I know enough about coding to be dangerous. But there are certain principles I do know and have implemented, with good results.
First, bill. At one hospital here in Charleston, they had a bad habit of sending out bills about 8-9 months after the fact. They also had a rule that any bill over six months old was waived. After a few years of this, they finally got religion and started billing – within days of seeing the physician.
There is a great deal of misinformation and disinformation swiriling around healthcare. Physician leave money on the table and their stress levels climb, all because of not billing for what you do.
This recenhttp://www.memag.com/memag/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=370716&&pageID=1t article from Medical Economics is worth a read and discussion with your billing staff. Have your staff read the article, then take them to lunch. Use the article as the starting point to open a discussion on your own coding and billing practices. Getting off-site is often a catalyst for open discussion and new ideas. Choose an informal site, such as a Panera, Atlantic Bread or something of that caliber and layout. Allow at least two hours away from the office – you don’t want to have to rush through – you want people to talk, and your job is to listen and ask questions.
If it ain’t coded, it didn’t happen.