Why Including Anesthesia Services in a Single-Bill Strategy Makes Sense

Gary Keeling | February 19, 2022 | 6 views

Bill Strategy

As competition for patients intensifies, more hospitals and health systems are embracing a consolidated, single-bill approach for services rendered. Creating a single bill for the patient’s portion of inpatient or outpatient services can help eliminate confusion and reduce the ill will that frequently results when patients receive multiple invoices for a single care event. Yet incorporating anesthesia charges into a consolidated invoice is often problematic due to the unique nature of the anesthesia billing compliance. 

Anesthesia Billing Service Hurdles

A few weeks ago, I met with the CEO of a 300-bed hospital. We discussed anesthesia billing, and he explained that his hospital traditionally outsourced this portion of its billing due to the more complex nature of anesthesia coding and the need to collect anesthesia minutes for billing. Unlike most inpatient services, anesthesia charges are not directly derived from CPT codes but instead utilize minutes and modifiers unique to the specialty.

That means coders must use a CPT crosswalk to account for ASA codes, base and time units, emergency- and physical-status monitors, split anesthesia units reflecting CRNA involvement, and other specialty-specific nuances. Most coders and hospital billing staff are not trained in these complexities, and hiring and retaining capable staff in today’s competitive market can be difficult. Moreover, many billing platforms are simply not equipped to incorporate all the variables necessary to produce an accurate anesthesia bill.

As a result, producing a consolidated patient bill that includes anesthesia is tricky. Yet leaving anesthesia off a single bill can undercut its value since, after facility and surgical charges, anesthesia often is one of the largest cost items patients incur. Fortunately, we at Change Healthcare know how to roll anesthesia charges into existing hospital billing systems to produce an accurate and timely single patient bill.

Helping to Reduce Costs

The benefits of consolidated billing extend beyond an improved patient experience. Producing just one bill reduces costs and repetition at both the front and back end of the revenue cycle management process. It can also ease staff burden when collecting on self-pay accounts, since there’s only one bill per patient. Finally, consolidated bills can help increase revenue by simplifying collections when patients present for follow-up care.

Here’s an example: When the patient comes back for post-surgery physical therapy, a hospital employee at the registration desk can remind them that they still owe $150 for anesthesia and ask if they’d like to take care of that now. In my experience, patients usually hand over their credit card and settle their bill on the spot when asked at the time of care about a balance due.

System-Agnostic Billing Across Hospital Platforms

Change Healthcare has a long history of providing full-service, outsourced anesthesia-billing services to hospital and health-system clients. Unlike most other billing vendors, we’ve developed what we call a system-agnostic approach. That means we’ll provide billing services on our proprietary system or on the hospital’s existing billing platform, regardless of type, to generate accurate anesthesia-billing results.

In practical terms, we’ll function as part of your billing team and use the same system your coders and billing staff rely on to generate anesthesia charges that can be included in a single patient bill.

System-agnostic billing also allows us to provide clients with custom anesthesia reporting that wouldn’t otherwise be available with an outsourced billing solution. This helps clients gain far greater visibility and insight into anesthesia-billing charges. And by incorporating our anesthesia coding and billing capabilities into your existing billing system, you’ll be spreading the platform’s fixed costs across a greater number of departments.

The bottom line? It’s not a heavy lift for us to virtually embed our trained anesthesia coders and billing professionals into your system. Our specialists will review your existing platform and provide, at no obligation, a return-on-investment analysis that can help you determine whether outsourcing anesthesia billing to capture claims on a single hospital bill makes sense for you.

We expect the answer will be yes. Not only will you enjoy greater system efficiencies, but you’ll be in a position to produce a single bill that truly reflects the entire episode of care.

Spotlight

Avegen

Avegen is a healthcare company that uses technology to transform patient- doctor experiences. We focus on solutions for doctors, patients, healthcare products and for causes that have large scale health impact. We operate via multiple business divisions: Mirai Health builds and deploys health-specific technology platforms for doctors, hospitals, and patients; Almata works with foundations, NGOs, social enterprises and non-profits to deliver measurable, scalable positive impact to women’s and children’s health.

OTHER ARTICLES
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Article | June 4, 2022

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AI in Healthcare Businesses: From Efficient Uses Cases to ROI Growth

