Implementation of the Charge module can seem like an overwhelming task for many organizations. A lot of you are already struggling with enforcing proper documentation standards, implementing patient portals and meeting Meaningful Use, CQM & PQRS measures; all while struggling to remain viable from a fiscal standpoint. So, the question remains, why would we take on one more project in the midst of this chaos?
There are some fairly compelling reasons to consider automating your charge capture process and moving away from the use of the paper encounter form. To begin with, if implemented correctly, use of the Charge module should help your organization see an increase in revenue & accelerated cash flow. It is a whole lot easier to track missing electronic encounter forms than to figure out where Dr. Smith or Nurse Jones left that stack of paper encounter forms on his/her way out of the office last night. Additionally, because it is designed to prevent users from submitting chargers if they have failed to input required information, the Charge module helps reduce the occurrence of improperly filled out encounter forms. The use of electronic charging means doctors will be required to make fewer corrections for tickets marked in illegible hand writing or completed incorrectly.
Next, the fact of the matter is, the quicker charges are submitted, the quicker reimbursement is received from your carriers. Money in the bank means liquidity and financial options for any organization. From an EHR perspective, once a provider has completed the encounter form, tasks can be generated for the billing staff to immediately review and submit charges, ultimately decreasing the posting to payment turnaround time from days or weeks to hours. If, after auditing and review of a provider’s billing and charge submission, the organization feels it is reasonable to allow the provider to progress to “direct submission” of encounters, the process will be expedited even further. Remember, faster submission equals faster reimbursement and money in the bank.
Proper analysis and follow through in the build process will result in a reduction in billing errors. There is a decrease in the risk of human error while translating a provider’s scrawl from the paper encounter form into the electronic billing system. Transposing digits, inadvertently keying the incorrect primary diagnosis, misusing a modifier or failing to include the correct number of units for a medication administration fee are all simple, yet common errors in a billing office that cost organizations thousands of dollars each year. Fortunately, with some of the built in rules logic available in the Charge module, clients typically see a dramatic reduction in billing mistakes along with the risk of regulatory noncompliance.
And lastly, your organization should see an increase in efficiency in a variety of ways. The elimination of dual entry allows billing staff to spend more time on coding and reviewing more encounters. Centralized, electronic creation of encounter forms alleviates the need to print practice-specific super bills which can be quite costly and time consuming to distribute. Updates can take place quickly to the master files with limited interference in provider and staff workflows. Finally, the automated generation of reminder tasks can assist end-users and management with easily identifying missing charges, workflow bottlenecks and charging trends across the organization.