Snapshot of UC San Diego

Case study: University of California (UC) San Diego Health

  • Doctor and nurse talking with patients

    As the only academic hospital in San Diego, UC San Diego Health is recognized as one of the premier health care systems in the United States. With multiple locations across California, including the state-of-the-art Jacobs Medical Center, UC San Diego Health has more than 800 beds throughout various inpatient facilities and more than 25 outpatient facilities. U.S. News & World Report ranks UC San Diego Health as one of the leading hospitals in the country.

    The health information management (HIM) staff at UC San Diego Health started leveraging the 3M 360 Encompass System in 2015 to better equip the organization for its transition to ICD-10. Coders quickly gained confidence in the solution, and as the need for greater transparency and collaboration between facility and professional coding teams emerged, the organization added 3M 360 Encompass Professional to its toolkit.

    3M Health Information Systems products used by UC San Diego Health:

The silo challenge

  • UC San Diego Health wanted to generate clean claims, improve coding quality and lower professional fee pre-AR days. However, to do so, Cassi Birnbaum, UC San Diego Health’s system-wide director of health information management and revenue integrity, knew she had to address the disconnect between facility and professional services coders.

    “We needed something that would help us break down the silos, break down the walls, break down the barriers—see what we can do to really leverage the great technology that we have on the facility side,” says Birnbaum. “In some cases, we’d be blindly coding out of a charge review work queue without any of the tools or integration, and then having everything drop to a series of edits to fire at the coder.”

  • 96% clean claim rate

  • 70%+ increase in productivity (radiology)

  • 35% increase in productivity (procedural areas)

  • Less than 0.2% denial rate

  • 95% accuracy rate

  • 12% increase in HCC capture

3M’s single workflow approach

  • Due to issues such as limited visibility into professional services productivity and increasing coding rework, Birnbaum was eager to reboot UC San Diego Health’s professional coding efforts and move toward the transparent coding environment of 3M™ 360 Encompass™ Professional. 3M’s workflow allows outpatient and professional services coders to work on the same record simultaneously. By creating a unified workflow, 3M 360 Encompass Professional offers increased visibility to professional coding teams and reduces the steps necessary to complete an accurate claim.

    “Our professional coder productivity has gone up more than 70 percent in the radiology area, which far exceeded our expectations. The procedural areas have seen an average of 35 percent improvement in productivity." - Cassi Birnbaum, system-wide director, health information management and revenue integrity, UC San Diego Health.

Graph of the average records coded per hour: from 4 records at week one to 14.25 at week nine
Average records coded per hour

Structured to succeed

  • With unified coding teams, UC San Diego Health can take new steps to streamline efficiency, including consolidating both teams under one leadership structure to bridge the organizational hierarchy gap.

“3M at UC San Diego is the answer that we need to get to a healthy revenue cycle.”
Lisa Doreen
associate director, technical and professional coding,
UC San Diego Health

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  • *3M and 360 Encompass are trademarks of 3M.