Leverage Technology to Improve Business Office Efficiency Tips on training and implementation BY RANDY BISHOP

If you have worked in the ASC industry long enough, you have likely heard a phrase along the lines of “case volume is

the lifeblood of an ASC.” While cases are vital to an ASC’s success—after all, without cases, there are no billable services—cases on their own will not make or break a surgery center. What will have a profound impact is the per- formance of an ASC’s business office. Just how important is the business office? Consider that a poorly perform- ing business office, when you factor in issues such as denied claims, unsuc- cessful patient collections and the time and resources allocated to appeals and collections follow-up, can turn a prof- itable procedure into one that can lose an ASC money.

If such a scenario is commonplace, performing more procedures—i.e., growing case volume—will not appro- priately contribute to the success of an ASC. On the other hand, a well-run business office capable of achieving timely, accurate billing and collections will help an ASC achieve its financial and growth goals.

Solutions That Deliver Results The good news for ASCs is that the importance of business office per- formance has not gone unnoticed. In recent years, numerous companies have launched technologies aimed at improving ASC business office effi- ciency and performance. Such technol- ogies are either intended to help make it easier for business office staff mem- bers to complete their responsibilities or dramatically reduce—if not elimi- nate—a responsibility altogether. Consider these business office- related technologies.

20 ASC FOCUS APRIL 2019 | Mobile transcription app—A sig- Online patient registration—

People have become accustomed to performing numerous tasks online. Now patients can easily complete their ASC registration online as well. With this service, patients provide their personal information, insurance information and health history via computer or smartphone. This tech- nology helps reduce the need for busi- ness office staff to complete numer- ous phone or in-person interviews and can improve accuracy of patient infor- mation required for billing. Eligibility verification—Few

developments can more significantly derail efficient collections than inac- curate patient insurance information. Patients might provide an outdated insurance card or their plan might change between when their proce- dure was scheduled and the surgery date. Insurance information errors can lead to claims denials, incor- rect amounts collected from patients and other billing headaches. Eligi- bility verification technology allows business office staff to quickly ver- ify insurance information and deter- mine whether a procedure is covered. It also can help determine a patient’s financial responsibility.

nificant challenge ASCs can face is getting their physicians to dictate and finalize operative reports in a timely manner. Delays in completing the operative report increase the time for claims submission and grow an ASC’s accounts receivable (A/R). A mobile transcription app can encourage physi- cians to finish their portion of the med- ical record faster. While functional- ity between such apps can differ, they generally provide physicians with the ability to select a case and then dic- tate its operative report into their smart device’s microphone. The app sends the dictation for transcription. When transcription is completed, the phy- sician can review, revise and sign the operative report. Document management—One of the most time-consuming responsibili- ties for business office staff in an ASC using paper records is completion and retrieval of patient charts. Document management software, which essen- tially turns paper records into digital charts, helps streamline these processes by eliminating manual chart prepara- tion and searching. Such software also can flag missing forms required for completed charts. Business office staff spend less time assembling, reviewing and finding charts and more time com- pleting tasks that require more manual processes. This technology also frees up critical office space used for paper chart storage and reduces or eliminates costs associated with offsite chart stor- age and retrieval fees. Data

analytics—The greater

insight an ASC has into its business office, the better it can improve per- formance. This is where data analytics software come in. ASCs that use busi- ness intelligence analytics can dive

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