Weems adds electronic medical recordkeeping

Published: Monday, December 23, 2013 at 11:35 AM.

“All of these small hospitals nationwide are faced with this,” he said. “I’m not going to advocate buying the most expensive system. A bad system will slow things up. Good modules will allow you with a few clicks to get the correct information (while) a cheap system equals morale problems.”

Chair Cheryl Sanders supported the acquisition, but noted that “I wish we had somebody local instead of bringing somebody in from out of state.”

Brownsworth said the intention is to go in-house with billing in three to five years. As it stands now, CSS is incentivized by making a percentage off the increase in cash payments they are able to collect. He said the deal eliminates about $232,000 in annual costs now going to ARx and Healthland for billing and insurance verification.

“With CSS, we only start making payments for these revenue cycle services once we make more cash than we are right now,” said Brownsworth. “In order for them to get paid, they have to increase the amount of money we get paid, and they then get one-third of the increase.”

Commissioner Pinki Jackel said she wanted to see a report made to the board prior to any payments to CSS. “There are benchmarks we have to hit before approval for government reimbursements,” she said. “I want to be sure we’re meeting benchmarks in a timely fashion.

“We’ve got to do a better job of collecting every penny we can,” she said. If we don’t do a better job, we cannot continue to operate at these losses. (It’s a matter of) the fish or cut bait stage, if we’re continuing to take money out of the trust fund to build a new facility.”

Commissioner Smokey Parrish supported the EMR deal, and agreed the county needed to “get to a point where we quit drawing money out of the trust.

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