Case study-claurus-imaging-centricity-ris-pacs-iw


Published on

Clarus Imaging experiences positive impact
from Centricity RIS/PACS-IW Solution

• 25 percent increase in volume at its three imaging centers by improving scheduling
to reduce idle time, add more time slots and see more patients per day
• Accounts receivable went from 60 to 90 days to less than 30 days
• 21 percent increase in collections from 2008 to 2009
• Strengthened competitive positioning by offering images and reports via Internet
to referring physicians
• Scheduling is more precise, billing is more accurate, claims denials and average days
in accounts receivable are down
• Native billing system in the RIS/PACS-IW Solution has DRA/OPPS Logic billing, which
submits the highest reimbursable study first in sequence on multiple studies, maximizing
the reimbursement rates

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Case study-claurus-imaging-centricity-ris-pacs-iw

  1. 1. Centricity*RIS/PACS-IW Solution:A Platform for GrowthClarus Imaging Case StudyFebruary 2011
  2. 2. Clarus Imaging experiences positive impactfrom Centricity RIS/PACS-IW Solution• 5 percent increase in volume at its three imaging centers by improving scheduling 2 to reduce idle time, add more time slots and see more patients per day• Accounts receivable went from 60 to 90 days to less than 30 days• 21 percent increase in collections from 2008 to 2009• trengthened competitive positioning by offering images and reports via Internet S to referring physicians• cheduling is more precise, billing is more accurate, claims denials and average days S in accounts receivable are down• ative billing system in the RIS/PACS-IW Solution has DRA/OPPS Logic billing, which N submits the highest reimbursable study first in sequence on multiple studies, maximizing the reimbursement ratesJust two-and-a-half years after installing an integrated, “The return on our investment has been strong,” observesweb-based Centricity RIS/PACS-IW Solution, Clarus Imaging Kevin Herrington, Senior Regional Vice President with Altushas seen a 25 percent increase in volume at its three imaging Health Management Services, parent company of Claruscenters in and around Houston, Texas. Imaging. “Qualitatively, having an integrated RIS/PACS makes us competitive with the other imaging centers in our area.”That is the largest of many positive effects from the newsystem, which is enabling Clarus to maximize its potential as “Financially speaking, greater efficiency means we are seeingan imaging business. more patients per day and earning more revenue without adding staff or increasing business hours. We’re capturingScheduling is more precise. Billing accuracy has improved. charges effectively and sending out clean claims, and so we’reClaims denials and average days in accounts receivable are being reimbursed fully and in a timely fashion.”down. Workflow is more efficient. The system provides acentralized image archive and a single web-based readinglocation for the firm’s radiologists, all of whom work off-site.It also has a positive impact on report turnaround to meetthe needs of the referring physicians that support ClarusImaging. Centralized office functions facilitate managementof the three locations and provide a platform for easyexpansion (scalability) in the future. 2
  3. 3. Gearing for growth “ know intuitively that this is IClarus operates imaging centers in Houston and nearby increasing revenue cycle efficienciesBeaumont and Baytown, each specializing in advancedMRI, CT and PET/CT diagnostics. The centers share space because we are capturing more ofwith surgery and sleep centers owned by Altus Healthcare the CPT codes to charge to theas part of its multidisciplinary physician network in theHouston area, and is an official show reference site for patient or insurance company.”Centricity RIS/PACS-IW Solution. Kevin HerringtonWhen founded in 2004, Clarus Imaging had no PACS and useda surgery center software package as their information system. Senior Regional Vice PresidentAs the practice expanded, the need for a dedicated RIS and Altus Health Management ServicesPACS became clear. Among other limitations, the schedulingmodule did not fit the needs of an imaging practice, specialinformation needed in scheduling patients had to be recordedon paper, images had to be pushed manually from device Boosting volumeconsoles to the radiologists’ computers, and the chargecapture and billing process required error-prone manual, More efficiency in the scheduling process has a directpaper-based steps. correlation to throughput, and that is where the new system had its greatest impact. Previously, scheduling was inflexible“The key driver in pursuing RIS/PACS was to get our and error-prone. An exam slotted for less time than actuallyimages archived and easily available to physicians in the needed could put the staff behind schedule for the rest of thecommunity to be on a strong competitive footing with day. Too long an exam slot meant wasted time. Schedulershospitals and imaging centers that were rolling out PACS now can access the database of physician, patient andat the time,” says Herrington. insurance demographics already pre-populated into the system. That helps with consistency and accuracy in scheduling, which in turn has a direct correlation to billing.Smooth transition Exams are CPT-coded in the RIS down to the specific locationAfter an extensive year-long evaluation