Flow sheet helps clinicians track what they did for a patient on previous and current visits, but they’re much more than a means of patient management. They hold the key to obtaining reimbursements.

Claim denials and delays result in fiscal hardships for practices and in a time of shrinking healthcare payments, and in this article, Nitin Chhoda explains how the flow sheet is a critical element in the reimbursement process.

flow sheetFlow Sheet and its Important Role to Claim Reimbursements

The flow sheet has to justify the billing amount and should be designed to reflect the CPT code in the reimbursement claim.

It forms the basis of the billing, streamlines the reimbursement process and supports medical necessity.

A properly designed flow sheet provides all the information needed for billing and supports each prior step.

The flow sheet provides a permanent record of care, supplies and products dispensed that are eligible for reimbursement. They’re essential for patient care and management, reimbursements, and can be used for research and quality improvement.

A flow sheet offers a birds-eye view and summary of changing factors that includes vital signs, diseases, treatments, medications and test results.

It’s used to document findings for each patient encounter, allowing practitioners to tell at a glance if the patient is being seen for a new condition or something that has occurred in the past.

No matter what type of practice is being operated, the flow sheet is one of the greatest assets available to determine when patients are due for check-ups and tests, and facilitates moving patients through the office in a timely manner.

 –> Clinicians don’t have to start from scratch when working with established patients.

The Value of an EMR in Creating Flow Sheet

Maintaining flow sheets to expedite reimbursements is much easier with an electronic medical record (EMR) system.

The In Touch EMR, which is also integrated with billing software called, In Touch Biller Pro, is an example of an “intelligent” EMR that advises and prompts users when information is entered to ensure each element of the reimbursement claim matches and all the necessary components support each other.

EMRs offer portability to help clinicians provide a superior level of care, while allowing practitioners to see more patients within the day.

flow sheet

Clinicians can move easily through the office without the need to find and retrieve paper records before patients can be seen. They also support the creation of custom forms and templates.

The systems encompass built in calendars, calculators and treatment reminders. Clinicians can pull up photos, videos and print information for patients to take with them.

It ensures patients have data from a reputable source instead of letting them surf the web and obtain erroneous information.

An EMR can be implemented on tablet technology, allowing practitioners to diversify the practices services. The systems can be updated by multiple healthcare professionals and utilizes electronic communication to save time, money and resources.

Data can be retrieved whenever needed, for printed reimbursement claims, RAC audits or litigation. Errors due to illegible handwriting are eliminated.

To file reimbursement claims that are paid quickly, the flow sheet must reflect the CPT codes used and all the documentation must support the billable expenses. EMRs are an essential component of the process, with prompts to ensure each step supports the next, for clean claims that are paid quickly.