McLaren Port Huron Saves Time, Money, and FTEs with Forward Advantage’s Find-It
Optical Character Recognition for Scanned Archives, Including EDI 835s
When McLaren Port Huron (Port Huron, MI) migrated from McKesson STAR to MEDITECH 6.x in the spring of 2014, its hospital leadership wanted to maximize their new investment by utilizing as much of their MEDITECH system as possible. This included replacing their expensive third-party scanning and archiving (SCA) solution with one provided by MEDITECH. However, the hospital was concerned about losing some of the functionality included with their old system, particularly with regards to EDI 835 files. To remedy this issue, MEDITECH recommended Forward Advantage’s Find-It. Codeveloped with MEDITECH, Find-It provides advanced, optical character recognition (OCR) for scanned documents, including EDI 835s.
“Find-It was customized for us so that we could continue accessing EDI 835 files from payers in a way that was familiar to us,” says
Tanya Robbins, director of patient financial services. “The process is actually much more streamlined now and has eliminated the need for us to manually scan 835s. Also, our old solution didn’t have OCR functionality, so we’re saving a lot of time locating these and other documents.” Robbins and her team have been extremely pleased with both Find-It and the support they’ve received from Forward Advantage. They credit the solution for creating added efficiencies among staff and reducing full-time employee (FTE) demands.
Full-Text Search Capabilities Add Efficiency and Accuracy
Find-It was designed to provide a streamlined workflow specific for MEDITECH customers. It allows users to quickly locate business office documents with full-text search capabilities.
For instance, archived documents can be searched by content, key words, date range, or form type. The solution supports common image types and provides a variety of security features. It also integrates directly with MEDITECH, so end users don’t have to exit out of the system to perform a search. It’s as simple as clicking on the Find-It button within MEDITECH.
“We use Find-It for pretty much all correspondence that is done via paper,” says Robbins. “From a user’s perspective, the ease-of-use has been tremendous. To find a claim, they now just enter a claim number or the patient’s name or account number. It’s a big time saver. ”The results are much more accurate as well, according to Joy Sutherland, information specialist at McLaren Port Huron. “It wasn’t uncommon for us to receive error files with our old system because of trouble finding patients, and we haven’t once had that issue with Find-It.”
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Find-It Remit-It Accepts and Translates EDI 835 Files in a Consistent Format
EDI 835 files are not typically received from payers in a readable format; however, a customization to Find-It called Remit-It easily takes care of this issue. With Remit-It, the solution accepts EDI 835 files into an input folder. It then translates and processes these files before putting them to permanent storage where they can be searched just as easily as other scanned archives. This customization also includes standardizing the 835 files so that the end user is presented with a consistent look and feel. To do this, Forward Advantage reviews 835 files from up to 10 different payers and produces one common output report. “It’s incredibly helpful to have these in the same format, because you’re not wasting time looking at a file trying to figure out where the payment or adjustment information is located,” says Sutherland.
Automated Processes Reduce Full-Time Employee Demands
McLaren Port Huron’s old solution required scanning and significant manual intervention to get 835 files into an easy-to-read format that was separated according to patient. This process is now automated with Find-It. “Now that most of our payers are sending us 835s electronically into Find-It, we’re not dealing with multiple patients on one page,” says Sutherland. “We now have one sheet for every payment on a voucher, and they all look the same. The solution also redacts the individual patient to protect privacy, so that has eliminated another manual process for us.” Eliminating the manual processes surrounding 835 files has also allowed employees to focus their efforts in other areas. “I used to have two people who exclusively scanned these vouchers and spliced them according to patient to get them somewhat close to what Joy has created with the Find-It group,” says Robbins. “We’re finding that these employees can now be leveraged elsewhere.”
Vendor Support that is Bar None
When asked what they thought of Forward Advantage’s support during the Find-It installation, both Robbins and Sutherland couldn’t have been more positive. “Forward Advantage’s responsiveness, ability to be creative, and willingness to work with us has been bar none,” says Robbins. “They are truly unique from a vendor perspective.” Sutherland echoes this sentiment, particularly with regards to the Remit- It customization. “The 835 support couldn’t have been better,” she states. “I kept asking for things, and they kept giving me what I wanted. I almost felt guilty.” An example of one of these requests was to have a summary section inserted on 835 files that combines all of the claim adjustment reason codes for that claim and automatically tallies up the corresponding dollars. “We need some of that information when we’re manually billing, and the summary section has eliminated what was once another manual process,” continues Sutherland.
“Find-It is all about making workflow a little easier for the end user,” says Charles Williams, vice president of migration and integration services. “It reduces manual processes and allows for quick and easy content-based searches. Remit-It is a great addition for customers, because it extends this convenience to 835 remittance files.”
About McLaren Port Huron Hospital
McLaren Port Huron is a 186-bed not-for- profit community hospital that provides a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient health care services to residents in St. Clair and Sanilac counties including specialized centers accredited or certified for breast health services, orthopedics, stroke care, bariatric surgery, wound healing, cancer care, inpatient diabetes care and sleep medicine. Committed to making a positive difference in the health of our communities since 1882, McLaren Port Huron has been recognized repeatedly for clinical excellence and patient safety by nationally renowned organizations known for their measurements of hospitals and health care systems.