The objective of residency training is to produce physicians who can function independently within their chosen subspecialty and practice environment. Skills in the business of medicine, such as clinical billing, are widely applicable in academic and private practices but are not commonly addressed during formal medical education. Residency and fellowship training include limited exposure to medical billing, but our academic department's performance of these skills was inadequate: in 56% of trainee-generated outpatient notes, documentation was insufficient to sustain the chosen billing level. We developed a curriculum to improve the accuracy of documentation and coding and introduced practice changes to address our largest sources of error. In parallel, we developed tools that increased the speed and efficiency of documentation. Over 15 months, we progressively eliminated note devaluation, increased the mean level billed by trainees to nearly match that of attending physicians, and increased outpatient revenue by $34,313/trainee/year. Our experience suggests that inclusion of billing education topics into the formal medical curriculum benefits both academic medical centers and trainees.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology