The Value of Physician Charge-Note Reconciliation
I manage my personal finances from an app that aggregates all my bank accounts, credit cards, long-term debt, spending and investment data from at least a dozen sources and presents it to me in a unified view. It’s easy, intuitive, and a huge time-saver.
Might something like this be useful for healthcare billing?
Absolutely, though the challenge is far greater because healthcare billing is more complex. A single, unified view of data would be especially helpful to practice administrators and billers trying to identify all the potential professional charges that could or should get billed. After all, when physicians provide patient care, that is where the healthcare revenue cycle begins. If charges are not captured, then revenue is not generated. And in the inpatient world, where physicians are pulled in many directions – they round on their own patients, they do consults, they cover for other physicians on their team, perform surgeries and more – the potential to inadvertently omit charges is great.
Therefore, what would be extremely useful is a charge capture system that includes a professional billing aggregator that combines documented notes and billing patterns to alert physicians and coders when charges should (or should not) be expected. Notes are the source of all truth – for patient care, for care team review, and for professional charges. If there was a note, then almost certainly there should be a charge.
PatientKeeper recently launched an automated tool to accomplish this valuable (and, when done manually, extremely time-consuming) cross check and reconciliation. I think of it as the healthcare equivalent of the personal finance app I find so useful. And chances are it will do wonders for billing professionals at hospitals and medical practices.
This post is based on an article written by Amy Sullivan that appeared in Becker’s Hospital CFO Report.