GE

Catching Up At C-Live

GE Healthcare’s annual C-Live conference is always an excellent opportunity to catch up with our clients and colleagues, but most importantly it’s the time to find out what’s new with GE.  This year did not disappoint.  GE has shown that they are continuing to invest in their tried and true Centricity Business suite of products.  Their newest 6.1 version is packed with critical enhancement to improve patient access and revenue cycle workflows from Anesthesia billing enhancements to simple tools to improve the everyday tasks like dictionary exports.  GE continues to roll out new ETM workflows for all their modules from HPA to SIU interface edit lists.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the conference was watching some of our client partners present on how they have made the most of their existing GE systems.  Our clients are seeing some very impressive results, including:

  • Charge capture and TES optimization resulting in a $3M annual increase in cash collections
  • FSC Consolidation including an 80% reduction in the number of FSCs
  • Visit Type Consolidation & Standardization driving a 25% increase in appointment availability
  • GECB deployment to newly acquired medical groups covering 1,600 providers in 14 months
  • ETM Optimization resulting in a 2% reduction in A/R

 

Culbert looks forward to working with our clients as they implement this new version and tools into their processes.  We hope to see everyone at C-Live 2018 in Las Vegas!

Leaving No Stones Unturned- Post Live Revenue Challenges & Tools to Help

Culbert was recently engaged to assess an existing GE Centricity Business system, struggling with some post live revenue cycle challenges.  An analysis of both system and operational workflows was conducted in order to identify opportunities for improvement.  The customer’s Centricity Business system had been installed over a year previous to our engagement and tremendous growth in the past year had left the client with a system design that no longer accommodated the organization. New CBO leadership teams were also struggling to learn the system and recognize its potential. Culbert consultants employed several assessment tools to help the customer understand what was hiding under the rocks!

OBSERVATION 

  • Errors or omissions at the front-desk of a medical office can have a significant impact on the overall accounts receivable. Observation of front-desk operations often reveals workflow disparities within a practice and across the enterprise. Documented policies and SOPs (Standardized Operating Procedures) are essential to maintaining consistency with operations and provide practice managers with mechanisms to enforce protocols and audit performance. System training must be reinforced with enterprise-wide guidelines with expectations for work assignments. Training manuals should be workflow-based and provide direction for completing tasks and remedial training needs should be addressed promptly.

INTERVIEWS 

  • Staff and management interviews should be very informal in nature as they are simply information gathering exercises. Interviews are the components of an assessment that can tie up loose ends. Even when an issue is discovered by reviewing the application build or by analyzing reports, it is the interviews with staff and management that usually provide the reasoning behind the current design – and provide clues for how the design can and should be changed to accommodate current and future needs.

ANALYSIS OF REPORTS AND APPLICATION DESIGNS 

  • Thorough analysis of system reports and application designs will pinpoint functional areas and workflows that require remediation. Evaluation of the system’s core dictionaries is crucial to understanding current obstacles to optimal functionality and potential limitations to implementing necessary system changes. As the saying goes, the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray… In this case, the original dictionary designs could not accommodate the current conditions and required updates.

INTRODUCTION OF WORKGROUPS AND/OR COMMITTEES  

  • System solutions require a close partnership between CBO management teams and the IT department responsible for supporting the revenue cycle systems. The CBO and IT teams should meet regularly and use an “Open Tickets Review” spreadsheet as a working document that can provide a concise listing of open tickets – including assignees, status updates, and next steps – that will facilitate consensus and escalation of issues with the IT support team.
  • Oftentimes, customers already understand that there is a need to bring internal teams together to work through outstanding issues, but an external source can serve as the impetus of change. If not already in place, a Revenue Cycle Governance Board should be established with clear accountability and decision-making authority for key revenue-cycle functions.

PROJECT TOOLS AND DOCUMENTS 

Preparation of several tools and documents can assist with maintaining project organization, complying with timelines and milestones, and completing deliverables.

  • Project Timeline
  • A high-level bar graph representing the overall schedule of the project will set expectations and allow the customer to arrange for appropriate resources.
  • Project Plan
  • A Project Plan should contain the specific tasks to be completed for each phase of the engagement and include assignees and due dates.
  • Client Data Request List
    • Information about the client’s organization, the current design of their PM system, and copies of existing policies and procedures will be needed to proceed with an investigation and model specific Project Plan tasks.
  • Project Snapshots / Executive Status Summaries
  • The customer’s leadership team will request periodic snapshots of the current status of the project. This update can be a bulleted list of project milestones in stoplight format (green/yellow/red) that also highlights any issues posing risks to the timeline.
  • Assessment Report
    • The final assessment report should be prepared in a professional format suitable for presentation to a customer’s executive committee and contain sections that identify the original purpose of the project, all findings, and recommendations.

