According to research from the Healthcare Financial Management Association, “up to 1% of a health system’s net charges come from lost charge capture opportunities.” Even a 1% loss in these charges associated with payment for services provided “based on a health system’s master list of all billable services” can be significant.
Some healthcare providers may see charge capture activities as a lower priority administrative function. Some revenue cycle leaders don’t prioritize discussion of charge capture challenges either. This lack of prioritization as well as when charge capture opportunities are overlooked and when there is inadequate coordination between departments responsible for charge capture activities can result in:
- commonplace coding errors
- inadequate data for contract negotiation
- lost revenue opportunities
- delayed claims with increased back-end rework
- increased days in accounts receivable and administrative costs
Let’s look at reprioritizing to include charge capture – and its experts – as vital pieces of the revenue accuracy puzzle and what that means for organizational success.
Taking steps to improve charge capture
Improving charge capture starts with improving the way the process is managed. Revenue cycle experts are needed to ensure a reliable schedule is in place. They oversee the proper and accurate documentation of patient encounters that can be translated into separate codes for billing. This level of transparency strengthens revenue integrity beginning from the first visit and reduces compliance risk.
Let’s look at 3 steps you can take to improve charge capture for your organization:
#1: Prioritize discussion about challenges and changes.
Rules and needs for proper charge capture change frequently. It’s vital that your team understands these updates and how they impact their work and the organization’s bottom line. Meet consistently and frequently about changes as well as the state of charge capture opportunities.
#2: Document your way to success.
This is deeply connected to the tip above. Your team is more likely to be successful when they understand any changes needed and when those changes are discussed and documented. Having central guidance helps to remove room for error and to ensure a consistent approach is taken as your team grows and evolves. It can serve as an impactful tool during onboarding as well.
#3: Leverage experts.
It’s crucial that your organization’s clinical team can count on revenue experts – including experts in charge capture. This means having experts on board who recognize information gaps, problems with new processes, and other challenges and who can manage consistent and open communication about such concerns. Enhancing your team with these experts not only ensures accurate charge capture and provides a layer of protection against risk of missed revenue but it also helps build a fluid interdepartmental process.
Exploring what experts bring to the table
Considering the complexity of the healthcare system – including consistent revenue capture – organizations must have a revenue cycle team in place who can ensure they don’t go unpaid for services, supplies, medications, etc.
Technology can of course come into play here, but solutions can also create and foster a sense of security in yet another system – especially without the right mix of experts who can see around the corners to challenges and manage the technology.
These experts are tasked with increasing revenue integrity and reducing leakage. Charge capture leakage can only be decreased by implementing best practices with a highly qualified team and by providing interdepartmental training on evolving rules, regulations, and procedural terminology codes. This type of leadership from charge capture experts can unite your organization in its efforts to eliminate missed revenue opportunities and to establish greater communication.
The bottom line
- Up to 1% of a health system’s net charges come from lost charge capture opportunities, an amount that can create quite a significant impact to an organization.
- Experts in charge capture are needed to lead an organization’s approach to increasing revenue integrity and reducing leakage.
- Having central guidance helps to ensure a consistent approach is taken as your team grows and evolves.
- Technology is impactful to charge capture initiatives, but the right mix of experts are needed to see around the corners.
Our team of reimbursement experts are primed to ensure your organization’s reimbursement accuracy and to boost its revenue. Kick-start your journey with Team Harmony by clicking below.