Success Story: Central Vermont Medical Center
The Measurable Impact of Mediware
Since the implementation of MediLinks® Outpatient in late March of 2009, Central Vermont Medical Center has experienced:
- 20% increase in gross revenue
- Increased accuracy of charge capture
- Reporting time decreased from one to two days to one hour
- Increased compliance and audit security
Billing by Hand
Before CVMC overcame its billing challenges, the process was both tedious and ineffective. Robert Patterson, CVMC’s Director of Rehabilitation Services, says, “Overall, there were lots of areas for errors to occur that resulted in lost revenue.” Therapists recorded charge codes by hand on their daily schedule, and delivered them to the front office to be typed into the billing system. This cumbersome process left room for human error which occasionally resulted in charge errors, or failure to charge for the full scope services provided. When insurance companies rejected incorrect charges, the billing department had to hunt down the paper chart, retrieve documentation to justify the charge and then resubmit the claim. If the staff were unable to find adequate documentation the charge was reversed.
Mismanaged Treatment Authorization
Another cause of revenue loss was patient authorizations. Patterson says, “Prior to MediLinks, tracking authorizations involved a lot of guess work and depended on the therapist’s ability to manage the process.” Since therapists were overburdened with tracking their patients’ visits and remaining authorizations in addition to providing therapy, they occasionally billed for unauthorized treatment, which inevitably led to denied claims.
The Mediware Solution
In 2009, CVMC found relief from these documentation and billing frustrations when it began using the MediLinks Outpatient Rehabilitation Solution. The strength of MediLinks is in combining charge capture and clinical documentation into a unified system that has enabled CVMC to recover the revenue it had potentially been losing.
Since implementing MediLinks, CVMC has cut billing time to a fraction of what it once was, and increased billable units from an average of 198 per FTE to 240; resulting in a gross revenue increase of over 20%. Nancy Lothian, the hospital’s Chief Operating Officer, says, “MediLinks removes the ambiguity that a therapist may have had prior to using this tool. When they document the treatment rendered, the bill goes out accurately.” The system warns therapists about billing errors at the point of entry so they can make corrections before submitting the charge to billing. According to Patterson, “The quality of documentation dramatically improved. MediLinks mitigates human error by requiring the therapist to fill in the necessary fields.” With accurate charge capture and mandatory documentation, the entire support staff is saved hours of work it once spent entering charges. Patterson says, “We tracked our data manually. MediLinks turned our one- to two-day reporting process into an hour-long task.”
Ensure your patients are authorized for treatments
MediLinks also relieves therapists of the costly, time-consuming burden of managing patient authorizations. To prevent unauthorized treatment, Patterson says, therapists can “set up alerts to notify [them] when they need an authorization for additional patient visits.” Now that CVMC is guarding against denied claims, it is increasing revenue beyond expectations. “Our original investment analysis had spread out the ROI for MediLinks over six years,” says Lothian. “Clearly within the first year it had paid for itself.”
CVMC doesn’t only measure the benefits of MediLinks in dollars, but in the peace of mind it enjoys when facing an audit. Lothian says, “I am so much more confident that if we were hit with an audit, we would be on rock solid footing. This last visit from the Joint Commission was the best session I have experienced since working at Central Vermont. When the surveyor interviewed our therapists regarding our practices, we had documentation to answer every question she had. The MediLinks solution made us shine.”
About Central Vermont Medical Center
Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC) is the primary health care provider for the 66,000 people that live and work in Central Vermont. CVMC’s outpatient rehabilitation services include an office near the main campus and three satellite clinics in the surrounding communities. Like any provider of outpatient rehabilitation, CVMC knows the costly challenge of maintaining accurate billing and documentation for the care its therapists provide. With the help of MediLinks, CVMC has gained the confidence of dependable documentation and the profitability of accurate charge capture.