Disclaimer: This blog article was written by an AdvancedMD partner. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of AdvancedMD.
The healthcare industry continues to face financial challenges as it navigates a perfect storm of declining revenue, increased consolidation, and COVID-19 impacts. Billing companies have a vital role to play in mitigating these issues for providers.
Therefore, there is an urgent need for technology that can streamline billing processes to improve cash flow and maximize revenue. One such solution is electronic charge aggregation – technology to efficiently consolidate and normalize charges coming into a billing service or central billing office (CBO) from multiple providers and systems, and automatically cleanse them and reconcile them against clinical notes, which are the ultimate source of truth for clinical care and all charges related to it. Here are three reasons to consider a charge aggregator solution:
Charge aggregation technology brings order to the geographic chaos.
Now that the world has gone virtual, healthcare has moved far beyond the four walls of a hospital or clinic, scattering providers everywhere from triage tents to their homes. Billing service and CBO staff also have shifted to a distributed workforce with employees both in the office and working remotely. Technology that helps accommodate this geographic dispersion is more critical than ever.
Charge aggregation technology masks complexity.
Billing services with multiple clients may have to ingest charges from multiple practice management and charge capture systems, making it time and labor intensive for billers and coders to collect and process charges. Without a charge aggregator that funnels all those charges from disparate sources into one central system, billers and coders will spend a lot of time each day jumping into and out of various systems. Charge aggregation software imports all charges into one foundational and flexible system for cleansing and processing, no matter what (or how many) source systems are contributing to the workflow.
Charge aggregation technology finds missing charges.
Charge-note reconciliation is an integral capability within a charge aggregation system. It’s vital to match charges to clinical notes to ensure that for every patient encounter there is an appropriate related charge. In one analysis, PatientKeeper identified an additional $1,500 in billing per month per hospitalist, and even more for specialists. Over the course of four months, that equated to over $2 million in lost revenue, or more than $6 million on an annual basis.
Provider organizations must look after their patients’ health and their own financial health. One cannot be accomplished without the other. Wise investments in IT are critical to both. Charge aggregation is a new technology that can significantly benefit the business side of the equation for healthcare providers and produce compelling ROI, making it a valuable tool for the billing services that support provider organizations.