On the inpatient side, concurrent CAC will certainly play an increasing role in boosting and managing productivity, but the focus to-date has been on the outpatient setting and retrospective use. While CAC has been historically viewed as a coder productivity enhancement tool, the benefits of CAC can go well beyond this narrow focus, helping improve data integrity, consistency and payment accuracy, but only when CAC is considered in tandem with a health organization’s clinical documentation program.
When used concurrently on the inpatient side coupled with a strong clinical documentation program, CAC can improve:
Transparency, helping identify documentation that supports a code assignment for easy verification,
Productivity, of inpatient claims generally by 20-25 percent,
Accuracy, decreasing audit findings,
Cost containment, lowering overtime, audit fees, and reimbursement payment denials,
Case Mix Index,
Compliance, improving specificity and accuracy of documentation to bulletproof against ever-expanding audit activities,
Efficiency, reducing the review of the EHR/scanned documents/paper records by allowing all applications to run through the CAC application and thereby streamlining code assignment, and
Consistency, helping teach inexperienced coders by offering consistent coding for validation.
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