Charge capture is incredibly important for the financial success of hospitals and health practices, but according to a new survey of growth leaders, it’s not a frequently discussed topic among healthcare executives. Healthcare organizations that fail to accurately document information on the care provided at their facilities can potentially lose millions in revenue. In its simplest form, charge capture is the process whereby doctors record information on their services, which is then sent out to billers and insurance companies for reimbursement. The Sage Growth Partners survey found that a full 78 percent of respondents characterize charge capture as “essential” to their organization’s success. Twenty-one percent characterize it as useful, and 1 percent say it’s optional.
Despite this, leadership teams at 40 percent of organizations talk about charge capture once a month or less. One-third discuss it weekly, while 18 percent discuss it twice a month, 8 percent discuss it daily, and 2 percent never discuss it at all.
Electronic health record solutions are the default, but they’re not well-liked.
Most healthcare organizations, 84 percent, rely at least partly on their EHR systems for charge capture. Half use it exclusively as their charge capture solution. Just over a quarter, 28 percent, use electronic, standalone solutions as part of their charge capture mix, while 27 percent use paper charge capture.
When asked how likely they are to recommend their current charge capture solution, using the Net Promoter Score methodology, only 10 percent of respondents are promoters. More than half are detractors.
While doctors are held slightly more responsible for charge capture than coders, coders spend significant time tracking down the information they need from doctors, results show. Forty percent say the doctor and the coder should be equally responsible for accurately capturing charges. Nineteen percent believe the responsibility rests more on the coder than the doctor, while 31 percent say the doctor should be held more responsible than the coder.
Some 6 percent say the doctor should be exclusively responsible, while 4 percent say the coder should be exclusively responsible.
WHAT ELSE YOU SHOULD KNOW
In descending order, respondents’ most significant charge capture challenges include missing charges; charge lag; general inefficiency; integration with EHR or other technologies; coding errors; adoption adherence; and compliance.
Almost a third say their charges are captured within 24 hours of service. A quarter say it takes 1-2 days, 35 percent say it takes 3-7 days, 6 percent say it takes more than a week, and 2 percent say charges are captured in less than an hour.
Thirty-three percent report that the time between charge capture and bill submission is 1-3 days. Forty-one percent say it takes 4-7 days, 24 percent say it takes 1-4 weeks, and 2 percent say it takes more than four weeks.
Last June, Jeff Hurst, senior vice president of revenue cycle management and president of RevWorks at Cerner, told Healthcare Finance News the next generation of revenue cycle management would be supported by artificial intelligence to empower the proactive self-sufficiency of consumers and staff efficiency for providers.
As part of that picture, AI will likely be positioned to improve the charge capture picture, as well as those of registration, scheduling, and billing and collections.
MD Coder is a dedicated charge capture solution that physicians use as a tool to capture charges easily, and quickly at the point of care. With EHR integrations, we provide an automated process that can easily be customized to fit any practice’s work flow. MD Coder specializes in preventing missing charges, charge lag, and coding errors with it’s suite of automation and artificial intelligence features. Missing charge notifications, automatic MIPS capture, and other intelligent workflows make MD Coder a head-and-shoulders superior charge capture solution than a traditional EHR.