Snapshot of Nebraska Medicine

Case study: Nebraska Medicine

Omaha, Nebraska

  • Hospital with a sign in front of it

    Founded in 1869, Nebraska Medicine was Omaha’s first hospital. Since then the hospital has grown into the most esteemed academic health system in the region, consisting of 809 licensed beds at its two hospitals, more than 1,000 physicians and 40 specialty and primary care clinics in Omaha and the surrounding areas. Nebraska Medicine has built an international reputation for breakthroughs in cancer care, organ transplantation and treatment of infectious diseases.

The coding dilemma

  • Medical coder at a computer

    With thousands of codes out there, even well-intentioned coders and providers can sometimes incorrectly identify service levels. This can lead to over-coding or under-coding of records, resulting in lost revenue and compliance risks.

    Nebraska Medicine’s coding department struggled with using a manual paper reporting system; the department was seeing inconsistent dictation patterns, high denial rates, reconciliation issues and concerns with coding quality. In addition, the coders were spending a lot of time going through physician’s notes and adding diagnosis codes manually, a process that also caused slow turnaround times and high denial rates.

    “Prior to our decision to go with 3M products, we had a lot of different vendors demonstrate their products. Our executive director is very big on revenue cycle. Our goals were to generate more clean claims, move data out of the door faster and provide better reporting and education to the providers,” says Terri Nelsen, RHIA, CCS-P, CPC, CRC, professional coding manager for Nebraska Medicine. “When we compared all the various vendor tools, we definitely wanted to go with 3M, because they had everything we needed.”

“The technology that 3M has brought to Nebraska Medicine has done so many great things for us. It’s enabled us to have faster turnaround times, better A/R and better claims.”
Terri Nelsen
RHIA, CCS-P, CPC, CRC professional coding manager, Nebraska Medicine

The solution: Streamlined from end to end

The 3M℠ CodeAssist℠ System is a web-based product that leverages state-of-the-art natural language processing (NLP) to examine the full text of a physician’s report and automatically assign accurate codes. Many of the nation’s top physician practices, billing companies, and multi-specialty clinics rely on 3M CodeAssist as the centerpiece of their coding operations, because it automates the coding process by automatically identifying correct billing codes and streamlining the coding workflow process.

The 3M℠ CodeMonitor℠ System, also fueled by 3M’s proprietary NLP platform, provides an automated review of clinical documentation and compares the resulting CPT® codes to physician-assigned CPT codes. Codes in agreement can go directly to the billing system, while any coding discrepancies (beyond a defined threshold) are routed to work queues for review and approval. This automated approach streamlines the cumbersome audit process and quickly flags areas that need improvement.

  • Icon of a percentage sign combined with a slanted upward arrow
    More than 25% increase in revenue from accurate E/M charge capture
  • Icon of three individuals connected by lines
    30% increase in overall coder productivity
  • Icon of a calendar with a down arrow
    20-day decrease in revenue cycle time

The Results

  • Nebraska Medicine has streamlined its coding and billing management processes and is now seeing cleaner claims, less coder intervention and more provider education with 3M technology.

    Since implementing the 3M CodeAssist and 3M CodeMonitor systems four years ago, Nebraska Medicine has increased revenue by 25 percent and overall coder productivity by 30 percent, as well as realized a 20-day decrease in revenue cycle time.

    “The results we have seen have been pretty impressive,” says Nelsen. “Currently with CodeAssist, about 47 percent of our radiology charges go out without coder intervention, so that’s been a really big win for us.”

    “The billing goes through faster, it’s clean, and it’s correct the first time,” Nelsen adds. With CodeMonitor alone, “we’ve typically seen about a 20 percent reduction in the amount of time that the coders are spending on notes, which means we can get about 20 percent more coder productivity than before,” says Nelsen.

    Teaming with 3M has helped Nebraska Medicine move towards its revenue integrity program goals. 3M’s technology has helped streamline the coding and billing processes, ultimately increasing revenue.

    I really feel like our relationship with 3M has grown exponentially—we have a partnership with 3M,” says Nelsen. “We share wins, we share challenges, and we work together to quickly troubleshoot and prevent errors. We count on this technology daily.”

“The billing goes through faster, it’s clean, and it’s correct the first time."
Terri Nelsen
RHIA, CCS-P, CPC, CRC professional coding manager, Nebraska Medicine

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