The success of any healthcare organization depends upon accuracy and accountability and revolves around its unique policies and procedures. Despite their best efforts, many healthcare providers still discover weaknesses needing to be corrected. Fortunately, there are several benefits of a medical records audit. Contact Sunwave Health today online or by calling us at 561.576.6037 to learn about how our electronic medical records (EMR) tools can help you identify the gaps that are causing your business the most problems.
What Is a Healthcare Audit?
A medical records audit is a comprehensive evaluation that will examine your organization’s practices and processes, looking for deficiencies. There are different kinds of healthcare audits, the most common of which involves deep-dive internal inspections that focus on assessing the coding and billing aspects of your organization. A healthcare records audit will aim to:
- Identify emerging trends
- Detect risks
- Act before larger and more costly issues develop
There are several benefits to conducting regular audits, too.
The Benefits of a Medical Records Audit
Medical records audits play a critical role in the healthcare industry today. An audit will provide accurate and efficient documentation for your healthcare organization and help to figure out the specific areas of your business that could be improved.
Identify Improper Billing Practices
Billing mistakes are not uncommon in the healthcare field. Thousands of bills and invoices are being processed by healthcare providers every day. Improper billing practices like duplicate bills or late bills will decrease your organization’s compliance. It can also lead to fines and cause your reputation to take a hit.
One of the big benefits of a medical records audit is finding and correcting issues leading to inaccuracy in billing, such as a lack of medical documentation and the generation of erroneous bills. This means that medical records audits can help you decrease risk and raise your organization’s reliability. Regular audits can lead to:
- Better profits
- Increased competitiveness
- Enhanced flow of revenue
While more time is needed for regular audits, your bottom line can vastly improve by spending time and attention to improve your organization’s accuracy.
Discover Coding Errors
Even if your addiction treatment facility or behavioral healthcare organization has developed systematic approaches to avoid claim denials, they can and will still happen. When denials increase over time, your business’s cash flow can be negatively affected, and worse, your patients may become less loyal in the process because their claims are not being approved.
One of the most common causes of claim denials is incorrect coding, which can be easily identified using medical audits. When it comes to how often auditing medical records is needed, think about the auditing process finding discrepancies with out-of-date codes, incorrect inputs, and more. Regular audits can help you and your staff address errors long before providers realize they exist and therefore improve your patient outcomes.
Create Positive Patient Outcomes
Having a mismanaged system negatively affects patients in many ways, including the quality of care they receive and the accuracy of their documentation. This means that your organization may have to pay to fix errors and that those dollars are not being used to improve patient treatment and their overall experience in your facility.
With our electronic medical records (EMR) tools and by implementing a medical records auditing process, your healthcare organization will have access to a more holistic view of how your money is being managed, who is making important funding decisions, and how your policies and processes can be made more efficient. This will allow you to budget better and invest accordingly to create positive patient outcomes and keep your patients loyal to your organization.
Find Reimbursement Deficiencies
One of the benefits of a medical records audit is finding reimbursement deficiencies and highlighting the opportunities for appropriate reimbursement practices.
Holds Staff Accountable
A medical records audit allows you to gather reports and information that will explain which departments are most likely to experience errors. One of the other benefits of medical records audits is that your staff will naturally become more careful with documentation and better versed in the most current code changes. The goal of an audit in the healthcare field is to help make your staff more aware that their mistakes can be caught in real-time and increase accountability and ownership. This can lead to saved costs and fewer compliance issues for your organization.
How Often Should You Audit Medical Records?
Investing in a medical records audit means that you’re investing in prevention, cost saving, and the overall patient experience. By having the necessary EMR tools and experts like Sunwave Health involved in your auditing process, you can eliminate errors and significantly reduce your overall costs. These are dollars that can be allocated toward improving the patient experience, staff satisfaction, and so much more. The benefits to your organization’s revenue cycle and compliance department will outweigh the cost of a medical record audit. Ultimately, the more often the medical record audit, the more chances your business has in pinpointing and resolving habitual and systemic issues that are costing you money.
Learn More at Sunwave Health
Sunwave Health’s technology can help you make your staff’s jobs easier, and patient experiences better. Learn how our EMR tools can help you avoid mistakes by calling 561.576.6037 or reaching out online today.