Advanced Revenue Cycle Analytics: An Overview

What does White Plume Technologies contribute to the healthcare technology field? Find out in this question and answer session!

Q: What’s with the name “White Plume”?

white-plume-logo2

A: “White Plume” doesn’t explain what we do; it tells you how we do it. The name “White Plume” comes from our founder’s favorite play, Cyrano de Bergerac. Cyrano, the protagonist, ends his final soliloquy saying that everything has been taken from him except his white plume. His white plume is a symbol of his integrity. Personal and corporate integrity should govern  everything we do: from hiring, to sales, to the implementation and support of our products. Even in our development process we strive to “under promise and over deliver.” We think that is a huge gap software vendors inadvertently created with their customers and we strive to be different and fill that gap. That’s why we named the company White Plume Technologies.

Q: Who best benefits from White Plume?

A: Practices that are trying to identify and fill the productivity, expense, and revenue gaps in their operations seem to benefit the most from what we do.  More specifically, those practices that are looking for ways to accelerate the charge capture and coding process benefit tremendously. If we were to answer a job posting for a charge entry specialist or a medical coding specialist and answer it on behalf of our products and services, we would make the ideal candidate with an impeccable resume.

Just think if you had an opening for a charge entry position and a candidate responded with the following qualifications: Able to enter 1,250 charges an hour without mistakes, catch any notes physicians put on the form, and never get sick, take a vacation day or need to be replaced. Or, what if your practice had an opening for a medical coder and a candidate responded with references who could vouch for their proven ability to never forget a rule, only have to be told once if a rule is changed, and take into account any of the practice or physician preferences that need to be remembered in order to prevent denials and ensure proper reimbursement? And if that was more than you could hope for, this ideal candidate would probably be willing to work for less than what you were willing to pay!

Q: What type of solutions do you offer?

A: We offer solutions to accelerate your practice’s charge capture and coding process. Practice acceleration is all about taking the current process which is complex, labor intensive and error prone and accelerating it—making it better and faster. The end result is a less labor intensive and error prone process that makes sure you are paid correctly for all of your charges the first time.

AccelaCAPTURE, or accelerated capture, is basically a superbill under glass. We convert your superbill—or superbills if you have multiple—into a digital format where they can be accessed on the screen. Instead of circling, a click selects the procedure or diagnosis code. To the physician, the change is minimal (the electronic superbill looks much like their former paper superbill) but it moves the practice from a paper based environment to an electronic solution and dramatically accelerates the charge capture process.

AccelaPASS, or accelerated integration, is for physicians who document their charges through the electronic medical record (EMR) template. Our solution is able to receive charge data from the EMR and electronically pass it to the PM system of your choice.

AccelaSMART, or accelerated intelligence, allows practices to begin with CMS’s LCD/NCD guidelines, add known carrier specific information, and then supply important provider specific details to the charge data to ensure each charge has been coded correctly. Rather than manually inspecting every charge, every day, AccelaSMART automatically flags encounters that have a potential error that may cause a denial. Users can then easily make appropriate corrections before those charges are posted to the PM system. This dramatically accelerates the revenue cycle by making sure claims are paid correctly the first time, regardless of how or where they were captured.

AccelaMOBILE is mobile charge capture. Doctors capture charge data on whatever device they are most comfortable using. That billing information is available to their billing staff as soon as the charges are complete. Doctors can manage their rounding list and appointments within AccelaMOBILE and quickly capture charges to complete an encounter. AccelaMOBILE can be used on your favorite device—iPhone, Android, iPad, tablet, laptop, desktop. It is extremely flexible and intuitive.

AccelaSCAN, or accelerated scanning, is a customizable paper superbill that looks very similar to what most doctors use today. Once the doctor completes them, they are read by a scanner that can process 1200 superbills per hour, reading both the front and back of the form in a single pass.

Q: Why do healthcare practices choose White Plume Technologies to solve their charge capture and coding problems?

A: We help them do what they do better. People have a natural expectation that EMR software will work exactly the way they expect it to. It doesn’t. White Plume works in a very specialized but powerful way to accelerate the charge entry and coding review process. Our customers use our products because they have found that there is a productivity gap in the EMR or EHR and PM systems they have in place today. Their existing systems do not handle the charge capture and coding process as fast and efficient as they should.

Q: Should White Plume clients have the same EMR and PMIS vendor or best of breed?

A: There are advantages to either approach from the practice perspective, so we accelerate practices regardless of their circumstances.

Clients who have chosen a best of breed approach may notice a functionality gap or even a basic interoperability gap between the disparate systems. We bridge those gaps by accelerating the process from the EMR to the PM system, allowing you the flexibility of utilizing the system that is best for your practice without losing the benefits of charge capture acceleration. In a way we are like the Swiss, we are neutral and can work with both parties and ensure that the critical charge data gets from point A to point B and gets cleaned during the process.

