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Spine surgeon brings surgery coordination online, achieves unexpected financial benefits through improved coding Featured

By  Sean Salehi M.D., The Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery (CMIS) | Monday, 30 October 2017 19:24
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Surgical case communication issues are a common problem in the healthcare industry.

This is particularly true when relying on antiquated methods like fax, email, phone and text messaging. When changes and requests are not properly communicated to everyone involved in a case (surgery center and physician office staff, anesthesiologists, vendor reps, etc.), delays and cancellations are quick to follow. This is a situation with which I am all too familiar.

 

There were two instances in particular which led me to look for a new, more concise way to coordinate surgical procedures. The first was a case cancellation/reschedule that occurred because the device rep was not made aware of a modification to how a procedure was to be performed. As a result, he arrived at the center on the day of surgery with the wrong instrument. Another issue was a change in case order at the surgery center. Because this modification wasn’t communicated beyond surgery center staff, I arrived at the center three hours prior to the patient (or at the originally scheduled surgery time).

 

Time for a Change

 

After a colleague alerted me to Casetabs, a cloud-based surgery communication suite, I was immediately interested in learning more. Casetabs automates case coordination from the moment it is determined a surgery is needed through discharge. The case request is sent directly to the center for acceptance or rejection. Once a case is scheduled, proactive alerts are sent to everyone involved anytime an update is made. Even device reps can access pertinent case information directly from their mobile phones. The system is easy to use, but what surprised me most about it is the communication benefits extend to case codes. This particular feature is unique to this company’s solution.

 

The Physician Office Module allows templates to be created with specific ICD10 and CPT codes prepopulated to each type of case. I have experienced coding issues in the past caused by miscommunication. One such instance was a lumbar fusion case which resulted in a $7,000 loss because the primary code wasn’t properly communicated. Now my scheduler can quickly pull up the case and corresponding codes. Accurate, complete coding provided to the insurance company eliminates reduced rates caused by pre-authorization issues. Communication with insurance company peers is easier as well now that my PA has access to detailed case information and codes.

 

Current, affordable technology that is straightforward, easy to implement and use means there is no longer reason to tolerate surgical communication issues. Ask around, I’m glad I did.

 

By Sean Salehi M.D., The Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery (CMIS)

 

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