process, Clarus and scanner where it will be performed. So long as theImaging chose the Centricity RIS/PACS-IW Solution from GE scheduler selects the correct CPT code for an exam, the correctHealthcare. This integrated, web-based system is designed exam time is automatically assigned – guesswork is help ambulatory imaging businesses including outpatientimaging centers, complete the patient care cycle smoothly “If we enter into the RIS that an exam takes 45 minutes,and reliably, follow established best practices, and enhance we know that’s how long it takes and that’s how it getsworkflow and revenue cycle efficiencies. scheduled,” notes Rebecca Bridwell, MR/CT Technologist and RIS/PACS Administrator. “It enables us to put patients onThe selection process involved mainly Herrington, Altus COO literally back-to-back appointments.”Kraig Killough, Altus Vice President and Administrative DirectorSourabh Sanduja, and the imaging technologists. That means idle staff and scanner time is nearly eliminated, Herrington observes. “Ten minutes here and 15 minutes thereThe system was implemented in two phases, the PACS in two adds up by the end of the day,” he says. “By reducing idle time,months ending in March 2008, and the RIS in July of that year. we’re able to add more exam slots and see more patients perGE representatives served on the implementation team. GE day. We have seen a 25 percent increase in volume becauseled phone conferences and web meetings to prepare the staff we’re able to schedule more accurately.”for the process, then provided staff training on the system andsent specialists to the Clarus sites for several days to assistwith go-live. 3
  4. 4. Scheduling agility Other benefits of the Centricity RIS/PACS-IW Solution include:Cancellations can be a huge burden to outpatient imagingbusinesses. At Clarus, the system helps the staff act nimbly in Physicians better served. More available time slotsdealing with cancellations. Schedulers have easy access to means referring physicians can have their patients scheduledcontact information and call the day before exams to remind sooner. The system automatically faxes reports to referringpatients of appointments. If a patient calls and wants to physicians as soon as they are transcribed and signed off bypostpone, the scheduler can easily see other available time the radiologist. This helps Clarus Imaging meet referringslots and simply drag-and-drop to make the change. physician expectations for timely reporting. Physicians can log onto the integrated RIS/PACS and review their patient’sIn addition, technologists can more easily move patients current and historical images, as well as reports – a point ofaround in the schedule in response to cancellations or differentiation for Clarus in its “With the old system, we would have to go findthe patient’s chart, or ask scheduling to do so, and that would More accurate billing. The previous system included CPTtake time,” says Bridwell. “So if you wanted to move the next codes for a large number of procedures, inviting selectionpatient up in the schedule, it wasn’t possible because finding errors. “Typically no one would catch those errors, and wethe chart and contacting the patient ate up the extra time would end up billing out inaccurately,” says Herrington. “Nowyou had.” we build into our database the CPT codes for only procedures we actually perform.”Now, with contact information at hand, it’s easy to reachthe next patient and ask him or her to come right in, or ask More charges captured. The billing system in theend-of-day patients to come in early, creating later openings RIS/PACS-IW Solution has DRA/OPPS Logic billing, whichthat schedulers can fill. “It definitely helps our schedule submits the highest reimbursable study first in sequence onmanagement,” Bridwell says. multiple studies, maximizing the reimbursement rates. The system electronically captures charges for all CPT codesSmoother scheduling also means less time spent on the phone required for a procedure, as well as additional billable itemswith referring physician offices who regularly schedule such as laboratory work and supplies. The technologist entersappointments. “The less hassle it is to schedule a patient, the them to the system at the time of the exam instead of havingmore likely a physician office will continue to refer people to to record them on paper for later manual entry in the backus,” says Herrington. office. “I know intuitively that this is increasing revenue cycle efficiencies because we are capturing more of the CPT codes to charge to the patient or insurance company,” Herrington says. Claims processed quickly. Accurate billing reduces claim denials, and accurate patient and insurance information, also captured in the system, has the same effect. “The computer system is a closed loop,” Herrington says. “Everything is electronic. All the information is as accurate as possible, and we don’t rely on one person on the back end, a day or two after an exam, to key in the information.” The system automatically sends completed claims to a clearinghouse where they are scrubbed before submittal to Medicare or private payers. Claims denied because of errors are easily corrected in the system and resubmitted. “We’re being paid for procedures in the same month we bill them out.” Kevin Herrington Senior Regional Vice President Altus Health Management Services 4
