In the spring of 2013, UNC Health Care selected Epic as its enterprise-wide electronic health record (EHR). They also made the decision to implement it in just one year. With the aggressive 12-month time frame and a goal of “an information system across all UNC Health Care locations that has one patient ID, one problem list, one medication list, and one bill for each patient,” there was little to no room for error.
Understanding the complexities involved in such an undertaking, UNC leadership wanted to ensure their revenue cycle was protected as they made the transition. One of their strategies was to leverage the deep integration of Availity Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) within Epic and to collaborate with Availity on critical testing and validation processes. One key point was integrating the Epic Claim Reconciliation Database (CRD).
As an existing Availity client, UNC already had confidence in their Availity team. Knowing Availity had experience with Epic installations made things even easier. “We were really excited about the CRD process,” said Laurie McDaniel, UNC Health Care’s IT manager for the professional billing team. “Having the claim runs auto-accepted or auto-rejected is so much better than just wondering if the claims made it out of the system. [With the Availity RCM integration], within an hour we have a response back about any eligibility errors or anything [else affecting the claims].”
McDaniel noted that the level of engagement from Availity during the implementation was “extremely helpful,” particularly around claim acceptance testing. Using Epic tools that enabled them to auto-generate large volumes of test files, UNC worked with Availity to ensure any claim issues were identified and resolved prior to go-live. “It worked really well,” said McDaniel. “Our [Availity] client account manager encouraged us to send a lot of files and was really quick in getting back to us with things that needed attention. She made it so easy to test – I didn’t have to worry and hope everything was right. I knew when we went live, our claims were going to be clean.”
UNC Health Care went live with their Epic installation on time and with no negative impact to their revenue cycle. By being well-organized and well-prepared, their EHR initiative has stayed on track and is achieving success. Leveraging Availity’s integration and experience with Epic further simplified the transition, heading off troublesome billing issues and keeping their cash flow healthy.
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