Monday, February 14, 2011

Medical Billing Training and Support Technology - Three Key Components

By Yuval Lirov Platinum Quality Author Yuval Lirov
Level: Platinum

Yuval Lirov, PhD, author of Medical Billing Networks and Processes - Profitable and Compliant Revenue Cycle Management in the Internet Age (Affinity Billing), Practicing Profitability ...

As medical billing system complexity and functionality grow in step with growing number of users, the number of training hours per month grows by two orders of magnitude, as a product of increasing training frequency and increasing number of training hours required for each user. The development or billing managers, who must juggle training and support in addition to their main responsibilities, reach a point of over-extension, where none of the responsibilities are delivered well enough. A new, better scalable training and support approach is needed to meet the additional requirements.

The typical scaling up path for training and support includes a three-pronged approach:

Introduction of formal training and support tracking systems,FAQ analysis, andDevelopment of knowledge repositories aimed at reusing training and support expertise according to the results of the analysis stage.

First, a formal tracking mechanism for both training and support provides continuously updated information about frequently asked questions (FAQ), individual training and support workloads, response delays, and customer success in absorbing instruction. Predictably, the analysis of most frequently asked questions and answers often shows that a comprehensive and effective initial training eliminates a significant number of help requests. Moreover, customers can find answers up to eighty percent of FAQs immediately and directly by using some sort of a shared knowledge repository, e.g., wiki. Most billing companies using Vericle billing network, follow a two-step approach: first, they create a shared knowledge repository for instructional and support-related material, and second, they establish a training department, staffed with instructors who are able to develop a minimal set of training classes for various user categories (providers, front office managers, billers). The classes typically address various functional parts of the practice management system, such as Help system, Initial Patient Intake, Workbench, Scheduling, SOAP notes, Reporting, Billing, Personal Injury, Care Plans, etc.

The shared knowledge repository gradually accumulates educational mass, starting with frequently asked questions and answers, and with time adding videos of instructional sessions and various support email threads. The instructors move away from ad-hoc individual classes to a predetermined monthly schedule of live daily classes over the Internet (webinar format). In spite of the concern about diminished personal attention, subsequent surveys confirmed that majority of clients valued their own time more than personal handholding, and preferred the immediate automated response to a delayed personal conversation over the phone.

In summary, the increased scale of medical billing systems generates more sophisticated training and support requirements, which can be characterized as:

Training and support proximity: High - The separate training and client support departments converged as billers outside of the training department grew more comfortable with shared knowledge bases and began contributing instructional material and answers to FAQ;Degree of personal accountability and transparency: Significantly improved accountability and transparency generated important requirements and prepared the content for the next step; andEfficiency: High - The Internet infrastructure provides the minimal level of scalability that enables a single training session delivered remotely to handle an unlimited number of users, liberating the development and billing managers to focus on their own tasks.

Know any health care providers who complain about shrinking insurance payments and increasing audit risk? Help them learn winning Internet strategies for the modern payer-provider conflict by steering them to Vericle - Medical Billing Network and Practice Management Software, which powers such leading-edge billing services as Affinity Billing ( ) and Billing Dynamix ( ), and is home for "Medical Billing Networks and Processes" book by Yuval Lirov, PhD and inventor of patents in artificial intelligence and computer security.