1) Missed charges: Hospitals with traditional paper based logging systems typically miss charges on upwards of 30% of total billable items used in cases. Even more interesting is the fact that hospitals with bar code-based inventory management systems have not solved this problem. Massachusetts General Hospital was actually able to achieve a 20% increase in charge capture (with a current bar-code system in place) resulting in over $2.1 Million dollars of additional revenues by implementing RFID storage and tracking technology.
2) Lack accurate and integrated data being shared enterprise wide: Paper based documentation systems have often left hospitals guessing as to what their actual supply spend is. On top of the fact that reliable data is hard to come by, hospitals tend to run each service line as an individual unit. this results in vertical data silos which severely under utilize potential gains in efficiency to be had through out the organization. Electronic and automated billing, scheduling and reordering processes should be linked to point of use data within departments such as the operating room.
3) No Defense against insurance providers leads to dwindling reimbursements: Insurance providers are challenging claims more now than ever. Yet another example where poor data is putting strains on hospitals revenue cycle, a common result is for a procedure to be documented for and billed however their is no actual record of devices used in the procedure to back up the claim.
4) Inefficient operations lead to increased labor costs: Consider the following, during the inter-operative period alone, a nurse must fill out an average of 15 pieces of paper per patient. these manual processes can lead to errors in reimbursement and represent time spent on non value added activities which would be better spent providing care.
5) Inconsistent revenue codes and charge master documentation: Aside from the fact that charges are completely missed a % of the time, further revenue is lost due to inconsistencies between charge codes and billing documentation. Often done manually a nurse may not be provided the most up to date charge codes leading to the item not being billed down the line.