Advanced Revenue Cycle Analytics: An Overview
In a post Meaningful Use era, many people are surprised to learn that they are not alone that their practice continues to use paper superbills. While all certified EHRs are capable of capturing charge data through point and click templates, many practices continue to use paper superbills due to concerns about physician productivity.
#1 – Manual Charge Entry is Expensive and Error Prone
The most obvious revenue cycle problem caused by paper superbills is manual charge entry into the billing or practice management system. Manual data entry typically takes between 2-3 minutes per encounter, which for a large high volume practice can mean several FTEs dedicated only to charge entry. Furthermore, many practices combine the coding and data entry function. This means that revenue cycle staff is splitting their time between data entry work and true coding work which usually leads to less accurate coding and more mistakes.
#2 – Lack of Physician Specific Customization
Another revenue cycle problem caused by the paper superbill is the lack of physician specific customization. The paper superbill is limited by the physician dimensions of an 8.5 x 11 inch piece of paper. Due to the costs of creating and maintaining different versions of the paper superbill, many practices will only have a few different versions of superbill that are designed to accommodate the average physician and the average patient. This means physicians are often writing in descriptions or codes, which slows down both the physician and revenue cycle.
#3 – Low Visibility to Coding Changes and Coder Productivity
The third revenue cycle problem caused by the paper superbill is the lack of transparency into the revenue cycle and coding process. Management does not have visibility into the changes that revenue cycle staff make during charge entry. It is also very difficult to reliably measure and compare revenue cycle staff productivity. Without performance metrics and analytics, it is very difficult for revenue cycle leaders to identify problems and solutions within the revenue cycle process.