How Intelligent Charge Capture Is Transforming Healthcare Billing

Updated on September 28, 2022

The healthcare industry is evolving at a rapid pace, and some of the key areas of change are billing and charge capture. These are critical components of the revenue cycle in any healthcare facility. However, over 71% of the industry still uses paper and batching, which are outdated processes that are not just time-consuming and labor-intensive but error prone and highly revenue inefficient. 

Fortunately, the roadblocks to a digital solution are now non-existent as charge capture on a smartphone or tablet is transforming healthcare billing.

Intelligent charge capture apps are streamlining how hospitals and healthcare providers take notes, chart, check treatment progresses, make diagnostic changes, bill patients and insurance companies, and manage their practice. 

Here are nine ways this innovative technology is making a difference:

1. Automating the Billing Process

Charge capture in its modern form can automate much of the traditional billing process, saving up to 32% of the time it used to take while reducing errors and missed charges by 15-23%. 

Combining the digital methodologies with artificial intelligence and state of the art technology can also automatically identify patterns, assess coding optimization, suggest improvements, catch missing encounters, apply corrections based on preset rules engines, offer frequently used context as templates, track claims, estimate payment amounts and timelines, and track key variables from the point of care to the final payment in order to optimize the next claim. 

As a result, hospitals and doctors can spend less time on “ordinary” tasks and more time caring for patients while generating better bottom line returns.

Often referred to as ultramodern charge capture for rounding doctors, an app for hospital or SNF based physicians will go beyond simply streamlining billing and offering a better net to catch the revenue that used to slip through the cracks. It will also provide incredible transparency and real-time visibility into the status of each bill, so you can always track its progress and improve the process. By moving into a digital environment accessible from the phone you carry with you anyway, you can also quickly resolve any issues that may arise. With automation and machine learning seeded across the entire billing process, you can be sure that you are collecting at the highest levels while investing the least amount of time possible.

2. Improving Accuracy and Efficiency

Speed is what the marketing companies focus on, but accuracy and efficiency are the true metrics to note when evaluating charge capture.

Accurately charging for healthcare services in a hospital environment is essential to maintaining optimal revenue flow and the process of choosing the right code for the services rendered can be tricky. Intelligent charge capture can improve accuracy by evaluating choices and automatically identifying optimal charges and their associated medical codes based on encounter data. This ensures that bills are correctly coded and processed, preventing costly mistakes.

What’s more, intelligent charge capture can also help with efficiency. This is essentially doing it right with the least amount of effort. Less time charting and billing, better results, more time with the patient practicing actual medicine. Win, win, win.

3. Enhancing Patient Care

Intelligent charge capture can also improve patient care by helping hospitals track services provided and charges incurred. This information can help hospitals better understand their patients’ needs and optimize their care plans accordingly. Additionally, it can help hospitals detect fraud and abuse more easily.

As a result, patients can receive the best possible care while also helping to prevent waste and fraud. With more data available, hospitals can make more informed decisions about how to allocate their resources. This leads to better patient outcomes and a more efficient healthcare system overall with smooth revenue cycle management.

4. Automating Insurance Claims

To receive payment from insurance companies, physicians must submit encounter claims detailing patient services and degrees of the encounter. In the ultramodern world of intelligent medicine, some charge captures can now help with this process by automatically generating claims based on the information captured by the technology during rounds. It’s a full service partially automated rounding that reduces both billing and charting by capturing and processing secure data then running it through billing teams and AI enhanced rules engines. This makes submitting claims as simple as having your phone while rounding, ensuring that doctors get paid quickly and accurately for the services they provide while reducing workloads.

5. Reducing Costs

By automating tasks such as billing and full-service coding, new capture technology can streamline operations and save time and money. First it eliminates paper usage, then data losses through paper transfers and batch billing, then computer and data entry workloads, then biller burdens by cleaning and verifying the data while identifying gaps and problems. Clean claim rates are just one of many goals but they are an important one for costs as denials and the need to reprocess denied claims increases expenditures exponentially which in turn reduces the revenue cycle returns. 

In addition, intelligent charge capture when combined with feedback loops and end-to-end revenue analysis can offer opportunities for revenue improvement in a variety of ways from patterns of coding inefficiencies to preventable losses at the provider or practice level.  

6. Integrated Two Way Syncs

The best charge captures offer integrations with other necessary systems. The hospital or facility EHR is one such system and as the EHR of note, it is responsible for storing and securing HIPAA data, charts, patient information, diagnostics, patient histories, demographics, insurance information, medications, prescriptions, allergies, and ongoing care notes for coverage. 

Too often however, the integrations are lackluster and incomplete, meaning the physician has to do data entry twice or transfer documents or look things up in one system to enter in another. The bane of every doctor’s existence is the time spent as a clerk, sitting at a computer typing things in at the end of the day or the week. A doctor should be free to do what they are best at, see patients, diagnose issues, and offer professional medical treatments and advice.

Integrated charge capture eliminates all the extra data entry and issues, pulling patient info and charts from the facility to the phone pre or during a visit, then syncing all the new data from the phone to the facility after a visit, massively reducing the administrative workload. And the average doctor utilizes a minimum of three softwares or services beyond an EHR that have to integrate with each other as well. An all-in-one integrated solution with a two-way sync to the facility EHR solves all of that.

7. Increased Visibility

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Better data. Better decisions. Transparency is the key and most software and systems now fail at transparency. Either they are trying to simplify for the client, or don’t want to let you see how they are making their sausage.

But claim processing is not a sausage factory. It is your wallet, and you should be able to see what’s in your wallet at any given time, as well as see what’s coming out of it. 

When you combine transparency with KPIs and practical reporting, you really get an intelligent capture system that offers more than base functionality.

An Essential Tech Tool for an Evolving Healthcare Industry

Apps have moved from eccentricity to necessity and are now an essential mobile tool for any rounding doctor or hospitalist practice. With the need to see more patients and the increasing complexity of insurance billing, it’s more important than ever to have an advanced and highly capable charge capture solution that can reduce your workload, streamline your rounding processes, keep you organized, and most of all, make sure you get paid. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.