newsletter, and a newspaper column. In 1991, Dr. Bindell and his family began Life Systems Software so chiropractors would have computer programs based on real practice. As a consultant, Dr. Bindell is the expert in assisting the profession and individual chiropractors to improve and succeed. Numerous articles have been written by Dr. Bindell and have appeared in several chiropractic journals. Dr. Bindell is available to speak to your group or organization and can be reached by email at [email protected], or you can call Life Systems Software at 800-543-3001.