By Ritesh Ramesh, COO, MDaudit.
Maintaining an organization’s revenue integrity should be a constant activity for compliance and auditing staff. Consider that, despite falling claim volumes in Q3 compared to the first two quarters of 2022, the average denial per claim increased by as much as 9.6%, according to the 2022 MDaudit Annual Benchmark Report. Lag days between claims submission and initial payer response also rose by as many as 6.5 days during the same period.
For health information management (HIM) professionals, this should serve as a wakeup call to make every claim count. Increasingly, organizations are using “risk intelligent” auditing to continuously monitor risk, detect anomalies, and automate workflows to bring efficiencies to formerly manual processes. Organizations that make resolving accuracy issues in billing and coding operations a priority can help retain between 15% and 25% of overall revenue. Revenue retention is going to be as critical as revenue growth for healthcare organizations going into 2023.
Read on to learn how to help your organization keep more of its hard-earned dollars.
Leveraging data to drive outcomes
Not long ago, coding, billing, claims, and auditing processes often operated independently of one another and employed tedious and manual workflows. These processes slowed claims submissions, payments, and auditing functions that help organizations maintain compliance and monitor revenues.
These time-consuming and cumbersome processes became more problematic during the pandemic, when the very foundations of the traditional care experience were upended by a novel disease and the rise of the virtual patient visit. While providers continue to recover from these shocks to their organizations, federal payers have ramped up their efforts to ensure the accuracy of claims.
During FY 2023, the federal Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control (HCFAC) Program and the Medicaid Integrity Program will receive nearly $2.5 billion, an increase of $80 million from the previous year. Inclusive of medical review, Medicare program integrity activities had a return on investment (ROI) of $8 for each $1 spent. With such an attractive return, don’t be surprised that the breadth and depth of these activities continues to increase.
Organizations can support risk-based compliance and revenue integrity by utilizing risk intelligent auditing to mine their billing and remit data to identify billing compliance and revenue risks. The same tools can unearth key metrics focused on current risk areas to monitor provider billing patterns and even benchmark them against peers. Risk intelligent auditing helps prioritize efforts to develop corrective action plans, educate stakeholders, mitigate the need for audits, and prevent future revenue losses.