Health Insurance Companies Process 1 in 5 Claims Wrong.

5 Tips for Using an EMR to Increase Profitability

Electronic Medical Records add to Your Bottom line

The guest post you are about to read is from my buddy Derek Singleton. Derek blogs over at Software Advice which helps people find the right software to meet their needs.  He writes a lot about Electronic Medical Records and how doctors can benefit from their use. 

Today Derek will be giving us 5 tips for using an EMR to increase your practice’s profitability. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment. Enjoy!


Since the electronic medical records (EMR) market continues to boom, at Software Advice we thought it’d be helpful to dig into ways that physician practices can use an EMR to boost their profitability. Here are five tips to help you understand how an EMR can contribute to bottom-line growth.

1. Going Paperless Saves Staff Time

In order to get to a paperless practice, however, you’ve got to build in processes that will gradually ween your office off paper records. For instance, instead of scanning every new patient’s insurance card, simply enter that information directly into your EMR. This cuts down on having to print out the insurance card and then enter data into your EMR at a later date.

One of the key benefits of an EMR is that it allows your practice to go paperless–which helps cut down on the amount of time your staff has to spend sifting through paper patient records and other documentation. Transitioning to a paperless practice can save thousands of dollars per year in office supply expenses, eliminate all transcription costs and cut down on physical file storage requirements.

2. Get More Out of Your Claims

When working with government insurance providers like Medicare, claim reimbursement requires extensive documentation. Because this is a time consuming process, many doctors will only bill for items that they have written evidence. Unfortunately, this leaves up to 15 percent of legitimate reimbursements on the table every year.

Beyond that, doctors often have their claims “downcoded” to less expensive procedures because the insurer deems the claim unnecessary or unsupported. This usually happens because there is a lack of supporting documentation. Using an EMR gives doctors an opportunity to document every aspect of a patient visit, and therefore increase the amount of claim revenue they’re eligible for.

3. EMRs Improve EfficiencyHealthcare Incentives

EMRs can also boost profitability simply by saving physicians time at each patient visit, allowing them to see more patients each day. A couple of features that improve the efficiency of practices include:

Pre-filled templates let you document common patient complaints more quickly than writing everything from scratch.

Prescriptions go straight to the pharmacy before you’ve even left the patient.

Although the time savings on a per-visit basis may be relatively small, these time savings can add up quickly. For example, if the time spent with each patient drops from 20 minutes to 18, you can most likely see two more patients each day. Even if this only brings in an extra $100 per patient, revenue per year would increase by $50,000. At the same time, reducing the workload of your staff can dramatically cut down on salary expenses and allow you to focus on revenue-generating activities.

4. Government Incentives Help You Afford Your EMR

The government incentive program for transitioning to an EMR is still alive and well. If you opt into the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, you can be reimbursed as much as $44,000 over five years. On the other hand, if you opt into the equivalent Medicaid program, you may be entitled to up to $64,000 over six years. Although the benefits of these programs will begin to drop at the end of 2012, you can still manage to get a significant portion of your EHR purchase paid for by this program.

5. EMRs Can Reduce Your Liability Premiums

A recent study by the Harvard Medical School found that malpractice claims are about one-sixth of their previous rate after adopting an EMR. The study points out that, out of 51 malpractice claims filed during the observation period, two occurred after the adoption of an EMR. The relationship between EMR adoption and malpractice claims is leading malpractice insurers like Texas Medical Liability Trust and MMIC to offer discounts for physicians that adopt EMRs.

Beyond the liability issue is the fact that many believe “failure to adopt and use electronic technology may itself constitute a deviation from the standard of care” in the future. Once this is the case, the laggards will be branded as dinosaurs; they’ll be more open to scrutiny and will lose patients and reimbursements, all for failure to adopt what everyone else, by then, will consider to be an essential business tool.

These five tips help make the purchase of an EMR more compelling by making it more affordable, and the long term return on investment more tangible. What ways are you using your EMR to improve the profitability of your practice? Share your tips in the comments section below.


Derek Singleton - Software AdviceThis is a Guest Post by Derek Singleton.
Derek blogs at Software Advice. For more information about Derek and Software Advice visit him at

About The Author

8 thoughts on “5 Tips for Using an EMR to Increase Profitability”

  1. blank

    Great article. I think that going paperless will surely help us to work faster and be able to do more and provide good customer service. This article is very helpful for me. I’ll follow these tips.

  2. blank

    Thanks for sharing this article. This will surely help me to increase my business profitability. I’ll follow what you said here. I think that going paperless will surely help to work fast and accomplish more.

  3. blank
    Factoring Finance

    Yes, I agree with what you said. I also think that going paperless saves staff time. I also think that work will be faster and easier too when you switch to automation. Thanks for sharing this article.

  4. blank
    Nova Cash Flow Finance

    I’ll follow these tips to increase my profitability. These tips are all very helpful for me and my business. I also think that it’s better to go paperless. I think that by doing this, the business will be more organized and the employees can work faster. Thanks for sharing this article.

  5. blank

    Yes, I think that you are right. I also think that going paperless will saves staff time.I also think that work will be organize,easy and faster. Thanks for sharing this article.

  6. blank

    These tips will definitely help me to increase profitability. I’ll follow what you said here. Thanks for sharing this very helpful site.

  7. Pingback: The Digital Diagnosis in the Medical Industry - Capture Billing

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