Medical billing and coding is all about keeping up with the latest elements of medical technology and news. It is not enough to simply informed about the latest guidelines, but also be be able to translate these into actionable goals. The manner in which doctors and other health care providers are paid by Medicare or keep health records might change how billing is down entirely. Moving forward, health care providers will want to be aware of how they can use their services to help out customers{word choice?}, but also understand how legislation could impact physician salaries. We'll look at two important aspects – Medicare's payment plans and electronic health records – in order to understand how they could change medical billing. 

The major shift right now is that federal regulations and reform groups are pushing away from fee-for-service models of health care. This {what is this referring to?}creates a system that incentivizes doctors to perform treatments that may be unnecessary.Value-based payments instead offer a fee structure designed to pay doctors for meaningful care and patient well-being, not for what kinds of services they receive. The difficult element here is aligning the incentives so that they do not punish physician groups that aren't working with enough patients to keep their practice sustainable. Bills in congress right now are designed to push for better value-based pay, like those advocated for by Paul Van de Water.

"This bill is a good next step," Paul Van de Water, representative for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said in Modern Healthcare. "We just need to recognize that there's going to be lots of challenges and we're not going to figure out a new payment system in a few years that's going to last forever. It's going to be an evolution."

EHRs to undergo change
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology recently released a new rule ensuring that health  record systems perform as  advertised, essentially adding another layer of oversight to EHR vendors. This is another strong move by the ONC to protect individuals from health care fraud. Many organizations, according to a recent report, found that health care providers were using RTI-recommended audit functions, but weren't necessarily using them to their fullest extent. This means that some amounts of patient data may have been left vulnerable. Similarly, the use of EHRs to protect doctors and patients from fraud is necessary to ensure that everyone is treated fairly. Oversights or bugs within EHR systems could lead to errors in billing. 

Some features within medical platforms are naturally ripe for abuse. Unprotected copy-paste features, could, for example, be used to steal patient information. While some of this needs to be fixed through using stronger computer software, it is equally important that organizations make use of policies that prevent fraud from being done in the first place. A system of EHR safeguards and how it is used within a medical environment can prevent errors from occurring . Medical billing will continue to rely more fully on EHRs as more organizations begin using them in place of paper records. This means that knowing exactly how they are being used is crucial for having an adequate understanding of financial elements in the health care environment.