Article | May 30, 2022

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Article | May 18, 2022

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HEALTHCARE ANALYTICS

Importance of Mental Health for Sustainable Development

Article | May 11, 2022

Mental illness is a fatal illness. Surprisingly, mental health is grossly underfunded all over the world. Despite countries' economic strength, there are still no long-term and solution-driven results for addressing mental health. According to WHO reports, only one in every fifty people receives medical treatment for severe mental illnesses. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a global initiative to create a more equitable and sustainable world. According to the World Health Organization, "there can be no health or sustainable development without proper mental health." As a result, mental health is one of the most critical pillars in creating a sustainable world in the future. In short, if mental health is good, sustainability will follow naturally. Positive Mental Health = Thriving Sustainability According to the WHO’s decision-making body, ‘The World Health Assembly (WHA),’ mental health deserves to be at the top of the sustainability agenda because it affects people of all ages. It means anybody can be diagnosed with a mental illness, which is directly proportionate to sustainable development. So, a similar amount of treatments, diagnoses, and awareness should help people overcome mental illness. However, on the other hand, according to the WHO's 2020 Mental Health Atlas, only 23% of patients with mental illnesses have been integrated into healthcare systems in developing countries. This highlights the undeniable fact that the world's 280 million people suffering from depression have been kept away from receiving a proper diagnosis, treatment, and care. Moreover, up to 85% of people with mental illnesses are untreated. The numbers are shocking! Such statistics are enough evidence to create a supportive culture free of the stigma that mental illness is incurable and encourage patients to seek help when they need it. It includes geography-specific mental health resources, proper diagnosis, care, medication, availability, accessibility, other requirements, and adequate support systems. Global Action is Key to Both Providers of mental health services cannot do it alone. Instead, it requires a strong global response. In this case, leading companies and legislative bodies should exert influence to promote cost-effective, widely accessible, and evidence-based treatments for mental health disorders. Some low-cost solutions to this global problem will eradicate it and bring about long-term development to support this point. As a result, the solutions are as follows Improving social and economic environments as part of sustainable development Integrating mental health into general primary health care Providing appropriate care and treatment through trained and supervised community members Using technology to introduce the most up-to-date solutions for mental health disorders Wrapping Up Transformation is essential today, both technically and in terms of humanizing. Otherwise, sustainable development will be impossible to achieve unless the enormous challenge of mental health is addressed. Therefore, healthcare leaders will need to develop transitional plans to increase coverage in real-time to accomplish this. This should include proper diagnosis and progressive tracking of mental health treatments.

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Spotlight

Avegen

Avegen is a healthcare company that uses technology to transform patient- doctor experiences. We focus on solutions for doctors, patients, healthcare products and for causes that have large scale health impact. We operate via multiple business divisions: Mirai Health builds and deploys health-specific technology platforms for doctors, hospitals, and patients; Almata works with foundations, NGOs, social enterprises and non-profits to deliver measurable, scalable positive impact to women’s and children’s health.

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PocketHealth | June 18, 2022

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Linus Health Announced its Acquisition of Kinesis Health Technologies

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DECISIO Reveals New Leadership and Closes Series B Funding Round

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Habersham Medical Center first hospital in Georgia to adopt digital diagnostic image-sharing platform, PocketHealth

PocketHealth | June 18, 2022

Habersham Medical Center (HMC) announced that it will engage PocketHealth to help make it much easier for the hospital's 80,000 patients to access, share and store their medical imaging and reports securely on any device, enabling them to be more informed and active in their own healthcare journeys. Patients will no longer need to travel to the healthcare facility to collect a CD-ROM of their records and transport it to their next appointment or hope that their critical health information makes it safely to their primary care physician. With PocketHealth, HMC's patients will be able to actively engage in their own healthcare journey by accessing and sharing their imaging reports with their physicians, caregivers, or family members from any device, anywhere in the world. Physicians and other healthcare professionals who share and receive diagnostic images with Habersham will be able to work within the medical center's existing infrastructure and won't need to worry about additional software or account setup. They will be able to view patient imaging instantly in full diagnostic quality or import those images into their local PACS for diagnosis. "We are very excited to make the healthcare experience much easier than it has been for patients at Habersham Medical Center, and in implementing PocketHealth at our hospital, we are equipping patients to be participants in their own medical journey. Until now, when medical imaging and reports were shared it required our patients to make unnecessary trips to the site. Tyler Williams, President, and CEO of Habersham Medical Center PocketHealth equips healthcare providers with the most efficient and effective way to share medical imaging while bringing patients into the center of the process, fueling better outcomes through direct access to diagnostic imaging and reports. Patients can now request all of their imaging records from HMC on the PocketHealth website and gain better insights into their reports with PocketHealth's Report Reader functionality, which breaks down and defines complex medical terms found within radiology reports. "Diagnostic Imaging is essential to understanding a treatment course or for soliciting second opinions and can often be the spark for a long-term care journey," said Rishi Nayyar, co-founder and CEO, PocketHealth. "PocketHealth is thrilled to work with Habersham Medical Center to make it easy for patients and care providers to move through an image-based journey without the unnecessary frustration that often comes with records release and CD-ROM hardware." Habersham Medical Center is focused on serving its communities by providing high quality healthcare to its patients and clinical partnerships. The Center conducts approximately 125,000 imaging exams each year. About PocketHealth PocketHealth is the world's first patient-centric image sharing platform. With PocketHealth, patients can instantly access, share and take ownership over their own medical imaging and records - anytime, anywhere, and with anyone. PocketHealth also enables direct sharing between hospitals and physicians, as well as instant DICOM retrieval and automated importing capability, creating a unified image management solution for more than 600 hospitals and imaging clinics across North America. PocketHealth believes that by placing patients at the center of their care journey, records move more ethically, easily and securely throughout the healthcare system. About Habersham Medical Center Serving over 80,000 residents across northeast Georgia, Habersham Medical Center (HMC) is a 53 licensed-bed, acute care hospital delivering exceptional care and service. As a substantial economic partner for Habersham County, HMC operates three physician practices, a comprehensive rehabilitation program, an 84 licensed-bed, skilled nursing home and the area's only hospital-based, home health service.

