How can we make billers’ and coders’ hard jobs easier?

December 22, 2021  |  Category: Revenue Cycle

Wise people through the centuries have extolled the virtues of hard work as a prerequisite for success. But nothing says the merit (or value) of hard work is diminished if the worker employs the right tools for the job. After all, wise people also endorse asking for and accepting help when you need it.

In the healthcare world, billers and coders at large provider networks work hard and need help. The more complex their organization, the more challenging it is for them to efficiently process the charges that financially enable their institutions to provide healthcare services to patients. The complications stem from a range of factors, not least of which is most large networks have numerous disparate IT systems – multiple EHRs, departmental systems, charge capture applications, and more – funneling charges to the billing team; and especially for organizations with a central billing office, making holistic sense of all those charges can be an enormous challenge. For billers and coders, looking for information across multiple systems wastes time, creates fragmented workflows, and leads to user frustration.

Several PatientKeeper clients recently participated in a HFMA webinar and offered their thoughts on this topic. Hilda Garcia, Coding Supervisor at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, described the workflow at her organization, which uses a charge aggregation system to collect charges from several ancillary services. She noted that just because all charges end up in one place doesn’t mean everyone has to see them the same way. Garcia said Moffitt’s billers and coders can customize their work queues, or “holding bins”, to their particular group’s preferences and needs, and the ability to tailor screens and workflow has led to dramatic productivity improvements.

Similar flexibility on the charge entry end for providers has made a positive difference for Northwell Health. Katherine Widmyer, Northwell’s Senior Product Services & Management Analyst, described embedding a link within the EMR system Northwell’s providers use to write their clinical notes that takes the user directly to the charge capture screen and automatically carries over the patient diagnosis. “It’s much faster for providers to get their charges in,” Widmyer said. “The ability to create favorite diagnoses simplifies the workflow for providers. It’s very easy and seamless, and they appreciate that it requires fewer clicks.”

The bottom line, according to PatientKeeper senior product manager Stella Deych-Hendrickson, is a well-designed charge aggregator “allows users to work in one tool to see everything they need to see without logging in and out of different systems all day.” And that’s surely one way to make billers’ and coders’ hard jobs easier.

PatientKeeper’s Charge Aggregator imports professional charges from across the enterprise and, no matter what EHR or departmental system they come from, allows them to be collected, reconciled and cleaned in a single system, to process for timely billing. In combination with an automated charge-note reconciliation tool, which identifies missing charges and/or clinical notes, the solution can save CBOs time and bolster revenue. For more information, contact sales@patientkeeper.com.

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