Finding real savings in report data

Every Electronic Health Record and Practice Management system offers a set of standard reports.

The sheer volume of report data can quickly become overwhelming and become more cumbersome than useful. However, there are ways to draw practical information from report data that can actually save money for your surgery center.  Start by reviewing your procedure volume report—by the CPT code—to identify the highest volume procedures. Once these procedures have been identified, look for these five opportunities to save within each one. 

  1. Find procedures where the cost is higher than your reimbursement. Compare charge reports to actual reimbursements to identify CPT codes that are losing money. If the procedure costs are outweighing the reimbursement, consider ways to standardize and avoid losing money on those procedures
  2. Reveal which supplies cost the most. Evaluate the highest-cost supplies for each CPT code (such as implants, hoods or laparoscopic supplies). Most products will have a lower cost alternative, so see if you can standardize these products to the lower cost, clinically acceptable alternatives. If multiple different types are used, allow the physicians to pick two lower cost items and standardize to those. Make sure components are on their GPO contract and you are getting best pricing available.
  3. Compare the length of procedures between physicians. Use EMR data to see who is the most efficient for each procedure and leverage those best practices to improve performance across your entire physician group. 
  4. Improve patient throughput. Identify reports that capture the amount of time patients spend in your surgery center—sign in, to discharge. Identify best practices that can improve efficiency among your physicians and facility overall. Look at the data and make sure physicians are scheduling procedures for the appropriate amount of time so patients are not waiting a longer time and the OR rooms are used most efficiently. For example, decreasing OR turnover time by standardizing process and products using custom packs to consolidate components and decrease single sterile opening. Also look at utilizing turnover kits for better efficiency.
  5. Focus on your implant log. Use EMR or PM system data to match implant procedures with actual billing. This is especially helpful since implants are often reimbursed above the standard procedure rate. For example, in a podiatry case you might bill not only for the implant, but also a flat fee for a bunionectomy. 

For more ways to cut waste and lower costs in your OR, visit cardinalhealth.com/surgerycenters

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