Medibooks? Quickhealth? Medical-billing accounting software for consumers?
April 20, 2012 11:59 AM   Subscribe

*Consumer*-oriented medical billing accounting software?

Hi, after wrangling my businesses and home finance into professionally-acceptable shape by devoting about two hours a day to Quickbooks data entry and review, I come to the heart of darkness: our medical and insurance billing records.

The problem seems to be that there is no industry standard for many of the things that are normal outside of medical bills, so it's impossible to predict how long it all take insurance to pay on a visit, what percentage will be paid, or how that payment will be reflected in the insurance carrier's statements.

Compounding this are iffy billing practices on the part of the providers - occasionally visits are not forwarded to insurance for billing for unreasonably long periods of time.

The end result is that using Quickbooks to try to track these expenses at the line-item level is impractical.

Is there an accounting package oriented to the home consumer which is designed expect these factors?
posted by mwhybark to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
...designed to expect these factors...

last minute edit, my apologies.
posted by mwhybark at 11:59 AM on April 20, 2012

Are you the one providing medical services and billing insurance companies or are you trying to track insurance payments for medical claims?

If you are an end user, this site decent for tracking claims.
posted by wongcorgi at 1:06 PM on April 20, 2012

I don't think there is, and it may be irrelevant: Most medical billing companies seem to not care how you direct them to apply funds to your account, and it's pretty likely a deliberate thing, since they have no problem taking payments on a per-line-item basis from insurers.

As a result, we normally just dig in our heels and "work with their system" by paying only the oldest portion of the bill which has been fully paid up by the insurance company; at least with ours, this makes sure that the funds we submit get credited to the line items we want them to, because funds are always credited to the oldest charges open on the account.

It also gives them some motivation to correct any insurance billing problems. It's fun to use their own corporate-speak back at them; "we're unable to process your payment until all pending insurance claims have been processed and applied." If you don't mind playing the jerk now and then (and why not, these places do it for a living), you actually *can* track these expenses at the line-item level. It is, however, a little more work. Of course, it's in your interest to devise a strategy to make sure your claims are being processed properly; if you improperly pay a charge that should have been paid by your insurer, your medical provider has very little motivation to work on your behalf to correct it, since they've already been paid for it (by you!).

By the way, it's a good idea to keep very good written records, and if it's legal in your state, record any calls.
posted by jgreco at 2:06 PM on April 20, 2012

this question is from an end user perspective only. My business funds some of our medical benefits, but that accounting task is rational and clear and not in need of repair.

I will look into cakehealth.

I concur, jgreco, but I find that Quickbooks dramatically increases the workload because of the previously well-noted failure of medical-industry providers, partners, and muddlers to adhere to standard non-medical-industry billing practices and timelines. So what I am looking for is an equivalent for Quickbooks that specifically is deisgned to expect the diddling and delays that seem to be the desired state of affairs within the medical-finance-management industry.
posted by mwhybark at 5:33 PM on April 20, 2012

Yeah, I understand the problem, we have a similar problem. The workaround I outlined is the best we've come up with in about ten years of trying to solve that problem. It's not a significant financial problem for us due to the way we've structured our finances, but I do understand your frustration with the way medical billing lives in their own little land of make-believe.
posted by jgreco at 6:08 PM on April 21, 2012

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