Electronic Attachments Could Help Healthcare Go Paperless

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TL;DR
Having a truly “paperless” system is very environmentally friendly and appealing to many healthcare organizations. One way to be greener is to use electronic attachments in your practices medical claims paperwork.

Going Paperless in Healthcare

The healthcare industry is coming up with new measures and adopting new and efficient technologies. As a result, the clinics and hospitals these days are changing the way they have been operating. Sending claims electronically has been widely adopted and hence sending medical claims via paper seems to be the thing of the past. The next thing that everyone is looking for is a step towards complete paperless claims process: Electronic Attachments.

With the ability to send claims and receive remittances electronically and direct deposition of money from payers in bank, the ability to send Electronic Attachments with Claims will make the processing of Claims ‘paperless’ in true sense.

Advantages of sending supporting documents for claims electronically include:

  • The dental industry is leading the way by adopting the electronic attachments process.
  • Additionally, government mandates are increasing the need for electronic attachments like the 275 mandate, RAC audits, etc.
  • The 275 Mandate is poised for release as early as 2014, and is the first government mandate that will require payers to accept certain claim attachments electronically. With this beginning, there will be more mandates which will force the payers to accept all claim types electronically.
  • The implementation of CMS’s RAC audits, has increased the number of document requests that a provider is responsible for. As of November 2010, limits have been put in place to cap the number of records requested by auditors in a 45-day period. Since RAC is designed to identify over and under-payments on previously processed claims, there are a large number of claims that must be resubmitted with additional supporting documentation.
  • For meaningful use, electronic attachments will help providers meet the requirement that at least 80% of their claims are filed electronically. If the claim is filed electronically, but the attachments are not, the claims process is inherently slowed down.

With providers going for integrated solutions for their practices, they have supporting documents from EMR like Progress notes, OP reports, Worker’s Comp Progress Reports, ACOG forms readily available as electronic attachments along with their electronic claims. There won’t be any need of scanning documents for sending them as electronic attachments.

The health care industry has evolved carefully, embracing digitization slowly. Providers have often discounted the need for electronic attachments, citing that they are only used in such a small portion of medical claims. With the onset of new government requirements, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the use of electronic attachments is not an obstacle, but just the opposite. The things that used to take time to file, fax, and mail are now made available easier and most importantly, faster with electronic submissions.

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