Snapshot of Trinity Health

Trinity Health recovered 90 percent of at-risk reimbursement

  • Patient in hospital

    As one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare delivery systems in the nation, Trinity Health serves 22 states through 94 hospitals and more than 100 continuing care locations. Beyond providing care for 5.9 million patients last year alone, the non-profit healthcare organization returns more than $1 billion to its communities every year.

    Trinity’s information management team uses 3M products and services to consolidate its coding and documentation efforts. With the coding power of 3M™ Coding and Reimbursement System combined with the flexible 3M™ Health Data Management (HDM) System platform, Trinity Health streamlined processes while minimizing coding and documentation errors.

    3M Health Information Systems products used by Trinity Health

“Trinity recovered almost 90 percent of our reimbursement at risk through the use of 3M ARMS.”
Judy Moreau
vice president of mid-revenue cycle, Trinity Health

Too many systems, too little time

  • In 2008, Trinity Health was in the process of standardizing electronic medical records (EMRs), registration and billing across the entire organization’s multiple locations. EMRs limited flexibility made coding abstraction cumbersome and inefficient. Meanwhile, the additional bolt-on coding systems failed to operate efficiently in a fragmented system.

    “Coders had to finish cases by a certain time each day so the coding manager could send a batch file to the bolt-on system. Failed claims were put on hold to be resolved by the coding manager or coder, which resulted in on-hold accounts being overlooked or lost, as well as an increase in discharged not final billed (DNFB) days due to delays in billing,” says Judy Moreau, vice president of mid-revenue cycle for Trinity Health.

A flexible fix

  • Because of 3M HDM’s robust coding workflows and flexible data management, Trinity Health brought in the 3M system to streamline its efforts. “After careful search and evaluation, Trinity Health made the decision to implement 3M HDM as the standard coding solution to be included as part of the standard systems implementations moving forward,” says Moreau.

    Prior to implementing 3M HDM, Trinity Health used a revenue and compliance tool that required layered reviews from coders and managers, resulting in multiple touches per claim and delayed billing. In shifting to 3M HDM, Trinity Health had big needs and expectations, including enhanced workflows and reporting, better compliance with the 3M™ Audit Expert System, reduced coding re-work and decreased DNFB days.

    To achieve these goals, Trinity Health standardized multiple areas to increase efficiency and transparency. “We were able to implement standard data sets within the tool for consistent reporting across sites and developed a ‘cookie cutter’ process for implementation to ensure consistency of product roll out,” says Moreau.

“We were able to implement standard data sets within the tool for consistent reporting across sites.”
Judy Moreau
vice president of mid-revenue cycle

The results

  • Trinity Health's results

    Designed to minimize record touches through a series of critical coding and review process checkpoints, the 3M™ Ambulatory Revenue Management Software (ARMS) helps Trinity Health reduce revenue cycle waste, while also improving throughput of accurate claims data. “Trinity recovered almost 90 percent of our reimbursement at risk through the use of 3M ARMS,” says Moreau.

    The team also uses the 3M Audit Expert System to create better coding procedures and checkpoints. “To avoid the chances of coders bypassing key steps, we set up hard stops throughout 3M HDM to ensure coders follow the proper process for achieving more accurate coding,” says Moreau.

    The 3M HDM System helped the organization work more collaboratively because of better communication tools within the software. Additionally, Trinity Health identifies the part of the upstream documentation process that slowed progress, as well as improved collaboration between coding and health information management operations.

    “Standard physician communication ‘Hold Reasons’ were created so we could provide meaningful data to our physician leaders. These communications allow us to track more than one type of missing document within an account,” says Moreau.

    Finally, because of its efforts in leveraging 3M Audit Expert, Trinity Health’s annual reimbursement increased by more than $8 million across 23 different sites with an average case mix index improvement of .058 among those same sites.

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