Medical Billing Software in South Africa
Time-saving Medical Billing Software for Private Practices in South Africa
Despite the service offered free by the state, between 1945 and 1960, those who could afford health insurance began seeking private healthcare, because the mounting pressure on the system lead to lengthy delays for treatment. This led to a rapid growth of private practices and clinics, as well as a proliferation in the number of insurers. Though originally handled by the short- and long-term insurance industries, more specialised medical aid funds were quickly established and, long before the development of medical billing software, South Africa was already home to even more of these schemes than the 90 or so in operation today.
So why is this relevant? How do these schemes affect patients and those responsible for their treatment? For the former, membership of a fund serves to cover the cost of the individual’s medication and treatment, within the limits pre-defined by fund managers. It often means that the full cost is covered by the insurer, while, on other occasions, there may be a shortfall that requires a co-payment from the member. For the physician, surgeon, or other healthcare professional, these are the companies from which they are obliged to claim most of the payments for services rendered. The claims process can be confusing without the aid of specialised medical billing software, due to the variable requirements of insurers in South Africa.
To ensure sufficient cash flow, to cover the running costs of a practice, claims need to be submitted, processed, and approved with as little delay as possible. In addition, there are co-payments due from a number of the clinic’s patients, and these need to be billed using a separate procedure. Whether due to oversight or intent, payments from patients are often delayed, or even withheld. This may necessitate a friendly reminder or, in some cases, the need to institute legal action to recover the debt. However, these time-consuming and often unpleasant tasks, along with many others, can now be managed by medical billing software that was developed in South Africa, and is tailored to meet local requirements.
While medicine is rightly considered to be a vocation, those who practice it must also rely on their income to pay their bills. Consequently, their need to operate profitably is as important as it is to any self-employed individual. When attending to the needs of the sick is one’s core business, it is particularly important that administrative tasks, though equally necessary for the efficient operation of the practice, do not take up too much time, at the expense of patient care. Fortunately, the use of medical billing software is now helping many private practitioners in South Africa save a great deal of both time and money.
Without this type of facility, a private physician’s options are limited. It will either be necessary to hire an employee to handle the financial requirements of the practice, to sacrifice patient time in order to tackle the job in person, or simply to put in a few extra hours at the end of a busy day. Either way, given that the claims process is relatively complex, the scope for human error that could result in delays, underpayments, or rejected claims are ever-present. By contrast, smart medical billing software, available in South Africa, will not only handle the task more quickly, but will also eliminate the risk of any costly human errors.
While on the subject of cost, it is often concerns about the expense of automating financial and other administrative tasks that deters healthcare professionals, when considering the departure from managing them manually. They reason that like most bespoke computer packages in South Africa, medical billing software is likely to come with a substantial price tag attached. In addition, there may be concerns regarding the need for hardware upgrades and additions, as well as an employee with the necessary IT skills and experience to keep the new system running, and up to date.
In fact, should the decision be to purchase such a system, those concerns could well prove to be justified. However, it is also possible to enjoy its benefits without any up-front investment, or even the need to employ a computer expert.
At V Professional Services, we offer the use of comprehensive and completely secure medical billing software as a service in South Africa, which, for a nominal monthly fee, can be accessed with a web browser. As the service provider leaving healthcare professionals more time for patients, we also undertake backups, upgrades, and user training.