Capture billing data quickly, but accurately. This is a lesson that organizations learn when converting from paper to digital management of ECG and other diagnostics. Realizing that automation of the processing cycle provides an opportunity to efficiently gather billing data, they usually expect a reduction in unrealized revenue in DNFB (discharged-not-final-billed) and a corresponding increase in cash flow.
Our experience is that there is an improvement in cash flow but the improvement does not initially meet expectations. Automation of the processing cycle accelerates the capture of billing data but the level of back office holds and there is no reduction in the level of back office holds or in claim rejections.
The reason, of course, is that the organizations are collecting data faster but the data is still “dirty.” Expedited data collection is most effective when steps are also taken to ensure that the data is “clean.” This usually means eliminating, wherever possible, manual data entry.
Here are five ways of leveraging technology to further improve cash flow management of ECG-related revenues:
- Where possible, use magnetic ID card reader and bar code scanning technology to gather order entry data. For years, many of our clients have used scanning technology to gather demographic and insurance data from patient insurance cards.
- Use a testing system that “remembers” entered data and will automatically carry it forward on new orders.
- Use intelligent alerts to alert users when business logic is violated (e.g. – incorrectly formatted encounter numbers, mandatory fields not completed).
- Where possible, interface order entry systems with your testing software to eliminate the need to re-enter data into your testing application. One client, who recently completed this integration, found that the level of back office holds was reduced by over 50%.
- Interface the testing application to the system that billing personnel use for accessing billing information. If this cannot be done, give billing personnel access to the database in the testing application so that they can collect the information they need quickly and in a timely manner.