Data Analytics: Why They Are Important

Donna White

Donna White

By Donna White, Principal Consultant and Owner of Legacy Consulting Services and Legacy Billing Solutions in Montgomery, Alabama.

Many practices feel that working denials and doing AR follow-up is enough to make a solid revenue cycle plan. However, with so many Electronic Health Records (EHRs) having dashboards and in-depth reporting, data analytics is a key piece to the revenue cycle puzzle.

Value of Data Analytics

A 2016 survey shows that many providers fail to see the value in data analytics. According to the results, 55% of providers stated they “do not have a data analytics and reporting solution in place to improve their revenue cycle.” Reasons varied from lack of need to lack of resources available. But today’s EHR environment makes obtaining data analytics easier than ever.

With that ease comes a value-add to your revenue cycle. By using data analytics, you can pinpoint your AR follow-up methods to make the most impact as quickly as possible.

What should I look for?

There are many ways to use data analytics to improve your revenue cycle.

  • Look at your AR aging by bucket by payor to identify which payors you should focus on. Keep timely filing and payment timeframes in mind when you select worklists for your teams.
  • Denials reporting help you identify the most common denials your practice receives. This helps you determine if there is a system fix that can be done to correct these denials (incorrect NPI number loaded into the system), or a training workflow that needs to be changed among your staff (registration denials).
  • Trended reporting can be among the most valuable data analytics you can perform. It may take some manual effort, but looking at charges, payments and adjustments month by month will help you see when your productivity decreases, or by reviewing charges to determine if there are any payment issues. For example, if in the previous month your charges went up, but your payments for this month are down, further research should be done to find out the root cause.

Types of reports

Another reason many practices may avoid data analytics is that their EHR provides too many types of reports to choose from. How do you know which are the most valuable? As mentioned before, a charges, payments, and adjustments report is key. As is AR aging. It also helps to have this broken up between Patient AR and Insurance AR. You want to be able to see or calculate percentages to see where the most of your AR is sitting. The goal is to get 80% of your AR in 0-60 days. And don’t forget your clearinghouse for rejections and denials reporting to ensure the highest clean claim rate possible.

With the revenue cycle industry growing over the next few years, data analytics are not going away. Actually, they are becoming more important than ever. If your practice does not have a regular reporting structure in place, it is time to do so.

Does your EHR provide a dashboard of metrics you can use to evaluate your practice?

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