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Better Practice Efficiency Comes with Automation

Managed Contracting & Reimbursement Advisor Staff, November 12, 2012

Stop 1: The physician at the point of care

The provider benefits of charge capture automation are numerous, Secan says. Today's advanced software solutions go far beyond a simple "super bill on a screen." Coding compliance alerts delivered to a physician proactively as the charge is being created mean that charges can be billed out correctly the first time. This reduces re-work by back-office staff and ultimately lessens downstream denials.

And for clinicians using smartphone-based technology in support of hospital rounds, the patient census is always up to date provided integration with the hospital's core system. This allows instantaneous access to patient demographics, visit details, and encounter history. In contrast, many physicians using paper to support inpatient charge capture rely on outdated information printed hours or even days ago, Secan notes.

Beyond improving knowledge, a charge capture tool can-and should-expedite the charge documentation process. Easy visualization of missing charges, customizable quick-pick lists of frequently used diagnosis and procedure codes, and a current problem list all enable providers to quickly document a charge from the point of care immediately following an encounter.

"With ICD-10 looming, this type of physician-focused coding support technology will prove indispensable as groups strategize around securing provider adoption of the expanded code set," Secan says.

A last must-have function of charge capture technology is provider messaging. This is an easy way for physician users to reach coders with questions about things such as coding alerts or tricky coding situations. Again, with the advent of ICD-10, it's very important to have access to immediate coding ­support.

This type of feature, in tandem with a real-time ­compliance rules engine, delivers charge accuracy while maintaining timeliness. For providers completing charge capture within their daily patient work flow, the result is less administrative burden, more time for patients, and even dinner with the family from time to time, Secan says.

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