HIE Time: Why the Stock Market is Paying Attention to Medical Billing

June 27, 2017 by Antonio Arias, MBA, CHBME

Topics: Meaningful Use Stage 2, Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

No matter the makeup of your investment portfolio, most financial experts advise everyday investors against paying heed to the day-to-day whims of the stock market. (Whereas active day traders and large firms can win profits by reacting to short-term market fluctuations, most non-professional investors benefit more from sustaining a long-term outlook and strategy.)

Nonetheless, the ups and downs of the NYSE and NASDAQ are hugely important to the health of American businesses. In addition, they have a lot to teach observers about the forces at play inside various industries – healthcare being just one.

Case in point: Of late, investors’ interest in one publicly traded medical billing and healthcare IT company has been surging. The question of why that entity is garnering so much interest is worth exploring… if only to consider how the changing share prices may signal where the future of the U.S. healthcare industry is headed – and how important the idea of information exchange is to its future.

Beyond Billing to ‘Interoperability’

As a medical billing firm ourselves, we normally wouldn’t highlight the success of a competing entity inside our own industry (and no aspect of this piece should be seen as providing investment advice.)

Yet especially in the medical billing and healthcare IT space, a rising tide lifts all boats: As more and more healthcare providers choose to embrace outsourced medical billing and technology services, more and more organizations will see the value that working with such services delivers to both their practices and their patients.

After all, the many value-adding benefits of third-party medical billing management – including lower filing timelines, fewer denials, greater technological accessibility, and a more efficient and trackable revenue cycle – are partly why the medical billing outsourcing market is predicted to reach $16.9 Billion by 2024.

Upstart Provider Networks

The benefits that service providers like NCG Medical deliver are hugely important to improving providers’ financial performance, helping them comply with changing regulations, and standardizing more back-office aspects of care delivery. Even with adequate support for their revenue cycle, however, healthcare stakeholders often continue to struggle to coordinate patient care and treatment options among multiple provider organizations.

Which brings us to why, specifically, the stock market is paying attention to medical billing. As most providers know, engaging in health information exchange (HIE) is a tenet of the Meaningful Use program, and can be an extremely valuable utilization of EHR technology. Engaging in HIE helps facilitate more coordinated patient care, reduces duplicative treatments, and helps providers avoid costly mistakes – ultimately saving money among patients, payers, and providers alike. Now, it seems investors are wising up to that value.

Consider Medical Transcription Billing, Corp., whose shares are 171.72% since the start of 2016 as of the writing of this post. The most significant gains for the ‘MTBC’ shares happened on May 1, when its stock went up 60 percent (making it Wall Street’s bull of the day).

There was a specific reason for the increase: That day, the firm announced that it had successfully developed HIE interfaces for interoperability between its highly ranked clinical platforms and leading hospitals such as Torrance Memorial Medical Center and NYU Langone Medical Center.

At NCG, we’re thrilled to see the markets respond to the importance of interoperability. As “techsperts” in medical practice software, ourselves, we’re wholly committed to smarter information sharing in the healthcare space.

For example, our mobile-friendly practice management software integrates easily with providers’ EHR systems, and we work with our customers to better connect their current billing and records platforms to make them more efficient and accurate – all of which is crucial to the success of a practice’s participation in HIE networks.

And HIE is just as crucial to future of medical billing, at large. So as the public markets continue to take note of the importance of our industry, we look forward to helping deliver the services that can support a better future in the business of healthcare!


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