Stop 2: The central business office
"Now a practice administrator may think, 'That sounds great for helping our physicians experience enhanced efficiency, but what about me and my business office staff?' " Secan says. "That's the beauty of effective charge capture and management software. While providers are often thought of as the key system users, there are tremendous productivity benefits for the back office as well. For starters, an electronic charge work flow means greater transparency. Coders no longer have to wait for a ticket to make its way to the central business office in order to initiate the billing process."
With a reengineered approach to this process, charge data is available for review as soon as it is entered by the provider-within a matter of seconds after hitting the save button, Secan says. When it's getting toward the end of the day and support staff see outstanding charges, the embedded communication tool can be employed for immediate follow-up.
"No more unreturned phone calls or otherwise unnecessary chart pulls in order to get a charge completed and submitted for payment," Secan says.
What else does a state-of-the-art charge capture application provide practice leaders? Actionable data. When paper is at the core of a practice's revenue cycle, it is nearly impossible to recognize operational or compliance trends that need intervention-or elevation-as a best practice, Secan says.
With charge data available by parameters that include physician, specialty, and location, a new world of reporting options opens up. Insights such as provider E/M patterns, wRVU analysis, and corrected compliance errors enable greater understanding of revenue and education opportunities, which in turn facilitates continuous process improvement.