ETM: What’s New with Enterprise Task Manager

Enterprise Task Manager (ETM) began its life as an application to assist clients with accounts receivable follow up efforts within the BAR functions. As ETM evolved, it became an application that could address the front-end edits through integration with TES. The continuing evolution integrates ETM with other billing and collection processes and has become a solution that can address the entire revenue cycle – not just the post claims processing stage.

In early versions of ETM, the starting workflow package included:  BAR workflows for Insurance Followup, Rejections Followup, Self-Pay Followup and Claim Edits.  Underpayments were offered, but without Payer Contract Module, were not very useful.  The next workflow that GE came out with was TES edit workflows. 

The Transaction Editing System (TES) Workflow was introduced with v5.0 and creates tasks from the edits you choose to work in ETM.  Transaction-level tasks show all edits for the transaction listed in the Preview and Instruction panes.  Transaction edit tasks show each edit as an individual task unless you use the roll up functionality for identical dictionary field edits or all registration/insurance edits for the same patient into a single task.  The rollup functionality can streamline the working of TES edits and reduce system overhead when the old TES workfiles required nightly compiles.

The newest additions are workflow enhancements that support EDI functions.  Eligibility workflows help identify response types and route them to ETM views to work.  ETM status is used to tell whether the request is sent or the response received.  EDI claim status is now part of the BAR insurance follow-up flows and provide claim acknowledgements and status updates.  Additional BAR workflows include Prepayment Allocations, Credit Card/Recurring Payments for patients on budget plans, and Self-Pay Statement Edits.  The Underpayments module is integrated with the Payer Contract Module (PCM) to make it a more effective tool. 

 ETM continues to grow and develop innovative ways to streamline billing and collections.  Eligibility workflows open the door to front-end processes that can be used in a centralized scheduling/registration department or at patient check-in.  Through the routing of tasks to the proper place at the appropriate time, combined with providing the tools needed to work the task, ETM could expand into other areas of the healthcare continuum. 

 

 

GE Clients : Prepare for ICD-10

ICD-10 requires the healthcare community to capture information at more granular and accurate levels to better represent what’s going on with the patient diagnostically and procedurally.  It enhances precise communication throughout the continuum of care and focuses on outcomes.

For GE applications, ICD-10 will require changes to every asset utilized to bill and collect for patient services including but not limited to TES, Claims Manager, and BAR.

 Below are examples of how GE clients can prepare for ICD-10:

  • System updates and/or upgrade (ex. Medcin, SNOMED, templates, TES & Claims Manager, electronic and paper claims/remits, and reports)
  • Interface modifications & testing
  • Physician documentation training
  • HIM and coding training
  • Revenue cycle staff training
  • Unit testing
  • Integrated testing:  interfaces, clearinghouses, EDI partners
  • Modifications to reports (DMBS, AES, month-end reports)

 

The plethora of government regulations and initiatives has challenged organizations to prioritize where to invest their limited resources. Programs including 5010, Meaningful Use, Healthcare Reform and Accountable Care Readiness are all important, however none of these presents a greater risk to your organization’s cash flow than ICD-10.

GE Centricity Practice Solution (CPS) v11

 

With the announcement of Centricity Practice Solution (CPS) v11 on January 24, 2013, GE Healthcare makes a strong positive statement as they continue to develop and improve one of their core software offerings.   CPS v11 is the release that is ICD-10 compliant and GE has done a lot of work to make the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 easy for the physician.  GE has added a predictive search engine to the problem section of the system which allows searching by full description, abbreviation or by code and will display both the ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes when there is a match.  GE has also changed the workflow for problem entry so that the number of clicks needed to add a problem has been reduced from 4 to 1 which will be welcome news to the many physicians who count their clicks.  The focus on ease of use for the physician community is the right strategy for gaining the trust of a group of users that is dealing with change due to the various stages of Meaningful Use, among other demands on physician time.

Feedback from GE’s early adopter group indicates that the upgrade to v11 is straightforward from either v9.5 or v10 with no significant issues reported.  Some additional work is required for the upgrade from v9.5 but it is more than manageable.  This should be welcome news to organizations that have not yet upgraded to v10.

GE CPS clients can now include the upgrade to v11 in their ICD-10 planning and leverage the content to help educate their physicians on the demands of ICD-10.  By coming to market with a solution a full 20 months before the ICD-10 deadline, GE gives their clients ample opportunity to effectively manage the process and be ready in advance of the October 1, 2014 deadline.