We're in the 'secret weapon' business

authored by added November 16, 2010 21:00 by Matt Sluzinski

At pmFAQtory, we’ve long known that computer-assisted coding is a powerful strategic tool that health care providers can use to maximize revenue and decrease expenses. That’s why we focus on helping health care organizations implement CodeRyte, the most sophisticated and accurate computer-assisted coding system in the world.

An article in Health Management Technology earlier this year even referred to computer-assisted coding as “the secret weapon” (“Computer-assisted coding: the secret weapon” by Mark Morsch).

Let me explain. Following a patient visit, a physician verbally dictates notes about the patient’s symptoms and diagnosis, and about any procedures performed during the visit. These notes are then transcribed by hand or voice-recognition software. But a provider can’t send all that raw information directly to a patient or third-party payer (e.g., an insurance company) as a bill.

Before a bill can be generated, someone — or something — must parse those notes and catalog “what happened” during the visit using a standard set of several thousand numeric “codes.” This process of coding, believe it or not, is still done solely by humans at many clinics and hospitals. Can you imagine the inefficiency?

Enter computer-assisted coding software. Think of these applications like filters. In go the rough physician’s notes, out come of the clean numeric codes. In some cases, a human may double-check the software’s accuracy, but oftentimes these codes can be sent straight into the provider’s billing system, after which a bill is created and sent out.

The Health Management Technology article specifically mentions productivity, accuracy, consistency, transparency, and compliance as benefits of computer-assisted coding. For health care providers, this adds up to better efficiency and money saved.

Let’s take a look at some real numbers. In 2009, pmFAQtory project-managed the implementation of CodeRyte’s CodeAssist application for a large health care organization in the Midwest.

We finished that CodeRyte project in July 2009. Since then, the organization has reduced their data entry staff by six full-time equivalents (FTEs) and their coding staff by one FTE. They’re also saving 1.8 million sheets of paper per year. (We’d tell you how many trees that is, but there’s no simple calculation!)

Today, pmFAQtory is busy implementing CodeRyte at the University of Chicago Medical Center, and expect them to realize similar — if not greater — benefits.

Are you in the “secret weapon” market? Get in touch.

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