ArbiMed Retina is changing the way retina practices track costly medications with its easy-to-use inventory management software. Designed for retina specialists, ArbiMed keeps track of how many injection medications are in stock at each facility, when they expire, and how much they cost.
“These medications can be very expensive,” says Kyle McGill, product manager for ArbiMed in Houston, Texas. “The loss, nonpayment, or spoilage of just a few doses can be very costly.”
What retina specialists value most about ArbiMed is having the ability to monitor their drug inventory as it pertains to ordering, receiving, patient transactions, and billing, says Douglas Mooradian, a retina sales specialist for ArbiMed. The all-in-one system is accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection. “Having this information at their fingertips allows physicians to make smart decisions,” he says.
“Scheduling patients and managing drug inventory is a huge task. Our mission is to relieve that burden and ultimately help practices get properly reimbursed.”
Shawn Harkey, chief operating officer and administrator, Retina Consultants of Houston in Texas, echoes his sentiments. “From a management standpoint, its billing and dose transaction feature are most helpful because you can track all of your drugs at each location,” he says. “It has eliminated the guessing game of what quantity of each drug a practice needs to purchase for each office on any given day. You can also run a multitude of reports to detect any inaccuracies in billing, coding, or prescribed drugs by connecting to your electronic health record system.”
HOW IT WORKS
ArbiMed Retina works with clients to make a list of medications they want to track. “Once the list is created, the overall process is pretty simple,” McGill says. “Users create and receive purchase orders to increase inventory counts. Each single-use vial is assigned a unique serial number and custom barcode for the system. When it’s time to dispense an item, a user scans the custom barcode into the dose assignment page and tags critical information such as the physician doing the procedure, the eye in which medication was injected, and a patient’s diagnosis.”
The system also has a number of valuable built-in reporting tools, which help to support a clinic’s daily operations. Users can view inventory counts and compare them to physical counts as well as run transaction reports to see what medications were dispensed that day. They can also manage manufacturer replacement for recalls and defects and run billing reports to detect any potential errors with submitted claims.
To improve customers’ overall experience and to generate certain reports, ArbiMed integrates with a clinic’s practice management system to synchronize patient demographics, upcoming appointments, and claims data.
“At the end of the day, clinic staff can reconcile all prescribed drugs by cross-referencing the dose assignment and doses in shelf reports with scheduled patients,” says Harkey. “It has essentially eliminated old manual drug logs and spreadsheets and has totally streamlined this process at multiple offices into one consolidated platform.”
EASY TO USE AND INTEGRATE
ArbiMed’s goal was to provide a modern interface and streamlined workflow that would be familiar to customers who worked with other inventory management systems. “We wanted it to be simple enough for customers with minimal training to use even if they never used such a system,” Mooradian says.
“It’s user friendly, accessible to reporting, and has tracking features from start to finish,” Harkey says.
In addition, ArbiMed Retina can easily be integrated with a practice management system. “We synchronize patient demographics, appointments, and claims data to improve the overall user experience and provide billing-related reporting tools,” McGill says. The company has never encountered any practice management software with which it could not integrate, although sometimes the fee to do so is cost prohibitive for clients. ArbiMed currently integrates with Nextech Select, Nextech Practice Plus, Nextgen, Athena, Allscripts, Advanced MD, and MD Suite, and it is working to add others.
IMPROVING THE BOTTOM LINE
Ultimately, ArbiMed helps retina specialists keep an eye on their largest expense and prevent costly mistakes from occurring. This includes showing interval alerts for drugs that cannot be billed within a certain time period, managing specialty pharmacy doses, monitoring replacement doses from manufacturers, and ensuring that all doses are billed properly and paid in full.
Harkey says technicians use several key alert features that flag drugs that will expire soon or catch errors on a daily basis, which is vital when managing expensive buy-and-bill biologics. “The system has helped us catch many drugs that were set to expire and alerts users if a drug is near its expiration date,” he says. In addition, the system has other alerts designed to prevent a technician from scanning the wrong drug or assigning it to the wrong eye in its electronic health record system. “As a result of using ArbiMed, we have an extremely healthy drug revenue cycle and have reduced insurance denials and overall drug accounts receivables.”
According to Mooradian, patients benefit from ArbiMed’s expired product warnings because they never receive an old dose. “Proper management of a patient’s specialty-ordered doses ensures that they aren’t faced with unwanted costs for noncovered treatments,” he says. “And alerts prevent accidental drug changes from occurring, which could result in improper treatment or noncovered treatment.”
Harkey concurs, and says, “This system helps ensure that a patient gets the right drug every time. Because it has so many warnings and alerts, it prevents any sort of clinical coding or billing error that could result in an insurance denial or patients paying more than they should.”
ArbiMed will release new features soon, including the use of GS1 data matrix barcodes with manufacturer serial numbers, a revenue cycle management report, and an RFID solution. In addition, an enhancement to its platform will enable a retina practice to track all medical supplies. This includes not only injection medications, but also eye drops and other medical products that each office orders. RP