HCA makes more than $75M with ED coding procedure

Coding is one of those dismal sciences that makes a big impact, but isn't exactly the sexiest part of a hospital's operations. This time around, however, the coding geeks had their day.

Hospital chain HCA recently reported that by using a new emergency department coding procedure, it improved earnings $75 million to $100 million in the first quarter that ended on March 31. The procedure, developed by the American College of Emergency Physicians, didn't do anything to increase readmission rates either, according to HCA's new piece appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine.

HCA, which boosted revenue 4.3 percent, to $7.43 billion, during the first quarter of this year, began studying the new ACEP procedure after CMS gave it the OK. The new ACEP procedure makes ED coding much simpler, executives said. Meanwhile, HCA's Medicare readmission rates are much lower than the 19.6 percent of readmissions within 30 days of discharge, which it reported in the study, execs said.

To learn more about the protocol:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece