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Clinical Documentation Plays A Crucial Role in the Revenue Cycle

Posted By Giovanna Stahl
clinical documentation improvement

Clinical documentation improvement (CDI) is becoming increasingly valuable in today’s healthcare world. CDI’s relevance is supported by AHIMA’s newly-released CDI outpatient toolkit. This toolkit equips providers with the guidance they need to establish their own CDI system. Toolkits like this paired with professional clinical documentation improvement services help providers review their documentation processes and identify opportunities for improvement.

Clinical documentation touches all parts of the revenue cycle. No matter how skilled a facility’s staff of coders is, if the clinical documentation has gaps, the coders may end up assigning the wrong code—which will ultimately lead to a denial. Claims denials can leave millions of dollars of revenue on the table each year. Further, accurate clinical documentation not only affects providers’ back-end but their patients as well. From the forms patients fill out at sign-in to the bill they receive at the end of their visit, any erroneous documents may lead to them paying more, misunderstanding their treatment or charges, and compromise their good relationship with the provider.

All around, providers looking to foster a healthier revenue cycle should consider partnering with expert CDI service providers. ECLAT Health Solutions’ CDI services help our clients understand weak spots in their current documentation processes and identify opportunities for improvement. We help them earn a variety of benefits for their practice:


The Benefits of Clinical Documentation Improvement

Perhaps the most appealing benefit of CDI services is the potential for increased revenue. In a Black Book Market Research report, hospitals with 150+ beds who outsourced CDI made over $1.5 million in revenue after hiring CDI services. This increased revenue comes, of course, from CDI specialists fixing providers’ current documentation issues, which means more accurate coding and appropriate reimbursements. Additionally, much of this revenue increase occurs because CDI specialists can also identify more efficient documentation practices to prevent future errors.

Some practices looking to implement CDI, however, may struggle to find enough already stretched-thin staff to take on CDI responsibilities. This is where partnering with a CDI company comes in. Providers who choose professional CDI services will free up many of their staff to focus on what they do best: ensure the practice keeps operating smoothly. The less staff struggling to fix documentation errors, the more staff members are available to focus on daily operations, and/or other areas that need improvements such as billing, patient care, and staff communication. Naturally, these also play their part to improve revenue. However, a crucial benefit of smoother operations is less-stressed staff, fewer mistakes being made, and happier patients.


All in all, taking the time to implement CDI will help practices earn more revenue, enjoy fewer coding mistakes, improve patient care, and streamline daily operations. Finding the staff to do this in-house can be a challenge, making choosing a healthcare solutions company the best option for the best results. ECLAT Health Solutions helps our clients earn these benefits and more with our CDI services. Our CDI experts are skilled at identifying documentation errors and making clear, concrete suggestions to remedy these errors. We are happy to provide our clients with what we call the ECLAT Advantage which includes ongoing support, and more.

Tags: CDI, Revenue Cycle Management