In the fall of 2017, approximately 363 new codes, 142 deleted codes, and 250 revisions for ICD-10 CM were announced by Centers for Medical & Medicaid Services (CMS). These changes are intended to increase specificity and better track effects of care on patients. In practice however, this translates to additional administrative burdens while cardiologists face the need to increase productivity and generate revenue. This is where a medical scribe for cardiology can help a cardiologist keep up with the demands of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and remain profitable.
EHRs are an increasingly burdensome challenge for physicians and their staff. Physicians are drawn away from focusing on their patients and instead must spend time entering data into their computer. The screen becomes a barrier between patient and physician, distracting the doctor and making the patient feel as if they are not getting the attention they need. Additionally, in order to keep up with patient visits and generate necessary revenue, long hours have become part of many cardiologists’ regimen. This can lead to fatigue and inaccuracies, including data collection for EHRs, which in turn can snowball into billing inaccuracies and therefore delayed payment. For some cardiologists, hiring cardiology medical scribes can alleviate much of the burden and lead to bottom line growth.
The Benefits of Hiring a Medical Scribe for your Cardiology Practice
Alan J. Bank, MD, director of medical research at United Heart and Vascular Clinic and Allina Health in St. Paul, Minn., conducted a study to measure the difference in productivity between cardiologists using medical scribes, and those who do not.
Here is what he found:
- Cardiologists using a cardiology medical scribe saw nearly 10 percent more patients than those without a medical scribe.
- United Heart and Vascular Clinic added 16 cardiology scribes to assist 10 physicians at a cost of less than $100,000. They added nearly $1.4 million in additional annual revenue.
- The cardiologists who used cardiology scribes saved an average of 2.5 hours per day by eliminating clerical work.
- There was a 14 to 1 return on investment for cardiologists who hired a cardiology medical scribe.
Bank came away from the study convinced it was a no-brainer to hire cardiology medical scribes. Instead of doing clerical and administrative tasks, cardiologists using cardiology scribes can focus on patient care. He also believes the entire healthcare system benefits because “the patient gets better care and it’s a much more efficient system.”
How to Successfully Implement a Cardiology Scribe Program
It is essential the entire team is trained and understands the documentation and workflow requirements of your program. Scribekick cardiology medical scribes are trained in the specialty and have knowledge of medical terms specific to the their work. They will come to you with a thorough understanding of your specialty and EHRs. However, each practice is unique, and your cardiology scribe will need to learn the workflow of your individual practice. Furthermore, in order the make the transition to using cardiology scribes as smooth as possible, your staff should understand what their role is, the role of the new scribe, and the best practices you intend to follow.
The benefits of hiring a cardiology medical scribe are clear. A 14 to 1 return on investment and the increase in physician job satisfaction can be transformative to a cardiology practice. If you want to explore next steps and learn how we can create a cardiology scribe program to bring these benefits to your practice, contact us here.
Learn more about medical scribes: