NextGen’s Enterprise Practice Management and Billing Software (NextGen EPM) is a critical tool for your practice. It helps you schedule patients and manage your revenue cycle through billing payers and track your accounts receivable performance with ease, saving you time and money. But you will still need general ledger software to keep your books for your entire business’s finance. Here is how you can integrate your NextGen EPM with your general ledger system.
Why Integrate NextGen EPM With Your General Ledger System?
Your NextGen EPM can help you improve your revenue cycle and financial performance. But it does not replace a general ledger system for keeping your practice’s books, tracking expenses, performing payroll, and generating financial statements. To get a full picture of your practice’s financial position, you need to integrate your Practice Management system with your general ledger software.
Common general ledger software packages for healthcare practices include Great Plains, SAP, MAB, and QuickBooks. While these software packages can not be directly linked to your NextGen system, you can integrate data across the two systems. Data integration will save your financial department time and improve bookkeeping accuracy. With up-to-date data from your EPM, your general ledger system will give you a better picture of your practice’s financial health. The wealth of data in your NextGen EPM can also help your finance staff track charges, payments, adjustments, and refunds to identify areas for improvement.
Here are two primary options for integrating your NextGen EPM with your general ledger software.
Option 1: Aggregate NextGen EPM Data and Export to Your General Ledger System
Your NextGen EPM stores detailed information on each patient encounter and resulting claim and reimbursement. From this detailed data, you can create aggregate tables to import into your general ledger system (e.g., Great Plains, SAP, MAB, or QuickBooks). These extracts should include monthly aggregated charges, payments, refunds, and adjustments by profit center. Profit centers may vary by practice, but they generally include activities that result in revenue grouped by site, specialty, patient type, department, or other relevant characteristics. Exporting your data by profit center will allow your general ledger system to allocate costs and profits to the appropriate activities within your practice.
This approach to integrating your NextGen EPM and general ledger system is straightforward and requires little information processing time. However, your finance department may find that aggregate monthly data offer insufficient detail. Depending on your practice’s needs, you may need to export more granular data to support bookkeeping and financial reporting.
Option 2: Export Line Items and Encounters From NextGen EPM to Your General Ledger System
If aggregate monthly payments, refunds, charges, and adjustments are not detailed enough for your general ledger needs, you can also export line items and encounters from your NextGen EPM into your general ledger system. Under this approach, you would export a comprehensive, detailed file describing encounters and other revenue-generating line items from your NextGen EPM. You would then import this detailed data into your general ledger system.
A line-item or encounter-level export gives your financial department access to highly detailed data underlying payments, charges, and adjustments. However, this type of export from your NextGen EPM may create an overwhelming amount of data for your finance department and general ledger system to process.
Selecting an Approach for Integrating Your NextGen EPM and General Ledger System
The right approach for your practice will depend on the technical capabilities of your finance department and your needs. Smaller practices may want to start by exporting aggregate EPM data (Option 1) and add detail as necessary. Larger or more complex practices may require more granular data to maximize your financial performance. If your practice is integrating data from multiple sites or across specialty departments, line-item or encounter-level data may give you better insight into higher and lower-performing sites and departments.
To automatically import data into general ledger systems you will need to match the specifications required by the vendor with appropriate profit center mapping. In general, this export will require a thorough knowledge of the back-end NextGen database and complex SQL queries to aggregate the data appropriately. TempDev’s development consultants are well versed in creating custom general ledger interfaces (GL interfaces) for clients to meet their specific month-end reporting requirements.
Other Considerations for Integrating Your NextGen EPM With General Ledger Systems
Other tools can help you better integrate your general ledger system with your NextGen EPM. For example, TempDev’s Credit Flow application can help you clear credit balances in your NextGen EPM. These credit balances occur when patients or payers overpay, leaving you to process reimbursements. Credit Flow integrates with your general ledger system for easy processing of patient refunds.
How TempDev Can Help You Integrate NextGen EPM With Your General Ledger System
TempDev’s NextGen experts can help you manage your financial performance. From integrating your NextGen EPM and general ledger system to custom applications like Credit Flow, TempDev has the tools you need to streamline your revenue cycle tracking and reporting. TempDev can also help you implement a new EHR and EPM system and create custom code for running exports to your general ledger system.
Call us at 888-TEMP-DEV or contact us here to get started integrating your NextGen EHR and general ledger system.