Conversely, clients who have chosen an integrated approach to their EMR/PM systems have found that the design and workflow of the EMR charge capture and coding process actually slows them down or causes their denials to increase. Rather than disrupting workflow or adding additional personnel to fill these design and workflow gaps, these practices look to our solutions for help.

Q: If someone has an EMR, why would they need White Plume to accelerate the charge capture and medical coding review process?

A: Doctors want EMRs to be fast, easy, and intuitive while practice administrators and billing staff want the charge capture process to be complete, accurate, and workable. The problem is that ‘complete, accurate, and workable’ is a very complex process. Most practices deal with hundreds of payers who apply thousands of different rules. Relying on a physician to remember the rules and keep up with the changes is a losing proposition for all concerned. AccelaSMART provides the practice administrator and billing staff the tools they need to bill appropriately the first time, without requiring the doctor to change what they do or become a coding expert.

Many of our clients already have an EMR installed from some of the top vendors in the market.  The reason that they use our solutions in addition to their EMR is all about acceleration. How can they get the job done faster, at a lower cost and with better results? A good analogy might be finding the best way to dig a ditch. Can you use a spoon to dig a large ditch? Absolutely (but it wouldn’t be a wise choice). Could you use a shovel? Yes, that would be better than a spoon. But what if you could use a backhoe? If a backhoe were available, that would be the best solution.

It’s all about acceleration—how do you complete the job as quickly and as accurately as possible? Ditch diggers dig ditches every day and physicians create patient charges every day.   That’s where we help. It really depends on how you want to capture the charge data as a physician: Do you or your physicians prefer an EMR, electronic superbill, paper superbill, or an iPhone application? With White Plume, you can choose however and wherever you want to do it, without having a negative impact on the billing process.

The physician is the primary revenue generator in a practice, so his or her time is incredibly valuable. However, making the physician productive should not impede the productivity of the administrative staff. A balance must be achieved. Many of our clients who use an EMR actually choose to stay on a paper superbill because of the speed and ease of use for the physician. If the best way to accelerate the charge capture and coding process in your practice is to continue to use a paper superbill, we can help you do that as well. However or wherever you would like to accelerate your practice, we can help.

Q: Could you explain White Plume Technologies’ free mobile charge capture application?

A: We have built a cloud based application, AccelaMOBILE, accessible on any smartphone or PC. With a username and password, physicians can now have access to a powerful mobile solution. AccelaMOBILE allows physicians to quickly capture the charge data on an iPhone or Android device while immediately making that data available to the billing staff. In the end, the doctor isn’t burdened with remembering to bring back a piece of paper.

Probably the most exciting part of AccelaMOBILE is that it is offered in a free version. This is not a trial version, but rather a free version. If physicians want to capture their charge data and make it available to their billing staff electronically in a standalone environment, there is no cost.

Of course we are a business and do have to get paid. A lot of people ask, ‘What’s the catch?’ ‘How does that work?’ It’s very simple. We have other products AccelaMOBILE can interact with such as AccelaSMART. We can also interface our products with the practice management system. Some physicians that use AccelaMOBILE will want to take advantage of some of those other applications that do have a charge associated with them. However, AccelaMOBILE as a standalone application is free. There’s no catch or time restriction, it’s a free application we host in the cloud for providers using it as a standalone application.

Q: What is the EMR Gap?

A: Right now the development priorities for most EMR vendors are being dictated largely by the federal government and the meaningful use guidelines. There seems little time and few resources available to develop anything outside of meaningful use. And yet, many gaps exist in the functionality and the workflow of current EMRs. We have focused on and developed technologies that help fill those EMR gaps to help EMRs work the way customers need them to work.

Practices have a choice. They can wait until their EMR vendor eventually gets past their heightened focus on meaningful use or they can begin to accelerate the process now by filling some of those gaps. If and when EMRs provide significant and enhanced functionality for the charge capture and coding process, our flexible day-to-day contract that will allow you to exit at any time without penalty.

Q: Will White Plume Technologies be ready for the ICD-10 changeover?

A: For ICD-10, White Plume will not only be ready but we will also fill many significant gaps that will need to be addressed by every practice as a result of the cutover. Much focus is being given to the changes that coders will have to make to accommodate ICD-10. We think that the most important thing that should be examined in ICD-10 is how that change will affect the physician. As we know, many physicians are change averse, especially when the change is expensive and time-consuming. We have solutions that are uniquely positioned to minimize the change that the physician experiences from Monday, September 30, 2013 to Tuesday, October 1, 2013.