This paper presents the findings on advantages and challenges of computerized hospital billing system. The study focuses on how to lessen the long processes involved in admission, discharging and billing of patients using paper work. The world of hospital billing system is certainly getting more complex and challenging each day. With the power of technology nowadays, people get interested with computers. They tried to indulge themselves on it to have a productive result in a more efficient and time saving process. It is highly valued in institutions like business enterprises, schools, hospitals, government and non government services.

When you consider the complexity of the hospital environment and that hundreds of individuals are working at any hospital facility, it is a big task to ensure that the billing process is complete, and the successful re-imbursement is obtained on a timely manner. INTRODUCTION One of the concerns of Hospitals nowadays is how to lessen the number paper works in having a transaction with the patient that could fasten the process of admission, discharging and billing of a patient. This greatly affects the profitability of the institution that makes the admission and billing of patients a long process.

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Great amount of time is being consumed by information retrieval and the billing process of most Hospitals without computer. Computerized billing system is a computerized system that allows physicians, hospital business office or other healthcare providers to track charges and payments for patient care. They assist in billing insurance companies and patient for care provided. It provides relief from inadequate flow of payment caused by paperwork back-up, delays in claims processing, errors made in entering information and inefficient follow up of suspended claims.

This offer a complete service for billing patients at reasonable rate. Computerised Billing System increases the profitability and efficiency by enhancing the cash flow and allowing the office to run smoothly. This service is particularly beneficial to physicians who practice with limited staff. It helps hospitals to control the practices through timely tracking of accounts receivable and insurance processing. A BRIEF DEFINITION OF THE COMPUTERIZED HOSPITAL BILLING SYSTEM Nowadays, computer has taken the place of almost every possible thing.

Whether the case of medical (Hospital), engineering or any other. Doctors now use the various updated technologies which are beneficial to them. These benefits can be either is in form of updated technologies, appointment of doctors, consulting a patient or medical billing practice. The hospital billing system is the system which is used in the billing process of patients. With every patients visit and every consultation, a transaction happens between a doctor and his/her patients. Procedures and test and medicine must be paid for.

Hospital billing is not just about paying and receiving payments, it also involves insurance companies and meticulous documentation. A well organised system is essential so that doctors are paid fairly and records are kept methodically. This type of billing system is very much in use in big hospitals. The major benefits of using hospital billing system for various hospital practices is if you are into your own medical practices, hospital billing seems to be something really very tough. For this you probably need a solution that will simplify things around the office.

Many medical professionals are turning to the automated way of dealing out medical invoices and claims. Therefore, computerized billing system in the healthcare sector have many advantages and preferable to manual patient billing system particularly in notifying the patient about their outstanding payments and the status of accounts. They also enable them to process the hospital bills, such as nursing, medication, lab-testing, and laundry with ease. However, there are also some disadvantages to changing over to a computerized system and its advantages.

ADVANTAGES OF COMPUTERIZED HOSPITAL BILLING SYSTEM EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE DATA MODIFICATION: Computerized patient billing system allows for effective management of the patient’s payment schedules. They store particulars about the patient payments pattern in such a way that the record can easily be modified. When the patient clears the bills, the accounting record is automatically updated so that account balances will always be kept up-to-date. AUTOMATION OF MEDICAL BILLING: A computerized system eliminates many cumbersome and time consuming manual processes.

As every owner understand the necessity of automation around the office. Being a health professionals automating invoice and claims process with the help of medical billing software is an advanced and benefited task. As the use of medical billing software pulls up patient or insurance company information anytime when needed. A click of the mouse tells who, when, where and how much is due. HIGH SPEED AND MOBILITY OF REPORTING: Reports on the patients and disbursements can easily be generated through the computerized billing system.

Database management systems have report of a patient bill. This help in to monitoring the payment pattern such as with the aged debtors, analysis which shows overdue accounts. COST REDUCTION: The hospital billing system price are high, but when compared with the cost of hiring additional employees, space and time used in the office etc. You can even save money on your software by comparing medical billing software prices and discounts. It is also considered as a tax deduction as well.

