A chargemaster (CDM) review is not only a technical review of the CDM file, but more importantly, an open discussion with each department representative to learn how they interact with the CDM. Your preparation and analysis should generate a working list of questions to discuss with each clinical area. When these questions are addressed, the end result should be a clean, up-to-date CDM for each department.
However, getting clinical department representatives engaged with the CDM review and maintenance process can be a challenge. Many don’t understand the CDM, or their role in its upkeep. The single biggest roadblock you may face is an attitude of “the CDM is not my responsibility, but yours” from the department. There are also common misunderstandings – sometimes, clinical representatives have heard that payments are based on DRGs, leaving them to believe incorrectly that charges have no value or impact, and they don’t have to be diligent in capturing them. Or they may see a charge for a service in their department and think that the hospital is making money hand over fist. One of the most common misunderstandings is the assumption that someone else, somewhere else is entering charges when it is really the responsibility of the department.
Taking the following steps will promote a clear understanding of accountabilities across all stakeholders in setting the foundation for complete and compliant billing.