The United States Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts recently announced that CareWell Urgent Care Centers has agreed to pay $2 million to resolve allegations they violated the False Claims Act by submitting claims to Medicare, MassHealth, GIC, and Rhode Island Medicaid that falsely inflated the level of E/M services performed and by failing to properly identify the providers of E/M services.
Astria Health, a Washington-based health system, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month, as reported in Becker's Hospital Review. In its press release, the health system said it is facing a significant shortfall in cash flow due to issues with the company it contracted with to manage its billing in August 2018. Astria said the unidentified company failed to process a significant number of accounts receivable, leading to a backlog of unpaid claims, according to the Yakima Herald-Republic.
A key Medicare advisory panel, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), has formally called on the CMS to revisit creating a national guideline for coding emergency department visits.
A recent survey of 100 healthcare leaders within finance, revenue cycle, reimbursement, and health information management at hospitals and acute-care facilities sought to report on the areas of most-needed improvement within revenue cycle management. The results of the survey, by BESLER who partnered with HIMSS, found a significant majority of respondents -- 84% noted coding and clinical documentation as two areas of high or medium revenue cycle risk. Nearly half noted these two areas as their greatest vulnerability. Why are these two areas causing such concern among leaders and resulting in depleted revenues?
Coding audits, which are the validation of code assignment against the supporting clinical documentation and coding guidelines, are an instrumental way to ensure accuracy. Organizations usually conduct regular coding audits as directed by their internal compliance plan. They include a random sampling of records or encounters reviewed per coder during a specified timeframe, typically on an annual basis.
The Department of Justice announced in a press release last month that Skyline Urology has agreed to pay the United States $1.85 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by submitting improper claims to the Medicare program for evaluation and management services.
Mid-revenue cycle management is concerned with the phase of the process between the point where a patient accesses care and the care provider’s business office. Typically processes during this time include documentation, coding, CDI, and compliance. A recent Markets and Markets report expected sustained growth in this market. It projects a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.9 percent and a market size of $4.5 billion by 2023.
By optimizing revenue healthcare, organizations can put themselves in a position to survive and thrive in the modern marketplace of shrinking margins, consumer engagement, and higher cost pressures. This is true whether you are affiliated with billing companies, hospitals, physician practices, or payers. One of the most important ways to optimize revenue is by ensuring accuracy and efficiency in medical coding and documentation.
As the share of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage has steadily grown to over 19 million beneficiaries according to a U.S. Attorney, federal prosecutors intervening in a newly unsealed whistleblower lawsuit in California is yet another example of the government's willingness to protect the integrity of the Medicare Advantage program through the courts.
Revenue cycle issues such as coding, charge capture, and denials management are among the top risk areas for healthcare organizations in 2019, according to a report from Crowe, a public accounting, consulting and technology firm.