SHARING OF DATA: Computerized billing system allow healthcare management to share the patients billing account with other persons in the system provided they have right to access the data. Also two or more departments within the facility can easily consult with each other with regard to the patients billing account. The data is instantly available even to the patient’s insurer in different location at the same time. REDUCED PAPERWORK: Computerized billing system minimizes paperwork. All the data regarding the payment record is entered into the computer instead of recorded on a sheet of paper which can then be filed.

Later, various bills and reports can then be easily generated through the computer. Since the patient’s record of payments is stored in the database, the data cannot be easily destroyed. MINIMIZED ERRORS: Computerized billing system increases accuracy because they leave less room for errors. With the computer systems performing calculations regarding the patient bills, error are minimized except perhaps when you make a mistake of keying in data wrongly, or you enter figures in the wrong fields. ACCURACY: There is an old proverb that begins with the statement “to err is human”.

Although the sentiment of this statement was not originally intended as a comment on life in the information technology age, it still applies. Humans do make errors. An absent of decimal point or the addition of one too many zeros can drastically alter the accuracy of a financial report. Computerized billing systems, on the other hand, are designed to minimize the existence of such blunders. Additions, subtractions and other calculations are performed by the system. This ensures that only the correct total listed at the end of the general ledger. CHALLENGES OF COMPUTERIZED HOSPITAL BILLING SYSTEM.

Adding computers or going electronic can make everything from billing to keeping track of patient records quicker in a hospital, but computers also bring challenges to the hospital environment. As technology and computers become more advanced, additional elements will appear in the hospital setting, but whether the advances are really improvements is open for some debate Cost: One of the biggest drawbacks of adding computers to hospitals is the cost. Computers cost money, and a large hospital needs many computers to keep the system running smoothly.

Creating a network to transfer medical records or keep track of billing is an additional initial cost. Unlike paper records, which simply require a few more copies, electronic record keeping requires constant upkeep of computers, computer software and other electronic elements, which can cost even more. LACK OF STANDARDIZATION FROM A HOSPITAL POINT OF VIEW: Non- standard abbreviations and poor legibility lead to substantial errors and injuries, according to the Institute of Medicine (2000) report. Different hospitals use different shorthand abbreviations or symbols on medical records than others.

Even the codes called out during emergencies don’t always mean the same thing in every hospital. If a medical record is transferred from another hospital or the system becomes open so hospitals can share information, the lack of standardization in hospital notes and records could cause problems when it comes to a medical professional’s understanding of the medical record. Further, training on electronic medical records software adds additional expense in paying people to take training, and in paying trainers to teach practitioners.

Despite training, most people creating medical records are now nurses, and often doctors. Unfamiliarity with technology, especially when an electronic health record program is implemented can significantly detract from patient time as the doctor or nurse struggles with unfamiliar equipment. Many patients report visits with doctors where the doctor has to divert focus to figuring out how to enter things electronically and thus has less time for the patient. Medical care in already crowded offices may be delayed when technology is not reliable.

A frozen computer could steal minutes or more from patient care for that day. It’s also still easy to miss recording relevant details, or to type in incorrect information. Along with reduction in doctor/patient time, some people find that electronic medical records and their accompanying systems have depersonalized doctor visits or needed calls to a doctor’s office. Protocol of a system may require, for instance, any patient questions to be emailed to a doctor, even if a receptionist takes them and even if the doctor passes that receptionist multiple times a day.

Streamlining patient care can only be achieved when a single system is used, since two or more systems may not work together. If the hospital uses a different electronic health record system than your primary care physician, health records may not be available to the hospital, or vice versa from hospital to the physician. CONCLUSION Healthcare is very important part of our society and it is imperative for healthcare providers to do their jobs in an efficient and effective manner. Each day hundreds or thousands of patients enter healthcare facilities challenging the administration to run their activities smoothly.

The process of this topic provides overview of the hospital billing process. With the help of computerized hospital billing system, patient care services and items provided during the patient’s stay are recorded on the patient account. Charges are posted to patient’s account by various departments. REFERENCES Hollinger R. C (1989). Dishonesty in payment: a manager’s guide to preventing employee theft. London House Press. Publishers. (pp 19-21). JOANN C. ROWEL; MICHELLE A ;( 2001). Understand Health Insurance (A guide to Professional Billing).

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