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Healthcare Information Research

A Collection of Case Studies, Position Papers and White Papers from AppriseMD

Dealing with Denials

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Ultimately hospitals and other healthcare providers can no longer ignore the impact inpatient denials can have on their cash flow. Ninety percent of all denials are preventable, so why aren’t more denials being prevented? If an organization takes a focused and unremitting approach to tackling this problem, it can see improvements in lowering denials and increasing overturned denials. This approach requires persistence and commitment to proper documentation, plus a clear utilization review strategy together with a team approach. The result will help support the financial health and future
sustainability of the organization.

Read more of our in-depth look at the causes of inpatient denials - and what healthcare organizations can do to keep them from happening.

Rightsizing Length of Stay

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Hospitals working to improve efficiency by rightsizing length of stay and reducing avoidable hospital inpatient days must implement a process that begins prior to admission and extends beyond discharge. Extended hospital stays beyond what is needed for high quality care and avoidable readmissions, can be associated with an increased potential for complications such as hospital acquired infections and patient safety events. Reducing extended stays relies on a coordinated, multi-facetted process to reach the desired outcomes.

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Should hospitals pursue appeals of Medicare denials?

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Hospital executives and case review managers should soon see the back-logged appeals process speed up for denied Medicare claims. That means hospitals now have one less reason not to pursue appeals of Medicare denials.

According to attorney Knicole C. Emanual, writing for RACmonitor, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has given The Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA) enough new funding to hire 70 additional administrative law judges. These new judges will be charged with hearing the backlog of appeals cases that up until now had a 4-6-year waiting period. Emanual writes, “OMHA now has the capacity to hear and render decisions for approximately 300,000 appeals per year,” which she said was higher than the number of appeals being filed.1

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Outpatient Arthroplasty Surgery: A Position Paper from AppriseMD

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The American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons have stated that hip and knee replacements can be safely performed in the outpatient setting in some specific circumstances. However, the wording implies the procedure is most appropriate in an ideal patient when performed in a facility and by a surgical team specifically equipped for this type of procedure.  The clear implication is that an outpatient procedure should not be a viewed as an appropriate or mandatory setting for arthroplasty procedures.

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CASE STUDY: Can Peer-to-Peer Reviews Overturn Short Hospital Stay Inpatient Denials?

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Inpatient admissions less than two days in length which have been denied by a commercial carrier are appropriate for Peer-to-Peer Review, but not all hospitals and doctors have the time or the will to do these reviews. Once we have moved past the extreme situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals are going to look hard at finding any way they can recoup dollars. We have done a limited study and seen the benefit of P2P reviews at AppriseMD and how it can reverse denials and recoup dollars for hospitals.

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AppriseMD Blog

New UHC Hospital Services Observation and Inpatient Policy takes effect Dec. 1, 2022

UnitedHealthcare’s Observation Utilization Review Guide is sunsetting and will be replaced by the new Hospital Services: Observation and Inpatient Policy1. The change takes effect Dec. 1, 2022, for commercial, community and exchange plans. The new policy explicitly mentions InterQual, stating “InterQual criteria are intended to be used in connection with the independent professional medical judgment […]

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Without proper documentation, inpatient denials are often upheld

Peer-to-peer discussions between hospital physicians – or their physician advisors – and the insurance company’s medical director can often overturn inpatient denials. But without proper documentation they do not work to rescind denials. Proper documentation must include an assessment coinciding with a detailed treatment plan updated throughout hospitalization. AppriseMD recently recommended to appeal a case […]

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Medicare Appeals Process Needs Changes

Medicare appeals process needs to be amended

In her recent article, “Ghosting the Medicare Provider Appeals Process,” Knicole C. Emanuel Esq. argues that the process by which denied Medicare claims are reviewed and appealed is counter to rest of the U.S. legal system. The lengthy process for addressing denied Medicare claims is multi-tiered and, until recently, hampered by a years-long backlog due […]

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Determining observation stay guidelines

Which guidelines should hospitals follow for an observation stay?

Both national evidence-based guidelines and insurance company guidelines factor into level of care determination.   When it comes to determining a patient’s level of care for a short hospital stay, observation services are generally used for short-term monitoring, testing and evaluation to establish a treatment plan, and to give the treatment team time to see […]

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Justice Department files antitrust lawsuit against UnitedHealth to stop Change Healthcare acquisition

The United States Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit earlier this year aiming to stop UnitedHealth Group from acquiring Change Healthcare.1 Hospital CFOs and utilization review managers have much to watch in this case related to how it could not only impact competition in the markets but how it could impact the guidelines used […]

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