Hospitals use chargemasters as a way to track the prices of all of the services and products used to accurately charge patients. The rates are usually determined in the finance department, with the teams being overseen by the chief financial officer.
The team that maintains the codes and prices on the chargemaster must make sure that it is updated to be in compliance with both hospital and government regulations. If the government changes pricing on items and that is not updated in the system promptly, then the hospital can face consequences from the government for failing to adhere to the new pricing policy. It is a good idea to provide chargemaster training to any staff members who will be making changes to or monitoring the system.
Until recently, most hospitals closely guarded the information contained in their chargemasters. The industry is currently changing and there is a push towards being open with people about how things are charged. Some states require information from hospitals about their rates, while others are taking an increased interest in regulating charges.
3. Billing Accuracy
Any coding errors in the chargemaster may result in items being incorrectly billed to patients. Inaccurate codes can result in services and products not being billed at all because there is either no code in the system, or there is no price associated with it. It is not ideal for hospital workers to have to refund patients or send additional bills asking for more money when the bill was assumed to have been paid off already.
Having a team that is well trained and versed in the applicable regulations, the chargemaster can be maintained properly. Hospitals that are able to accurately bill their patients will have less trouble reconciling their financial reports and be better able to track profits and losses.