3 Tips to Reduce Missing Bills

Healthcare organizations across the country are trying to find new ways to cut costs and increase revenue. They’re offering additional services, purchasing or are being purchased by other systems, automating processes to cut back on staff, and searching for external solutions to their revenue problems.

Many of these organizations realize they’re currently missing out on revenue they’ve earned due to missed charges, but they don’t have the processes or tools in place to make the most of those existing revenue opportunities.

To be fair, existing physician workflows make it nearly impossible to eradicate missed charge opportunities entirely.

Multiple care providers might be involved with the patient on a daily basis. A physician group might track charges on paper and later enter information into the EMR. Most commonly, there isn’t always time for a physician to enter patient information during or between patient visits.

With so much variation and so many people with the opportunity to touch each charge, it’s easy to see how some are missed. Making matters worse, many organizations lack the process to track missing bills altogether, which ensures they’re leaving money on the table and making themselves vulnerable to a CMS audit.

Here are three ways to ensure you’re capturing as many charges as possible — and able to correct those charges that are missed.

Utilize an Electronic Charge Capture Solution

The days of writing clinical notes on pieces of paper and entering them into an electronic medical record are over. Or at least they should be.

Not only does electronic charge capture make the process of entering clinical notes and charges easier, a good electronic charge capture solution will integrate with your EMR and billing solution, automating much of the missing bills process for physicians and coders alike.

Ingenious Med’s automated missing bill functionality highlights potentially missed bills, which pop up after one day of no charge being entered for an encounter. Physicians and coders can dismiss those potentially missed bills in the case of a charge being inapplicable, such as global charges.

Missed billing opportunities are also highlighted with flags throughout the application, including on the patient census and during the physician workflow.

When a missed bill is caught, users can assign to another physician, if necessary. Capturing the bill is made even easier by use of copy bill functionality for repeat procedures.

Standardize Processes and Improve Communication

Selecting the right technology partner is an important step in reducing missed bills, but there’s no such thing as a “plug and play” solution.

“There is a popular myth that technology is a silver bullet to data collection and analytics in healthcare, but technology is only as good as the underlying process that it supports,” said Jim Keener, Chief Technology Officer at Ingenious Med.

Each healthcare organization needs to determine its own internal processes for capturing and working charges. This standardization will reduce workflow variation, and therefore increase the consistency of results.

Many organizations that already use charge capture tools still find bills being missed because there is miscommunication between clinicians and coders. Ingenious Med founder and Chief Medical Officer, Steve Liu, MD, wrote about the importance of physicians managing their own charge capture in a piece for Becker’s Hospital Review.

“By recording the care actually delivered in a timely manner, we have the power to get in front of any compliance or reporting issues, and the power to impact revenue by ensuring the organization is billing accurately for services truly rendered,” said Liu.

Most importantly, a regular review of charge capture processes is vital to ensuring that all staff are up to date on responsibilities and expectations.

Track Missing Bills Metrics With Reports

Once employees are properly trained on charge capture best practices, how are you to know if things are running smoothly?

A good charge capture application will come with robust analytics that not only highlight missing revenue opportunities, but provide action-oriented data that can be spread throughout the organization.

Ingenious Med has a user-friendly charge summary dashboard that identifies potential missing revenue opportunities and summarizes charge capture activity with four key metrics:

  • Potentially missing charges
  • Percent of charges captured same day
  • Speed of charge processing
  • Charges currently in process

Key statistics such as these allow users to get an at a glance view of performance for different sites, groups, physicians, and even days. These reports not only bring attention to missed bills, they provide increased transparency and accountability across the organization.

See Enterprise-Wide Improvements

With integrated electronic charge capture and streamlined processes, organizations can ensure that the maximum number of charges are captured when they should be. And with powerful, actionable analytics, organizations can catch missed bills before it’s too late and improve performance across the enterprise.

To learn more about how you can capture more charges, reconcile more missed bills, and maximize your revenue, read our white paper on Ingenious Med’s missing bill functionality or request a demo today.

Want to see more? You can find our other blogs here.

Don’t miss out on our next blog! Subscribe here.