Paper charts, express shipping, and manual data entry were once common practices for Schumacher Group, one of the largest and fastest growing emergency management companies in the nation. Realizing that a more efficient patient chart process was needed, Schumacher Group turned toward document management automation.
Headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana, Schumacher Group manages information from thousands of emergency room physicians, hospitalists and other providers in more than 200 facilities across the United States. One of the organization’s key business functions is patient billing.
Originally, it took approximately 12 days for chart data to get entered into Schumacher Group’s billing system from the time of the initial patient encounter until the data was entered manually. This included chart acquisition, preparation and shipping time. Now six years later that time has significantly decreased to less than 24 hours, thanks to document management automation. The process for chart coding, where numerical CPT, ICD-9, ICD-10 and diagnosis codes are assigned, has also decreased to less than 24 hours compared to 5 to 20 days.
Schumacher Group’s document management system has grown from a simple image repository to a robust solution involving multiple workflows going through parallel processing. “Our document management automation solution is truly the bloodline of our organization,” said Jeremy Martin, information technology manager for Schumacher Group. “It drives our revenue and efficiency.”
Automated Electronic Workflow Manages Simultaneous Medical Billing Functions
Approximately five years ago, Schumacher Group selected KeyMark Inc., an award-winning document management solution provider known for its expertise in engineering multifaceted solutions and exemplary customer service, to help address its medical billing process needs. KeyMark has regional offices in several areas of the United States and is headquartered in Liberty, South Carolina. To aid Schumacher Group in speeding up processes and increasing efficiencies, KeyMark helped install and configure Hyland Software’s OnBase Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software suite with core capabilities in document imaging, electronic document management, workflow and records management.
“The flexibility of the solution is perfect for us,” said Martin. “We knew that our internal IT department would be capable of troubleshooting most system issues that arose. We needed a scaleable platform that would allow us to improve our processes and expand our business. The folks at KeyMark really understood our needs and challenges and the workflow functions we needed to meet our goals.”
KeyMark’s solution specifically engineered for Schumacher Group revolves heavily around the system’s electronic workflow functions. Patient chart information is now released into Schumacher Group’s system directly from the hospital on the day patients receive care. Once the system receives the chart data, numerous workflows automatically begin occurring at once. “It’s a huge benefit that the system can do multiple things at the same time,” said Martin. “To get the charts ready for billing, the solution conducts parallel tasks such as verifying patient insurance, coding and checks and balances.”
To further expedite the process, workflow within Schumacher Group’s document management solution is divided into more than 10 different life cycles, or the complete process a document goes through. Each life cycle is then made up of approximately 80 queues, or the point in the workflow where work is performed on a document. “This is an important feature to us because the chart doesn’t have to follow an A-B-C-D order in the system,” said Martin. “The system can be performing checks and balances on the front end while it’s doing other processes on the back end simultaneously.”
The Schumacher Group managers also appreciate that the solution enables them to review business activity and process performance. The business activity monitoring feature gives Schumacher Group managers real-time visibility into workflow queues, providing immediate information about critical business processes. Through easy-to-use dashboards, managers can quickly address problems, set benchmarks to measure progress and make better business decisions. “We’ve actually been able to eliminate a number of paper reports because the system gives us instant visibility into what is in our queues,” said Martin. “We’ve also found that we use the business activity monitoring capability for forecasting when we need to adjust staff responsibilities, depending on patient volumes.”
According to Martin, having the ability to view charts while they are in the process of being billed is another advantage of the solution. “Multiple departments may be looking at the same chart on the same day for different reasons. Not only are we preparing the chart for billing purposes, but we may be retrieving data to provide our physicians with analytics they need to perform their jobs efficiently.”
“We’re very pleased with our document management solution,” said Martin. “We experience less human errors and a much faster processing of charts. It is truly the bloodline of our organization and has allowed us to focus on other important areas of our business.”
As for Schumacher Group’s relationship with KeyMark, Martin says “KeyMark is one of the absolute best vendor relationships we have. The company is phenomenal from the support team to the management to their open door policy. They really understand our needs and that we operate in an ever changing environment.”
About Schumacher Group
Located in Lafayette, LA, the Schumacher Group is one of the largest and fastest growing emergency management companies in the nation and relies on manual processes for activities such as coding, chart documentation verification and insurance verification.Tags: