3 Reasons your organization needs an electronic attachments solution
10.11.2022 By Availity
Nearly 80% of medical attachments are still sent manually via fax or mail. It’s one of the least adopted electronic transactions by both providers and payers, but why? First, there’s no federal standard (or incentive) for use of electronic attachments. In addition, the inefficiency of manual attachments disproportionately affects providers, so industry pain hasn’t reached the critical mass to demand new solutions, like we’re starting to see with prior authorizations. Or has it?
Providers face unprecedented staffing challenges, declining patient collections, and increasing expenses. There’s no better time to streamline the manual tasks that are bogging down your revenue cycle. Here are three great reasons to get started, and how you can estimate the time and money your organization could save with electronic attachments.
1. You need to do more with less
Most healthcare organizations are struggling with staffing shortages, and chances are your revenue cycle team has some vacancies as well. To address the challenge while you wait to fill roles, focus on automating as many processes as possible. Attachments is a great place to start, as studies show that providers can save an estimated six minutes and $3.10 per claim by implementing electronic attachments.
Doing the math
- How many attachments does your staff send today, and how much time does each one take?
- How much do those attachments cost in toner, paper, envelopes, and postage?
- How much time does staff spend following up on claim attachments — confirming receipt, tracking progress, and answering inquiries?
2. You see too many claim denials
We’d love to say that one claim denial is too many claim denials, but let’s be realistic. If your denial rate is creeping up or is consistently over 5–7%, it’s time to take a closer look at why. Attachment volume, electronic or otherwise, declined in 2021 a little more steeply than overall claim volume, but as claims return to pre-COVID volume, attachment requests will follow suit. If your revenue cycle staff doesn’t nip documentation denials in the bud now, that increase could have a serious impact on your denial rate.
Doing the math
- What is your denial rate for additional documentation (CO-252)?
- How much time does your staff spend reworking those denials?
- How many of those denials get written off?
3. You want to get paid faster
When your revenue cycle is flowing smoothly, your claims get paid faster, and who doesn’t want that? Manual processes like printing and attaching documents slow you and your payers down, first when submitting and receiving the claim, then again by delaying reimbursement and eating up staff time to check on claim status.
Doing the math
- If you print and mail your attachments, how long do they typically take to reach the payer?
- Are frequent documentation denials slowing down your reimbursement (see above)?
- Could identifying and submitting attachments up front (unsolicited attachments) reduce those denials?
Efficiencies add up
A large regional health system recently saved staff time, reduced their denials, and shortened time to payment by streamlining their Attachments workflow in Availity Essentials Pro. Read their story to see how time saved with electronic attachments can really add up.
To find out how to add Attachments to your Essentials Pro, contact your Client Success Manager or reach out at availity.com/EssentialsPro.