Case study: “Level 1 Trauma Center” takes a single path*

  • Hospital icon

    Health system profile

    Location: Southwestern United States
    Type: Level 1 trauma center and academic teaching hospital with seven other affiliated centers and clinics in the area
    Beds: 700
    Annual visits: 93,000 ED visits, 7,000 trauma cases, 18,000 surgeries and over 520,000 outpatient visits
    Uncompensated care: $135 million annually

    * Because of client confidentiality, this case study has substituted “Level 1 Trauma Center” for the actual organization’s name. The snapshot description is accurate, and the facts and figures reported as results are true to 3M findings; only the institution’s name has been altered for privacy reasons.

Their story

  • By removing the barriers between professional and facility coding and leveraging the benefits of a single coding platform, hospitals and health care systems can improve their coding productivity, accuracy and compliance.

    Level 1 Trauma Center wanted to bring its professional and facility coding teams together on one platform to not only improve coding accuracy and continuity, but also provide a foundation for improving compliance. The physicians also wanted a less burdensome charge capture system that eliminated paper charge tickets. Single-path coding made sense to the organization, which was ready to replace its paper processes with automated, optimized workflows.

The solution

  • 3M understands that when coding teams have complete visibility to both sides of the business in one application, the results are accurate with unified reporting, decreased communication breakdowns and a streamlined end-to-end workflow.

    The 3M™ 360 Encompass™ Professional System is the industry’s first encounter-based professional fee coding solution that channels the power of 3M’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology to provide auto-suggested codes for improved productivity, accuracy and compliance.

    With transparent access to both sides of the business in one application, coding teams can proactively tackle professional coding and billing compliance issues as they arise. The teams can also view queries and share communications between the provider and coder.

    Most importantly, coders can review and address E/M level assignments, helping to improve overall accuracy in both coding and billing.

“3M has partnered with us side-by-side, working on various custom enhancements, including enhanced reporting for reconciliation and system validation and more granularity in the 3M provider tables and provider billing area add-ons. We are excited about our relationship with 3M and these custom enhancements. The system is working beautifully.”

director, HIM Outpatient Coding, Level 1 Trauma Center

Real results: Powered up productivity, accuracy and charge capture

  • Since implementing 3M™ 360 Encompass™ Professional System more than a year ago, Level 1 Trauma Center has experienced:

    • 23 percent increase in total charges captured
    • 27 percent increase in coded encounters
    • 3- to 5-day reduction in lag days
    • 95 percent E/M coding accuracy
    • No post-coding re-work
    • 23 percent increase in RVUs

    Coder corrections are now being made without sending the data to patient financial services for working edits, a process that used to take several weeks. The organization considers this to be one of the best changes, because when the process moves faster, the result is future high-dollar cost savings.

    Since the coding teams can now view CPT® codes alongside ICD codes, Level 1 Trauma Center is also seeing more compliant billing for their E/M, CPT® codes and diagnoses supported by documentation, along with an astounding increase in E/M coding accuracy, which went from 75 percent (when physicians were doing all the coding), to a whopping 95 percent with coder-driven accuracy.

    Teaming with 3M has helped the organization eliminate manual paper charge entries, so there are no more paper charge tickets floating between the clinics and the charge entry department. As a result, the hospital has been able to decrease charge entry staffing and increase revenue.

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