For example, without a continuously updated patient census, physicians lose time looking for patients that may have moved beds or been transferred, he says. It is too common for a physician to walk into a billing office, pull a variety of papers in different states of completeness out of a coat pocket, and leave them for a coder to interpret. This almost always necessitates follow-up, protracting payment lag.
Ten years ago, paper still mostly made sense as the go-to medium for charge capture, Secan says. But 10 years ago there were no smartphones or ubiquitous Wi-Fi networks, and ICD-10 was a decade away. With the pace of change continuing to quicken in healthcare, paper and its associated processes are simply not equipped to keep up.
For practices looking to improve the efficiency of their administrative billing processes, charge capture technology can be a quick win. Software offerings are relatively low-cost compared to clinical systems, their implementation is quick, and the financial returns are highly measurable, Secan says. A robust system will pay for itself within a year of implementation, and with powerful complementary functionality around communication, reconciliation, and reporting, greater productivity will be realized across all parts of the practice.