Charge Capture & its Best Practices to Implement at Your Practice

Best practices for charge practices

“A Healthcare Service Provider’s financial success is directly proportional to the accuracy of charging for services rendered.”

Medical billing and RCM have become increasingly complex and compound ever since the witnessed advancements in value-based reimbursements and EHR technology.

Charge capture is often seen as a never-ending process within a healthcare organization, given how hard and monotonous it is to do consistently on a regular basis. And as per different surveys conducted over supreme challenges that weaken the Revenue Cycle Management are missing and lagging charges.

This calls for practices to show strenuous care towards un-billed  encounters and missing charges as they ultimately result in an underpayment of services.

What is a Charge Capture?

HFMA (Healthcare Financial Management Association) states, 

“One percent of net patient revenue is lost due to charge capture inaccuracies. “

Charge Capture is a process whereby doctors or medical service providers record information to get paid for their provided services/treatments which is further transferred to the payer organizations for reimbursement.

Every service is translated into a specific code which is submitted for further processing to the insurance companies where the big variable in charge capture accounts for the way in which it is recorded and rendered to the billing staff.

However, not all among the above are fully reliant, practices must pay attention to the techniques used related to charge capture. 

Varying Charge Capture Process Modes

The charge capture process is critically important for medical professionals as the adequate running of the process enables them to get paid for their services. This requires them to record or document the details of the procedures in a legible, clear, and descriptive way to allow medical billers and coders to forge the correct diagnosis to the appropriate level of detail and capture unerring procedures for successful and timely payment collections.

The operational processes used to solicit the clinical information and fetch them to the coders are different, some still rely on paper-based systems while others have transitioned to digital/electronic means.

Usual Ways to capture charges:

-Smartphones

-Spreadsheets

-Post-it Notes

[Prefer Reading: Alleviate your Medical Practice’s Operational Challenges via RPA Implementation]

Charge Capture Challenges

Putting multiple systems to practice or combining paper-based and digital processes alongside arouse the following stony challenges

-Charge lags

-Integration with EHR

-Missing charges

-Coding errors

-Compliance

-General inefficiencies

Can Electronic Charge Capture serve as a Solution to the Upfront Challenges?

Compared to the index cards or hospital print-outs electronic means of charge capture ensure enhanced billing accuracy with faster reporting and reduces the data entry probable errors that prone to delays in the reimbursement.

Busy with caring for patients, it becomes challenging to list all the codes corresponding to the service where not every time a doctor or a physician is sure to memorize the exact code. But deploying a digital health system enabled with automation keeps such limitations at bay and moreover can incorporate the changing healthcare requirements and regulations to make revenue cycle procedures as easy as a cakewalk.

Smart devices, today, are facilitated with various charge capture applications, allowing them to enter charges on the go with advanced code search functionality that is nimble, reliable, and easy-going.

Electronic/Mobile Charge Capture also widens the array of CPT codes that is made available to the provider instead of a few restricted options that leverages coding prospects with better and more accurate results.

By syncing data internally and externally, the digital software systems help to extend the practice to the hospital and vice versa, enabling providers to stay on top of everything in real-time.

[Prefer Reading: 5 Ways to Improve Claim Denial Rates For Your Healthcare Center]

Charge Capture Leading Practices

#Set Roles 

Set roles and responsibilities for both service providers and the RCM team, laying out a robust plan in action and sticking to it until further manipulations are made.

Be mindful that your plan addresses the following:

  • Who is responsible for charge capture?
  • What are the time limits for charge capture entry?
  • Who tracks the signing off on supporting documentation?
  • Deadlines for addressing queries & discrepancies
  • Audits & audit review plan

#Optimize with Technology

In this technology-driven world, leveraging digital solutions becomes the hourly need to eliminate paper-based procedures and inefficiencies causing charge capture flaws. With automation-enabled solutions, one can consistently modify and update charges, eliminating uncertain errors in the overall revenue cycle processes.

 The electronic health system can count on to capture revenue, increase operational efficiency and improve billing compliance.

#Educate to Overcome Adoption Issues

A single glitch in the recording or assessing the charges or capturing demographic and insurance data can imbalance  the process to acquire expected billing outcomes. If the stakeholders and the staff involved in the process are not acquainted with the charge capture process or the critical steps involved raise high chances of witnessing problems.

Uneducated staff/teams would deliver inconsistent results, leading to delayed reimbursement or underpayments. With insurance companies frequently updating their coverage, the provider and its working professionals must understand the significance of adhering to rules being up-to-date.

#Connect Providers & Revenue Cycle Team

A medical practice’s success highly depends on the teams deployed to work on its billing procedures. Sync between you and your RCM team forms a strong foundation for alleviating unnecessary errors dragged in the charge capturing process. 

A legible communication between both ensures that billers get what they need and providers can ask questions when they’re not sure about the best path forward.

#Audit Processes Frequently

Regular auditing of the charge capture process ensures the submission of correct charges rendered for a service or treatment. Along with auditing the standard billing, it’s better to pay attention to the services that have both technical and professional aspects. (like radiology — to check that both codes were added into the system.)

Get the Right Reliable Partner to Overcome Charge Capture Challenges!

We help you meet minimum timeliness standards for charge capture by executing a repeatable, high integrity process that is powered by guided business intelligence and driven by tech-solutions.

[Prefer Reading: Care-on-Demand: A Visible Approach to Digitize Patient Intake Process [NetSet Digital]]

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