Affordable Care Act to save healthcare industry $16 billion over next decade

Due to the fact that the healthcare industry had lagged behind other sectors when it came to implementing new technologies into its daily operations, the government stepped in by providing a number of incentives and deadlines with 2010's Affordable Care Act.

Now, two years later the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) indicates that this act, together with 1996's Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, could help save doctors and hospitals more than $16 billion over the next 10 years.

This could be further helped by a January 9 announcement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that aims to put in a place a regulation governing electronic fund transfers and remittance advice transactions that would streamline administrative transactions in the next five years. In particular, this new rule is expected to contribute nearly $4.5 billion in savings during this time period by improving medical billing.

The savings stem from the fact that advances such as electronic medical billing can help physicians cut down on administrative time.

"As a nurse, I know the importance of giving health care professionals time to focus on patient care," CMS' acting administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in a January 5 release. "The less time a physician has to spend on paperwork is that much more time that can be devoted to patient care. Having standardized procedures across the health care industry can only lead to lower costs and greater efficiencies all around."

According to the federal government, small medical facilities spend roughly 12 cents on every dollar they earn paying for their workers to go through the pen-and-paper documentation that currently dominates many factors of the industry. As such, facilities that still rely on this type of system may want to speak to a consultant about available options for this technology, such as medical biling software with Lytec MD and Medisoft medical billing software.

Microwize Technology is a leading retailer of healthcare IT products, including electronic medical records software and medical billing software from top providers like Lytec, Allscripts and McKesson.