Posts tagged ‘Auditing’

Step By Step – How Checklists Can Help in the OR

Dr. Atul Gawande is a general and endocrine surgeon at Brigham & Women’s Hospital as well as the associate director for their Center for Surgery & Public Health.  He has gained prominence by writing about his experiences in the operating room as well as examining best practices for surgeons and hospitals in such publications as Slate.com, The New Yorker and two books, Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science and Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance.

In his latest book, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, Dr. Gawande discusses the need to implement a standardized checklist routine for surgeons before they start a procedure.  By ensuring that simple steps are taken, surgeons are able to cut down on factors that may lead to complications, including infections.  He went on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night to discuss his new book, what he found when the checklists were implemented, and – somehow – Star Wars. The interview can be found here.

More on Dr. Gawande’s work and how to implement these checklists after the jump:

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February 4, 2010 at 3:08 pm Leave a comment

The RAC is Connecting the Dots: Are You Ready?

Did you ever wonder about the insanity of separate billing for the hospital and a hospital-based physician?  The requirement was put in place to simplify Medicare’s accounting system and keep track of which trust fund the payments came from.  Separate billing is demonstrably redundant, wasteful and confusing to patients – and recently CMS announced plans that will likely add insult to injury.

RAC (recovery audit contractors) efforts have been expanded into complex case reviews.  Hospitals in RAC region C (Connolly Healthcare) are starting to compare inpatient DRG assignments to physicians’ reports, especially in the area of surgery.  Although the patient, the procedure and the diagnosis are the same in actuality, there is little coordination of billing and coding between the surgeon and the hospital to ensure that they are billed and coded similarly. Coding and billing are independent processes for each party. This is the weakness that the RAC will be attempting to exploit.

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January 29, 2010 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment


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