Product Description

Cut Time and Errors in Patient Billing

AutoBilling uses scanners or handheld computers to automate how data is entered into medical billing systems. Versatile and easy to use, AutoBilling works with any type of medical billing system.

Most healthcare providers use a standard form to record the procedures and diagnoses associated with a patient visit. Commonly called a "patient encounter form", a "charge slip", or a "superbill", this document captures all the information needed for billing.

In the past, the data on this form would be manually keyed into the provider's billing system - a tedious task that consumes many hours of staff time. AutoBilling replaces manual keying of data with a computerized solution. It automatically reads encounter forms, or acquires charge information from handheld computers, validates the data found, and sends the data to the billing system. AutoBilling is faster than a human operator and does not make mistakes.

Scan Forms / Acquire Charges From Handheld Computers

AutoBilling can use a scanner attached to a computer to process encounter forms. A medium speed scanner will read six pages per minute and has a fifty-page document feeder.

AutoBilling can also use handheld computers for the entering of charge information. For the handhelds, we normally provide an interface with your billing system that downloads the daily patient schedule to the handheld. This interface is free with our system and does not require the involvement of the billing system vendor. After a day's charges have been captured on the handheld, the handheld is synchronized with the main AutoBilling database, and the charge information uploaded.

Replace Manual Effort

AutoBilling performs obvious validations, such as making sure every procedure has a diagnosis, and more complex ones, such as making sure certain procedure-diagnosis combinations are used for certain insurance companies. Validations can also be customized for each installation, as per client requirements.

Once validated, the data is sent to the billing system by supplying the billing system application with the same keystrokes and mouse-clicks that would be entered by a person. This "keystroke emulation" allows for complete flexibility when entering any type of data into the billing program. For example, the data entered can include not only procedures and diagnosis, but also items such as modifiers, quantities, payments, referrers, authorizations, injury dates, and dates for follow-up appointments.

In addition to saving the time and effort associated with manual entry, AutoBilling offers these major benefits:

  • Far fewer data entry errors
  • Consistent application of data entry rules
  • Reduced rejections from insurance companies
  • Tracking of missing forms
  • Ability to rapidly research past data entry history on any account
  • An integrated database of all patient records

Easy To Use

AutoBilling processes automated encounters in four quick steps:

Scan Forms / Synchronize Handhelds - Either the user places forms in the scanner's document feeder, and clicks on a button to read the forms. Or the user connects a handheld to the AutoBilling computer, and synchronization automatically occurs in about thirty seconds.

Recognition - The user clicks on a button to initiate interpretation of the charge data.

Verification - The user brings up on the screen any encounters that contain validation errors and quickly make the necessary corrections.

Posting - The user clicks on a button to initiate transfer of the data from the encounters into the Billing System. An operator need not be present once posting begins. After posting is complete, the screen displays a log file showing the status of every transaction.

Form Design / Handheld Interface Design

The automated encounter form, and the handheld screen interface, are designed to be as similar as possible to the existing manual forms, enabling easy use by staff members.

The typical automated encounter form contains areas for standard procedures and diagnoses. Non-standard procedure or diagnosis codes can be handwritten in boxes elsewhere on the form.

Typically the top of the form has a row of circles for specifying the physician. If the organization has multiple offices, there is also a row of circles to select the location. At the bottom of the form, a set of circles allows you to specify if a co-pay was involved and how it was paid. Other items frequently captured on forms include referrers, authorizations, injury dates and insurance flags.

The handheld screen interface contains areas for capturing the same information as on a form. In addition, to make the selection of charge information on the handheld as quick as possible, the software remembers previously used typical combinations of charge data.

Validating Encounter Information

The basic validations performed by AutoBilling ensure that encounter charges are filled out completely and consistently. For example, validations typically check that a provider is specified and that every procedure has a diagnosis. Also, when a system is installed for a specific site, custom validation rules are often created as well.

Examples include:

  • Some situations require certain data to be present, such as a referring physician, injury date or modifier
  • Some diagnosis/procedure/insurance combinations may be invalid
  • Some procedures may imply certain diagnoses
  • Some procedures may need to be posted in certain sequences

The implementation process includes thorough testing of validation rules to ensure their proper functioning.

Identifying Patients When Using Forms

When using forms, AutoBilling needs to know the account number and service date for the visit. The account number and service date can be supplied either from text or from a barcode. However, using a barcode has several advantages:

  • Barcodes normally use less space on the form than text, allowing the layout of more elements such as standard procedures and diagnoses
  • Barcodes aid in tracking of missing forms
  • Barcodes are generally read more easily than text

If the account number and service date are supplied from text, the site will print these fields on the automated encounter forms using a laser printer. Often a site does this already, using the appointment-scheduling module of the billing system to pre-print demographic data on forms the day before an appointment.

When using barcodes, AutoBilling can be set up to interface with the appointment-scheduling module of the billing system to pre-print barcodes the day before the patient visit.

Identifying Patients When Using Handheld Computers

A day's schedule of patients is normally downloaded to the handheld using the interface with the billing system we include at no charge. Users can also manually add patients to the schedule. The home screen on the handheld becomes a list of patients for the day, and the user merely clicks on a specific patient in the list to enter charge information for that patient.

Batch And Immediate Scanning

AutoBilling offers two modes of scanning: batch mode and immediate mode. Batch scanning is used most often because it results in the greatest gains in staff productivity. With batch scanning, the operator scans group of forms, verifies any problems, and then initiates the posting of data from the whole group. Typically the group could be an entire day's worth of encounters. Once begun, the posting process does not require an operator, allowing it to occur after hours

.Immediate scanning is used if an organization wants to scan individual forms as patients check out. With immediate scanning, the user scans a single form, and if no verification is required, the system will automatically initiate posting of the data.

Tracking Missing Charges / Online Log Of Processing History

AutoBilling tracks missing encounters by comparing barcodes produced for forms, and patients listed on handhelds, with encounters processed. AutoBilling can generate a missing charges report as long as the site has a network that connects all computers where barcodes are produced and where handhelds are synchronized.

AutoBilling keeps a complete log of all processing history. If a user has to research what happened to a particular encounter, it takes just a few seconds to find the encounter in the history and to see exactly the transactions that were involved.

AutoBilling keeps electronic images of encounters on a scanning computer's hard disk. This allows past encounters to be viewed or printed out whenever needed. It is usually possible for several years of encounters to be stored online.



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