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Return on Investment

Instant Medical History has a powerful impact on the economics of a practice. Seeing more patients, reducing expenses, and coding appropriately all contribute dramatically to the profitability of physicians.

Assumptions:

  • Physicians are seeing 25 patient visits per day
  • Physicians are under-coding their visits by one level due to lack of documentation
  • Physicians are currently employing dictation of records as a part of their workflow

Using these assumptions, potential impacts from Instant Medical History™ (IMH) are as follows:

Documentation savings - When patients use IMH to enter their own medical history, the documentation is completed for the subjective note before the exam begins. Since two thirds or more of a medical record is the history, having it completed saves time. 4 minutes saved in documentation time per patient X 25 patients per day results in 100 minutes saved. At 15 minutes per appointment, this would increase productivity by 6 visits per day. At 4 days worked per week per physician this would be 24 visits per week, or about 100 extra visits per month. Using IMH the physician can spend more time seeing patients. At $50 per visit, the net increase would be $5000 per month per physician.

Transcription Reduction - Dictation costs per physician were estimated at $2000 per physician per month. Since using Instant Medical History™ eliminates about 60% of dictation, the savings would be about $1200 per physician per month.

Getting Paid for Work Done - Under-coding visits costs about $10 per visit. Recovering this lost revenue would result in $250 per physician per day, or $1000 per 4 day week, or $4000 per physician per month.

Summary:

The net benefit of Instant Medical History™ is about $10,200 per physician per month. Assuming that not all visits are under-coded, not all time saved can be used productively, not every physician is spending $2000 per month on dictation, and not all dictation savings would be realized, you may wish to think about how these factors might apply in your personal situation.

Other Benefits:

Additional Billings - Instant Medical History™ employs standardized psychological scales from the medical literature as part of the interview. This patient provided data can be billed under CPT code 96103, psychological testing by a computer, including time for the interpretation and reporting when the results are discussed with the patient and the scoring recorded in the medical record. The additional revenue varies in different practice situations, but Medicare reimbursement for this service approximates $140.00 per hour. You should consult with your own resources before submitting this code to verify your individual situation.

Miscellaneous Positives - This estimate ignores other cost savings and revenue enhancement from the use of Instant Medical History™, which may be substantial depending on whether they can be realized in a given setting. Better documentation of patient complaints is helpful for liability defense and preventive care monitoring. Preventive measures are often missed in acute care. With a detailed history, visits can be planned and some patients triaged rapidly. The cost of withstanding documentation audits is substantial even if no pay-backs to Medicare are required. Some examples of other savings are:

  • Reduced malpractice exposure, improved ability to negotiate and monitor the performance of care delivered under contract, the ability to deliver less costly non-visit care under capitated contracts, better HEDIS scores for negotiating higher fee schedules with third parties
  • Improved patient retention and satisfaction

There is substantially more guess-work involved in estimating savings from these factors, although the dollar amounts are substantial and might easily match the amounts related to the three factors above.

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