Optimizing Surgical Implant Billing from Inefficient Paper-Based Processing to Smart Automated Solutions
March 14, 2021
Streamlining billing and invoicing for implantable surgical devices enables health systems to independent facilities, like Ambulatory Surgical Centres (ASCs), to better manage their revenue cycle cash flow, increase ROI, and improve operational efficiencies while managing complex relationships with medical device vendors.
Optimizing this area of business reduces redundant paperwork and processing errors, facilitates accurate surgical implant charge captures, and allows billing and accounting teams to focus on other strategic initiatives.
Here’s why automation of surgical implant billing and invoicing is critical for independent hospitals, ASCs and healthcare systems as demand for implantable device intensive elective procedures surge..
The current healthcare landscape
In order to keep up with an evolving surgical implant device industry, healthcare facilities and systems can no longer rely on paper-based processes as a sustainable strategy. The inefficiencies and added costs that come with paper-based processes fail to deliver the high-value, cost-effective care that patients need.
A recent survey by PayStream Advisors found that healthcare organizations receive approximately three-quarters of their purchase orders and invoices on paper or via email, relying heavily on manual invoice processes. The electronic invoicing and billing systems they do use, which are usually a built-in part of their enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools, are often difficult to configure for the non-standard purchase order process for bill-only implantable medical devices, or are outdated.
And, although larger healthcare systems and facilities often invest in expensive custom development to adapt their ERPautomated bill-only purchase order requisition workflow more readily, independent hospitals and ASCs—particularly those with more direct spend—tend to lag behind.
The problems with paper billing systems
- High volumes of paper invoices
Billing departments can get overwhelmed with redundant paperwork requiring manual entry. This leads to critical input errors, invoice and purchase orders reconciliation problems, the risk of reporting noncompliance, and delayed or denied reimbursements.
- Lack of fast and robust reporting capabilities
Without a strong data set, organizations cannot strategically plan and project their facility or healthcare facility’ finances. This prevents them from identifying trends and pinpointing performance opportunities.
- Slower reimbursement from payers
The inefficiencies, errors, and increased lag time that comes with paper surgical implant billing processes --from the operating room, to invoicing vendors, to billing payers leads to slower reimbursement cycles, which negatively impacts a healthcare organization’s cash flow to use for vital facility needs.
The opportunity with surgical implant billing automation
Overcoming paper processing disadvantages is to transition to an automated billing solution. For hospitals and ASCs, electronic options for implantable surgical device invoicing can accelerate approval, and improve charge capture accuracies, reduce errors and inefficiencies, and allow billing staff to focus on more strategic efforts.
More specifically, automation promotes a shorter and more cost-effective transaction cycle between medical device vendors, to facility billing teams, and on to payers. Not only does this virtually eliminate reliance on costly paper, printing, and postage, but also gives healthcare organizations greater visibility into the payment process, enabling them to track payments, run reports, and spot trends and strategic opportunities for contract negotiations with payers.
Automated, electronic surgical implant billing and invoicing is also mutually beneficial for medical device vendors and suppliers. A streamlined, digital solution enables them to better collaborate with providers, address any challenges or issues that may arise, and better incorporate their services into a standardized and efficient electronic process for every surgery that takes place at your facility or within your healthcare system.
To learn more about the benefits of automating surgical implant billing and invoicing at your healthcare facility, contact us for more information.