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Linus Health Announced its Acquisition of Kinesis Health Technologies

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A boston-based digital health firm, Linus Health, focusing on brain health, announced the completion of its purchase of Kinesis Health Technologies, a Dublin-based market leader in assessing physical performance in older persons. The two firms share a commitment to advancing preventive health screening via cutting-edge machine learning and generally accessible digital devices. Given the recognized link between physical and mental function, the acquisition will enhance Linus Health's capacity to produce a comprehensive assessment of an individual's brain health and enable the early diagnosis of problems. Kinesis was founded in 2013 as a spin-out from University College Dublin. Since then, the company has developed a suite of objective, evidence-based tools for measuring gait, balance, mobility, fall risk, and frailty. The firm has established a strong validation basis with over 70 peer-reviewed publications and a global network of research collaborations. Customers in several countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland, have used Kinesis' technology to perform over 40,000 patient evaluations. With current innovation focused on smartphone solutions, Kinesis' approach complements Linus Health's commitment to providing verified and accessible assessment tools to maximize its worldwide influence on brain health outcomes. “Kinesis shares Linus Health’s vision of combining clinical expertise with machine learning to usher in a new paradigm of proactive screening and intervention to support older adults seeking to preserve their health and way of life. We’re excited to join the Linus team and work together to bring effective and impactful digital screening solutions to more people worldwide.” Seamus Small CEO of Kinesis Linus Health's array of examinations already includes numerous modalities that have been found to aid in the detection of subtle symptoms of cognitive and brain impairment. However, as the firm extends its brain health platform, it is critical to strengthen its skills around physical metrics such as gait and balance to increase the insights available to support both its brain health assessments and recommendations. “The more we can uncover about a person’s brain health, the faster we’ll be able to help providers intervene when something is awry,” said David Bates, Ph.D., CEO of Linus Health. “Acquiring Kinesis allows us to accelerate our progress in the key areas of gait, balance, and mobility – and garner related insights to shape our understanding of a patient's health and associated risks better to inform our clinical guidance and care plan recommendations. We’re looking forward to collaborating with the Kinesis team to enhance our combined impact.”

Read More

DIGITAL HEALTHCARE

DECISIO Reveals New Leadership and Closes Series B Funding Round

DECISIO | March 28, 2022

DECISIO has appointed Major General Elder Granger, M.D. to the company's Board of Directors. Dr. Granger is currently President and CEO of The 5Ps, LLC, a healthcare, education, and leadership consulting organization. Prior to his retirement from the US Army, Dr. Granger served as the Deputy Director of TRICARE Management Activity, a Department of Defense (DoD) field activity responsible for operating the Military Health System as a fully integrated healthcare system within DoD. He was responsible for supervising and administering TRICARE programs, providing oversight of high-quality, accessible health care for 9.2 million beneficiaries worldwide. "Dr. Granger joining our board provides enormous value and validation for our company moving forward. His expertise and leadership in the healthcare industry is a welcome addition to our esteemed group of Board of Directors''. Dr. John Holcomb, Co-CEO and Cofounder of DECISIO In addition to his accomplished military career, Dr. Granger is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the Board of Hematology and Oncology. He is a certified physician executive by the Certifying Commission in Medical Management, the American College of Healthcare Executives, and certified in Medical Quality by the American Board of Medical Quality. Dr. Granger also serves on the Board of Directors for Cerner Corporation, Cigna Corporation and DLH Holdings Corporation and is a member of the Board of Trustees at Rosalind Franklin University. DECISIO is also announcing the official closure of its $18.5 million Series B funding round in February 2022, bringing the total funds raised to date at $31.5 million. The funds from this round will be used for commercialization, continued product development, and operations growth. About DECISIO® DECISIO is a Houston-based digital health company with a customizable clinical decision support platform designed to aggregate and prioritize real-time data, from any device, and present it visually in one place. The flagship product, InsightIQ, uses continuous smart bedside monitoring which enables clinical teams to efficiently identify patients at risk and comply with established clinical guidelines. InsightIQ improves patient outcomes and throughput, optimizes workflow, increases collaboration, thus reducing length of stay and "click" fatigue. Our solutions, including actionable analytics, that can be scaled across an entire health system or used in a single care area. For more information, visit www.decisiohealth.com.

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