Ambulatory surgery center (ASC) administrators are charged with improving their ASC’s financial health and periodic business office audits are key to identifying, both quantitatively and qualitatively, a center’s strengths and opportunities.
On the surface, an audit sounds intimidating. But according to Michael Orseno, VP of Revenue Cycle at Regent RCM, it doesn’t have to be that way.
“We want our centers to maximize revenue and a routine audit is the fastest way to get on track and stay on track,” said Orseno. “The audit identifies issues – then working with our partner centers, we implement strategies and processes to correct them; it’s that simple.”
A Regent RCM audit goes beyond a traditional reimbursement assessment by examining four areas vital to the function of an ASC: reimbursement, coding, staffing and observation (workflow and process).
- Reimbursement. Regent RCM conducts a thorough review of a center’s billing and reimbursement procedures, including reviewing payor contracts. “Ensuring that an ASC is being reimbursed the full and correct amount per each procedure code for every case is one of the most important billing practices to maximize revenue for the center,” said Orseno. “Due diligence is crucial and for our partner centers, our team of revenue cycle specialists are intimately familiar with every payor contract.”
- Coding and Billing. Whether a center outsources its coding services or employs a certified coder, Regent RCM’s audit evaluates coding, determining if cases are coded correctly and billed properly. “We watch for inaccurate modifiers, which can negate or reduce payment on an otherwise clean claim,” noted Orseno, “and when applicable, we pay particularly close attention to implant coding errors.”
- Staffing. More business office staff does not always equal more efficiency, and striking a balance is difficult. Regent RCM’s audit diligently tracks business office FTEs in all of its facilities and compares facilities against the gold standard.
- Observation. Regent RCM’s expertise comes from exclusively developing, executing and refining revenue cycle management strategies. “Leveraging our collective experience, our team observes business office functions and processes and looks for inconsistencies and efficiencies,” said Orseno. “For example, a front office employee may be spending vast amounts of time verifying insurance benefits when this can be accomplished more efficiently with the use of technology.”
To learn more, read a case study revealing how an audit uncovered coding errors which led to recouping more than $590,000 in additional funds.