Customizing a Better Charge Capture System

How Saxony Transformed Workflow Efficiency for a Physicians Group

By the time this physician group first reached out to Saxony Partners, they had tried everything to improve their charge capture system. But none of the products available on the market were meeting their needs or adequately enhancing their workflow. So, they asked Saxony to help  create something completely custom.

Here’s how Saxony’s healthcare team addressed their unique business goals with a fully customized charge capture system.

The Problems: Inefficient Billing and Limited Options

The client is a specialty physicians group based in Texas that works primarily within intensive care units. They wanted a better understanding of their workflow, user experience, and how they were capturing data. They had reason to believe that they were losing money during the billing process, that their denials were higher than they should have been, and that they were weighed down by manual tasks.

“They knew that their billing process was very inefficient,” Saxony Partners Thanh Nguyen said. “From how long it takes to capture, to how many people they have to have do the billing. They knew their process was slow and prone to error.

“Ultimately though, they wanted to own, access and control their data. That was the biggest driver for them in this project.”

Using the right charge capture system is an essential component to an efficient workflow organization-wide, Nguyen said.

“When you don’t have an efficient charge capture system, workflows are very inefficient,” he said. “You’re passing paper notes and Post-its around from physicians to the front office. People have to go through each of those notes manually and enter them into the EMR. And then, they need to cross-reference the physician’s notes and make sure everything is coded correctly. Then, you can send it off to billing.

“It’s a nightmare process, lots of manual steps.”

The client was looking for a charge capture system that would give them visibility into their billing and workflows – one with an interface that was both user-friendly and mobile-friendly. Unfortunately, they hadn’t had any luck finding one.

“They had tried lots of different practice management, EMR, and off-the-shelf charge solutions,” Nguyen said. “Nothing felt like a good fit.”

Since there wasn’t a product available that could address these workflow needs and interface specifications, the solution became clear: Saxony Partners would create one.

The Solution: A Custom Charge Capture System

First, the Saxony Partners healthcare team identified exactly what the client wanted to achieve with their new charge capture system.

“They wanted it modeled to their own workflow, starting at the moment they captured the patient demographics, all the way through to billing,” Nguyen said. “And it needed to be tailor-made to work in an ICU.”

With those parameters in mind, the healthcare team created custom, mobile-friendly software from scratch.

“We built them a custom charge capture system that linked directly to their EMR, as well as their accounting and billing software,” Nguyen said. “The moment a keystroke was made on the EMR, that data was captured. No more Post-it notes. All of the patient data, all of the services provided by the doctors, all automatically documented. This is what gets sent over to the billing department instead of a stack of paper. From there, it’s much easier to double-check coding and ensure everything has been properly captured.”

“In addition, we made sure that the user interface was mobile-friendly, which both improved accessibility and user experience,” Nguyen said.

Not only was the new system mobile-friendly, it wasn’t exclusive to one particular brand or type of mobile device.

“It’s important to highlight the accessibility aspect,” Nguyen said. “Most facilities utilize iPhones and iPads, but also Android tablets. In the charge capture world, you see a lot of software programs that only work on iOS. But a lot of hospitals don’t want to pay for an iPad when it is much cheaper just to get an Android tablet. So, the fact that our solution was a web-based application that worked on any device was a big deal.”

The Results: Better Workflow

“Before, they had very, very little visibility into finance and admin,” Nguyen said. “Often, they struggled to forecast income for the next month. But now, improved visibility from this system is allowing them to manage their business better.”

Not only does the new and improved charge capture system make the organization more efficient, it has led to tangible monetary benefits as well.

“Since this system was unveiled, the client has seen dramatically fewer denials,” Nguyen said. “Billing has become much more efficient. Doctors are becoming more comfortable using the system. Workflows have become simplified. And they are getting paid quicker by their payers.”