78% of Healthcare Execs Say Charge Capture Is Essential, Yet 40% Discuss It Once A Month Or Less

ingenious med survey

New Ingenious Med survey reveals misalignment between perception and action

ATLANTA, Jan. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Ingenious Med, the leading charge capture and practice performance analytics provider for health systems, hospitals, and physician groups, announced today new survey findings on how charge capture is conducted and perceived at acute-care organizations.

Ingenious Med commissioned the survey of healthcare leaders who oversee their organization’s revenue cycle * to determine market trends around charge capture, benchmark performance, and understand organizational perceptions.

Key findings include:

Charge capture is critical for success but is not a frequent agenda item

  • Over three-quarters (78%) of respondents characterize charge capture as “essential” to their organization’s success. Twenty-one percent characterize it as useful, and 1 percent say it’s optional.
  • Despite this, leadership teams at 40 percent of organizations talk about charge capture once a month or less. One-third (32%) discuss it weekly, while 18 percent discuss it twice a month, 8 percent discuss it daily, and 2 percent never discuss it.

EHR solutions are the default, and they are not well-liked

  • Most healthcare organizations (84%), rely at least partly on their EMR/EHR systems for charge capture. Half (50%) use it exclusively as their charge capture solution.
  • Just over a quarter (28%) use electronic, standalone solutions as part of their charge capture mix, while 27% use paper charge capture.
  • When asked how likely they are to recommend their current charge capture solution, using the Net Promoter Score methodology, only 10 percent of respondents are promoters.
  • More than half (52%) are detractors.

While doctors are held slightly more responsible for charge capture than coders, coders spend significant time tracking down the information they need from doctors.

  • Two in five (40%) say the doctor and the coder should be equally responsible for accurately capturing charges. Nineteen percent believe the responsibility rests more on the coder than the doctor, while almost a third (31%) say the doctor should be held more responsible than the coder.
  • Some 6 percent say the doctor should be exclusively responsible, while 4 percent say the coder should be exclusively responsible.
  • More than half (53%) say their coding department spends between 10-25 percent of their time tracking down information from physicians. Another 12 percent report their coders spend upwards of a quarter of their time on these tasks. Twenty-eight percent say their coders spend less than 10% of their time tracking down information from physicians, and 7 percent did not know.

Missing charges and charge lag are the top two charge capture challenges

  • In ranked order, respondents’ most significant charge capture challenges include: missing charges (No. 1), charge lag (No. 2), general inefficiency (No. 3), integration with EHR or other technologies (No. 4), coding errors (No. 5), adoption adherence (No. 6), and compliance (No. 7).
  • Almost a third (32%) say their charges are captured within 24 hours of service. A quarter (25%) say it takes 1-2 days, 35 percent say it takes 3-7 days, 6 percent say it takes more than a week, and 2 percent say charges are captured in less than an hour.
  • A third (33%) report that the time between charge capture and bill submission is 1-3 days. Forty-one percent say it takes 4-7 days, 24 percent say it takes 1-4 weeks, and 2 percent say it takes more than four weeks.

Majority say up to 20 percent of charges are either under- or over-coded; have experienced at least one audit

  • More than half (56%) say between 1-10 percent of total charges are over-coded; 14 percent say it’s 11 percent or more. Thirty percent report that less than 1 percent or zero charges are over-coded.
  • Two-thirds (68%) report between 1-10 percent of total charges are under-coded; 20 percent say it’s 11 percent or more. Twelve percent report that less than 1 percent or zero charges are under-coded.
  • When asked if their organization has ever faced a CMS or payer audit, 56 percent said they have been audited more than once, 3 percent have been audited once, 33 percent have never been audited, and 8 percent were unsure or unwilling to share.

“We’re encouraged that organizations recognize the need to accurately capture revenue, and there is clear opportunity for many to improve their processes and the tools they utilize,” said Russell Smith, Chief Portfolio Officer of Ingenious Med. “Addressing top challenges, like missing charges and charge lag, are what top performing healthcare organizations make a high priority. Optimizing the accuracy of charges is equally important, especially as CMS and private payers increase their scrutiny and number of audits. Not only is this critical to profitability right now, but as the industry moves from fee-for-service to fee-for-value, having accurate documentation of patient history and care delivery is also a critical part of the quality equation. We’ll continue to partner with our customers to ensure they’re well positioned as the healthcare market continues to move towards value.”

Ingenious Med commissioned Sage Growth Partners, a third-party healthcare consulting firm, to design and deploy the survey and gather responses. In July 2018, responses to the 40-question survey were gathered from 104 leaders in a supervisory capacity over the revenue cycle at acute-care organizations, representing 35 states. The large majority of respondents (62.5%) represented multispecialty organizations; 74 percent of organizations were hospitals/health systems, 18 percent were independent practices, and 8 percent were physician management organizations. Respondents included C-suite executives (46%), Directors (27%), VPs (18%), managers (6%), practice managers (2%), and non-supervisory (1%). Data was self-reported and not verified.

About Ingenious Med
Ingenious Med provides a leading healthcare IT solution that enables health systems and practices to improve financial performance, simplify clinical workflows, and optimize patient care outcomes. In its 19-year history, Ingenious Med’s mobile charge capture and practice analytics application has facilitated more than 150 million patient encounters across more than 80 percent of the country’s largest health systems and physician management companies — enhancing physician productivity, enabling real-time visibility into clinical operations, and increasing financial returns. Ingenious Med clients see an average annual revenue increase of $30,000 per physician full-time equivalent (FTE). To learn more, visit www.ingeniousmed.com.

Media Contact
Vanessa Ulrich
(410) 534.1161