Effort to improve efficiency nets half-million dollars in savings

By Staff

Andrea Buchmeier, director of clinical research in the Clinical Investigations Core at the University of Colorado Hospital, helped lead an effort to reduce inefficiencies in billing trial sponsors and insurance companies that has reduced the number of disputed claims by 40 percent and saved the hospital more than $500,000.

Clinical trials patients account for about 20,000 research-related encounters each year. About 5 percent of the hospital's total charges are billed to trial sponsors.

Last spring, Buchmeier and Mary Schumer, the hospital's regulator and financial affairs administrator, approached hospital leaders for help with a system that caused bills to "age" past 90 days, many uncollectible.