  5. 5. Revenue moved forward. “Days in accounts receivable have Workflow streamlined. “Technologists like RIS and PACSbeen significantly reduced, “ says Herrington. “We are billing integration,” says Bridwell. “If we need to look at a patient’sout as soon as we have all the necessary claim information, previous exam and sign on to the PACS, the RIS transfers theand the insurance companies are paying us very quickly, report over, so we don’t have to jump between systems to seebecause we’re sending clean bills, with no errors and no a previous report. We can just stay in the PACS and manageissues. We’re being paid for procedures in the same month we the patient’s exam from there and pull up any previous reportsbill them out. Under the old system, we typically saw 60 to 90 we need. And because it’s web-based, I can manage studiesdays in accounts receivable. Now we’re pleasantly surprised at from my home computer if I need to, instead of having to cometimes to see less than 30 days.” in to take care of issues.”Patients served quickly. Patients in general get in and out Reports add value. The system can generate more thanquickly because scheduling is precise and because the system 100 standard reports to help the business and stay on trackhelps staff members track patients’ progress. “When patients with short- and long-term goals. “The reports give us a reallyarrive, the technologists know they are here and ready,” says good understanding of our volumes for each procedure,” saysBridwell. “We’ve always been really conscious of patient wait Herrington. “I also like being able to run a report showing whattime, and Centricity RIS/PACS-IW Solution has a tracking we are being reimbursed for procedures on average, all thesystem built in. We know when we see certain symbols on way down to the CPT code. If we find out, for example, that MRIscreen that a patient has been waiting for an extended time of the brain is especially profitable, then we can step up ourand we need to see what is going on.” marketing to neurologists.” Reports also help managers track referral patterns, detect when referrals from a given physician or group are declining, and have a marketing representative make a call.Looking to growHerrington sees Centricity RIS/PACS-IW Solution easily scaling “One of the strong points for the Centricity product is theup as Clarus Imaging adds more locations. “As we build more ongoing support. Although GE is a large company, we haveimaging centers, we’re going to use the same system and grow received personal service. It’s not a question of calling an 800from it,” he says. “The centralized functions make it a natural number and talking to someone in another country forbasis for expansion.” technical support. We’re able to deal with people we’ve met before. We have their cell phone numbers, they’re available toHe advises organizations considering RIS/PACS to review us, and they have been highly responsive to our issues.”and compare offerings carefully. “Be careful working with avendor that hasn’t proven itself, even though the price may Centricity RIS/PACS-IW Solution has provided Clarus Imaginglook appealing,” he says. “There could be hidden costs. And a centralized business platform to improve performance inremember that buying and implementing a system is only a wide range of critical areas, and to extend high-qualitypart of the equation. Once you’re up and running, what kind imaging services to more communities, more patients, andof support will you have?” more referring physicians. 5
  6. 6. ©2011 General Electric Company – All rights reserved.General Electric Company reserves the right to make changes in specifications and features shown herein, or discontinue the productdescribed at any time without notice or obligation. This does not constitute a representation or warranty or documentation regardingthe product or service featured. All illustrations or examples are provided for informational or reference purposes and/or as fictionalexamples only. Your product features and configuration may be different than those shown. Contact your GE Representative for themost current information.*GE, the GE Monogram, Centricity, and imagination at work are trademarks of the General Electric Company.General Electric Company, by and through its GE Healthcare division.About GE Healthcare:GE Healthcare provides transformational medicaltechnologies and services that are shaping a new ageof patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imagingand information technologies, medical diagnostics,patient monitoring systems, drug discovery,biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies,performance improvement and performance solutionsservices help our customers to deliver better care tomore people around the world at a lower cost. Inaddition, we partner with healthcare leaders, strivingto leverage the global policy change necessary toimplement a successful shift to sustainablehealthcare systems.Our “healthymagination” vision for the futureinvites the world to join us on our journey as wecontinuously develop innovations focused on reducingcosts, increasing access and improving quality aroundthe world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GEHealthcare is a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employees arecommitted to serving healthcare professionals and theirpatients in more than 100 countries. For moreinformation about GE Healthcare, visit our websiteat Healthcare540 W Northwest HighwayBarrington, IL 60010