Why CBO Billers and Coders Need a Charge Aggregation Tool

February 25, 2021  |  Category: Revenue Cycle

As COVID-19 continues to cause global disruption, many health systems are concurrently struggling to meet patient care demands and tend to their own financial health.  Even before the pandemic, business pressures on many provider organizations were acute and consolidation was on the rise. In fact, a Deloitte study found the rate of hospital acquisitions will leave only 50% of current health systems remaining by the year 2030.

Even with vaccines now available, the healthcare industry continues to face financial challenges as it navigates a perfect storm of declining revenue, increased consolidation, and COVID-19 impacts. Therefore, there is an urgent need at provider organizations for technology that can streamline billing processes to improve cash flow and maximize revenue.

One such solution is electronic charge aggregation — technology to efficiently consolidate and normalize charges coming into a central billing office (CBO) from multiple EHRs and hospital departments, and automatically cleanse them and reconcile them against clinical notes.  

Here are three reasons to consider a charge aggregator solution:

  • It brings order to the geographic chaos.  Now that our world has gone virtual, health care has moved far beyond the four walls of a hospital, scattering providers everywhere from triage tents to from their homes. Similarly, CBO staff has shifted to a distributed workforce with employees both in the office and working remotely. Technology that helps accommodate this geographic dispersion is more critical than ever.
  • It masks complexity.  Individual hospitals or practice groups often bring their own EHRs along when they join a new health system. As a result, the typical integrated health network operates 16 distinct EHR platforms, making it time and labor intensive for CBO staff to collect and process charges. Without a charge aggregator that funnels all those charges from disparate sources into one central system, billers and coders will spend a lot of time each day jumping into and out of various systems. PatientKeeper Charge Aggregator imports all charges into one foundational and flexible system for cleansing and processing, no matter what (or how many) EHRs a health network uses across all its departments and facilities.
  • It finds missing charges. When working in tandem, PatientKeeper Charge-Note Reconciliation and PatientKeeper Charge Aggregator match charges to clinical notes to ensure that for every patient encounter there is an appropriate related charge. In one analysis, PatientKeeper identified an additional $1,500 in billing per month per hospitalist, and even more for specialists. Over the course of four months, that equated to over $2 million in lost revenue, or more than $6 million on an annual basis.

Provider organizations must look after their patients’ health and their own financial health. One cannot be accomplished without the other. Wise investments in IT are critical to both. Charge aggregation is a new technology that can significantly benefit the business side of the equation for health networks, and produce compelling ROI.

Interested in learning about PatientKeeper Charge Aggregator to improve your hospital’s bottom line? Visit our information center here.

This post was written by PatientKeeper's TransforMED blogging team.