Even before the pandemic struck in early 2020, healthcare coding and billing staff were experiencing burnout due to staffing shortages amid increasing pressure to optimize collections and avoid audits. But after COVID-19 hit, administrative burnout intensified as many non-clinical staff were furloughed and those remaining often had to work remotely. Further, since many coders and billers are women, they often bear much of the burden of caring for children who could no longer attend school or daycare.
These conditions required coding and billing departments to be more efficient without sacrificing speed and quality. Paperless systems became critical to prevent virus transmission and enable staff to work remotely.
Organizations using point-of-care charge capture tools have had an advantage. For example, Ingenious Med® quickly added new telehealth and COVID codes and flags and other functionality that helped health systems and physician groups code new pandemic-related encounters without impacting workflows or increasing administrative burden.
Here are six ways we’re helping our customers improve efficiency and reduce the risk of biller, coder and administrative burnout.
Ingenious Med’s intelligent code filtering and favorites lists help physicians code encounters correctly up front, lightening the load on billing and coding teams when the charge comes to them. These features also enable administrative staff to focus on more complex claims to ensure timely, appropriate reimbursement by the payer.
A large medical group in Texas has used Ingenious Med to help prevent burnout among practice managers and coordinators by integrating the ADT (patient demographics and payor information) and DFT (billing data) feeds with its EHR to decrease the need for manual coding. The platform’s ability to proactively catch errors and issues enable the group to streamline its general reporting and access to data and improve its workflow efficiency and revenue capture.
The application also uses prompts, indicators, messages and push notifications to proactively encourage providers to capture critical data — from service charges to quality measure data — via mobile or web. These automatic notices free administrators from having to remind providers to provide this information so they can focus on the needs of the practice. Similarly, the Ingenious Med® application provides management tools to help staff with critical tasks such as managing patient assignments, identifying missing bills (irrespective of CNR) and monitoring charge lag. Dashboards present critical information so that they can measure performance from a practice standpoint, including key revenue cycle metrics.
2. Charge Note Reconciliation
Ingenious Med’s new Charge Note Reconciliation feature prevents hospitals and physician practices from submitting claims that are missing documentation while preventing revenue losses. The system automatically checks for corresponding notes to substantiate each and every charge. When notes are missing, it automatically alerts the physician to complete the record and conditionally holds charges until they have. Charge Note Reconciliation also identifies missing revenue opportunities by scanning for clinical notes that lack a corresponding charge. These two functions not only help increase compliance and contribute to revenue integrity. They also eliminate the time administrative teams waste on manual reconciliation.
The platform’s electronic superbills can be customized by administrators, who can use focused lists of codes and code bundles plus optional default modifiers to combine each practice’s preferred terms with specialty-specific CPT and diagnosis codes. By simplifying configuration, administrative staff can update superbills centrally and distribute them instantly to meet the changing needs of their provider teams. They can now revise billing sheets, notify, train and disseminate updated materials without being distracted from managing the practice.
4. Advanced Analytics
To help billing and coding managers monitor the workload and productivity of remote teams, Ingenious Med’s administrative dashboards deliver near real-time metrics at a glance. This proves extremely useful for evaluating coders and quickly identifying biller productivity where workloads are excessive, or where there might be availability in the system so resources can be rebalanced as needed. Analytics also enable workers to compare their own accuracy and productivity against their peers, incentivizing them for consistent performance.
5. Provider Incentives
The Texas group also uses Ingenious Med to ensure that its providers drop bills within 24 hours, relieving its staff of the need to track this activity manually. After tying hospitalist bonuses to timely charge submission starting June 2020, it is now meeting its goal of having 99% of charges submitted within 24 hours of service delivery.
Read more in our recent white paper, Rising to the Challenge: How Leading Healthcare Organizations are Thriving in an Evolving Revenue Environment.
6. Go-Live Training and Support
A health system in Indiana found that having support from the Ingenious Med team throughout a roll-out involving hundreds of providers in numerous locations helped prevent administrative burnout. Our staff ensured that providers were promptly connected to the interface and thoroughly trained. They assisted with user training by answering provider questions, sharing best practices and immediately fixing any issues. These supplemental training resources freed the administrative teams to focus on more revenue-enhancing tasks.
Beyond the technology itself, a vendor’s support team can make or break administrative burnout situations. In addition to delivering an easy-to-learn and use tool that doesn’t require intensive training, Ingenious Med’s prompt and ongoing support was essential for a large emergency physician group in Michigan to ensure that all its many user types in numerous locations adhered to quality assurance best practices.