Patient Care Charge Capture
As personal technology becomes commonplace, the medical profession is quickly realizing the need to capitalize on the efficiencies of these advancements. In particular, physicians are calling for a more effective and efficient way to record their interactions with patients. There is now the opportunity — and proven reason — to replace the outdated method of pen and 3” X 5” index card and migrate to an automated patient data capture solution.
North Shore Cardiopulmonary Associates recognized the far-reaching consequences of its antiquated patient care charge capture process on their small practice. Administrative costs were increasing, insurance reimbursement periods were extending and the quality of patient care was being compromised. The specialty practice needed an automated solution — an improved method to record patient data, in an organized, timely and accurate format and transmit it to a billing department without additional administrative manipulation. pMD was just the right prescription for North Shore.
North Shore realized its system of collecting patient data — a pen and index card — was outdated. More importantly, the consequences of inefficient patient care data capture were negatively impacting their practice:
For the small practice, the impact of these issues and inadequacies is potentially greater than on larger organizations. With three physicians in their practice, North Shore knew they needed to find the right solution.
“As a small, specialty practice, we needed a powerful solution that fit our size - not some complex IT architecture that took months to install, weeks to learn how to use and years to realize the value of the investment,” explained Dr. Paul Moulinié, partner, North Shore Cardiopulmonary Associates. “The ideal solution would provide real-time customer service, add real value and demonstrate an immediate ROI, without substantial training and additional in-house support staff.”
North Shore sought out an efficient and cost-effective way to expedite the organization and transmission of patient charge data, reduce costs, safeguard patient care, justify and expedite reimbursement and, ultimately, preserve the longevity of the practice.
“Our first step was to inventory the technology that we were already familiar with as a practice — PCs for daily record-keeping, handheld devices for personal schedules, the Internet for insurance claim transmission and other standard medical software,” explained Moulinié. “It made sense for our new patient charge capture solution to capitalize on our existing in-house technology and current level of technology know-how.”
pMD met North Shore’s criteria and was superior to other technologies in several areas including:
Ease of Use - pMD integrates technology that is already familiar to most physicians. Installed on a handheld device, the pMD application leads physicians through a series of prompts that require simply a point and click of a stylus to enter patient information as well as diagnosis and procedural codes. Patient data can be entered in seconds at the point of care. Furthermore, pMD is the only solution that enables wireless transmission of data so that physicians can synchronize their handheld devices from anywhere, at any time.
Ease of implementation - pMD manages the implementation and on-going maintenance and support of North Shore’s system. Trained technicians install pMD on physicians’ handheld devices and the office PCs and conduct comprehensive training sessions with all physicians and office staff. pMD had North Shore up and running in just three days.
Ultimate in Security - pMD meets North Shore’s high standards for patient data security and privacy. pMD’s best-of-breed technologies and data security systems ensure that patient data is never lost or shared with an unauthorized user.
With pMD in place, North Shore now had the power to effectively and efficiently capture patient data and process billing information.
“On a daily basis our practice uses pMD to record in-patient visits and speed our billing submission process,” said Moulinié. “After rounds I synchronize my handheld device with pMD’s central database, which enables me to exchange patient care data with other physicians in my practice. This way each physician can instantly and simultaneously gather the most up-to-date patient information.”
For the first month following implementation of pMD, North Shore physicians continued to record inpatient data using the previous paper-based system in order to compare methods and capture first-hand the amount of increased revenue generated by pMD.
The comparison period revealed substantial revenue gains as a result of utilizing pMD to capture inpatient charges. Revenue gains were realized as a result of an increase in charges captured, as well as a decrease in expenses. The result - a quantifiable return on investment.
Increased Annual Revenue - North Shore realized an immediate increase in revenue due to an increase in the number of charges captured and the transmission of accurate patient data. By eliminating errors in procedure and diagnosis coding and reducing charge omissions, revenue per physician increased by $67,000 per year.
Shortened Reimbursement Cycle - By seamlessly integrating with North Shore’s in-house billing department, pMD enabled instantaneous transmission of patient data on the day of care. North Shore’s patient charges are now submitted to the payor within 24 hours because pMD eliminated the need for translation of handwritten notes and automated the data entry process. The practice immediately realized improved cash flow, as insurance reimbursements were no longer delayed due to errors and administrative overload.
More Free Time – By using pMD North Shore physicians spent less time recording patient data. These tremendous time savings enabled the physicians to increase their leisure and family time.
Reduced Administrative Costs - Administrative costs were significantly reduced for North Shore’s in-house billing department because pMD reduced time spent entering transactions by 75% and time spent researching rejected transactions by 80%. These time savings helped North Shore reduce overtime expenditures and eliminate cyclical staff-ups for audit preparation.
“By delivering a tremendous ROI for our practice and providing exceptional customer service, pMD has made our transition to this new automated process painless,” confirmed Moulinié. “We would recommend pMD to any of our peers in small, specialty practices.”