Q&A: Staffing for chargemaster

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Q: How is your chargemaster staffed and managed?

Sue Bergum, director of revenue integrity at Olathe Health in Olathe, Kansas: Our revenue integrity team and department is fairly new here at Olathe Health, and I’m actually fairly new to this system. So I brought together many of the teams [we’re discussing], chargemaster or CDM, audits, appeals, denials, etc., on one team. We have a couple barriers to overcome. One is bringing everyone together as a team, and two is figuring out [whether they] are doing the right thing at the right time. Is the right person in the right position? And are we attacking all of our issues the way we should be? Speaking specifically about the chargemaster, we do have one colleague who is our chargemaster guru, and I feel very, very fortunate to have her because she knows a lot of the background of the system and why some of the decisions were made, whether they were good decisions or bad decisions. So we just have one person, one chargemaster, for our whole system.

Shawishi T. Haynes, EdD, FACHE, director of revenue cycle, managed care, and revenue cycle integrity at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, California: Chargemaster maintenance is managed by my revenue integrity team. We’re a small community hospital, but we do have a position posted right now for a chargemaster coordinator who will do those primary functions with the leader in revenue integrity.

Tina Rosier, MS, PT, director of revenue integrity acute care services at Community Health Network in Indianapolis, Indiana: All new items do come in through the chargemaster team. The one difference that we have is changes to the chargemaster. As we encounter soft denials with specific payers or other problems, maybe one payer wanting Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes over Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System codes, etc., we do have a soft denials meeting with billing. So as those problems happen, if we need to build in alt revenue codes or alt CPT codes, then that’s managed through the soft denials meeting we have with billing every two weeks.

Lisa Stein-Pierce, director of revenue cycle operations at MaineGeneral Health in Augusta, Maine: We have a team who manages the chargemaster at our organization. We’ve had that structure in place now for probably between 12 and 15 years, and it seems to work well for us.

Editor’s note: This article was excerpted from the 2022 State of the Revenue Integrity Industry Survey Report. Read the full report here.