Tag: ultrasound

The Detailed Financial Transaction (DFT) interface is a vital component within healthcare information systems that enables electronic transfer of information related to billing accounts, charges, payments, adjustments, insurance, and other pertinent financial data.

By providing a standardized framework for exchanging financial information, the DFT interface empowers healthcare providers to achieve greater transparency, accuracy, and efficiency in managing their financial operations:

  • Facilitating the seamless exchange of financial data
  • Streamlining billing procedures
  • Improving revenue cycle management
  • Enhancing overall operational effectiveness

A Detailed Financial Transaction (DFT) message is a component of the electronic communication system used in healthcare. It contains detailed information about financial transactions related to patient care to ensure proper financial management and documentation.

For ultrasound specifically, think of it as a digital receipt that tracks the financial side of ultrasound appointments at your healthcare practice. It can include details such as the charges for the ultrasound service provided, payments made by the patient or their insurance, adjustments to the bill, and relevant insurance information.

These DFT messages make sure you accurately bill for ultrasound services. They help keep track of costs associated with each ultrasound procedure, process payments efficiently, and manage insurance claims.

Essentially, DFT messages help you maintain the financial health of your practice.

A DFT interface enables the seamless transfer of detailed financial data related to ultrasound services from the reporting system to the billing system. It can include information such as the:

  • Type of procedure performed
  • Patient demographics
  • Charges associated with the procedure
  • Insurance details
  • Payments received
  • Adjustments or discounts applied

With a DFT interface in place, healthcare providers can ensure accurate and efficient billing for ultrasound services. It reduces manual data entry errors, streamlines the billing process, and improves overall financial management within the healthcare organization. Additionally, it helps maintain compliance with regulatory requirements and facilitates proper reimbursement for ultrasound services rendered.

HL7 (Health Level Seven) interfaces are commonly used to exchange various types of healthcare data between different systems, such as electronic health records (EHRs), billing systems, and information systems. But the standard HL7 messaging format doesn’t directly support all aspects of billing, such as associating specific billing codes with individual services or procedures.

The DFT integration customizes the HL7 interface to include functionality that enables the inclusion of billing codes directly. For example, when relevant healthcare services or procedures are documented or reported within AS Software, the associated billing codes can be automatically included in the data exchange.

By incorporating billing codes directly into the HL7 messages exchanged between systems, the need for manual intervention or separate processes to add billing information is eliminated. This simplifies the billing process by automating the capture and transmission of billing-related data, reducing the potential for errors and improving efficiency.

AS Software’s DFT Interface enables the exchange of data between the reporting information system and external systems, like your EHR, using a DFT-customized HL7 communications standard.

This DFT integration allows both systems to function as one integrated solution for a clinic or medical practice. It also includes features for exporting patient charge information, charge cancellation messages, and correction charges.

Exporting Patient Charge Information: When a physician signs a report in the AS Software system, patient charge information is exported. This includes details of the services provided to the patient, with the correct billing codes.

Exporting Charge Cancellation Messages: If a report is unsigned or cancelled, the AS Software system exports charge cancellation messages to reflect this change automatically.

Exporting Correction Charges: When a corrected report is signed, the AS Software system exports the new charges to update the billing information accordingly.

The HL7 DFT Interface for Outbound Billing Charge Capture
Explore how to streamline the billing process by automatically capturing and forwarding details from the ultrasound study.

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Without the DFT interface, several inefficiencies develop in the billing and administrative processes:

Manual Data Entry: Without the DFT interface, staff would need to manually enter charge information into the billing system after each ultrasound procedure. This manual process is prone to errors, leading to potential discrepancies in billing and delays in revenue cycle management.

Delayed Billing: Since charge information would need to be manually entered into the billing system, there may be delays in billing patients or submitting claims to insurance providers. This delay can result in delayed payment and negatively impact the cash flow of the healthcare organization.

Increased Administrative Burden: Healthcare staff would need to spend additional time reconciling data between the ultrasound reporting system and the billing system. This increased administrative burden reduces productivity and may divert resources away from patient care activities.

Billing Errors: Manual data entry increases the risk of billing errors, such as incorrect charge amounts or missing billing codes. These errors can lead to claim denials, payment delays, and potential compliance issues.

Lack of Real-Time Information: Without automated data exchange through the DFT interface, there may be a lack of real-time visibility into the financial aspects of ultrasound procedures. This hampers decision-making processes and the ability to monitor revenue performance effectively.

Incomplete Documentation: In the absence of automated charge export functionality, there may be instances where charge information is not properly documented or missed altogether. This incomplete documentation can result in revenue leakage and billing inaccuracies.

Manual work and disconnected technologies create inefficiencies, errors, and delays in billing and administrative processes, particularly in ultrasound reporting within healthcare settings.

However, implementing the DFT interface streamlines these processes, enhances accuracy, and boosts overall operational efficiency.

By facilitating efficient communication between systems, improving billing accuracy, and streamlining workflow processes, the DFT interface significantly optimizes the financial management of your healthcare operations.

To learn more about DFT interfaces and how they can create billing efficiencies in your organization, schedule a demo.

Caleb King

Caleb King, Director of Customer Engagement

With over a decade of experience building results-driven relationships, Caleb has a deep understanding of meeting customer needs with efficiency. At AS Software, Caleb coordinates complex healthcare projects, and is passionate about making a positive impact by delivering value with ongoing expertise and optimization. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to reshape the ultrasound technology landscape — revolutionizing patient care, enhancing diagnostic accuracy, and transforming the use of ultrasound technology.

“The integration of artificial intelligence technology in ultrasound imaging is expected to make the ultrasound imaging technique smarter and improve the efficiency of the technique to accurately examine the disease. The surging demand for imaging biomarkers and quantitative imaging is significantly driving the demand for AI in ultrasound imaging.” (Precedence Research

Current ultrasound reporting solutions drive value through greater efficiency, automation, and interoperability. These same benefits are also major catalysts of emerging AI value, which will continue to drive clinical, financial, and operational benefits for healthcare organizations.

How AI can complement our existing workflow solution

AS Software is the workflow conduit connecting ultrasound machines, EHRs, and PACS/VNA, and we’re uniquely positioned to incorporate AI into this existing solution ecosystem deployed across our customer base — which currently manages over 10 million studies annually.

We have a long track record of prioritizing interoperability with industry-leading technology providers; many of which are now incorporating AI into their offerings. AS Software will be positioned to both interoperate with existing AI and leverage embedded AI from various partners in the market.

We’re excited to have customers and partners working with us to explore options to best meet these needs, and see many opportunities for AI to enhance research capabilities, ensure diagnostic accuracy, and further automate features to reduce documentation time.

Opportunities for AI in Ultrasound Reporting

There are many opportunities for AI to positively impact ultrasound and ultrasound workflows, and help automate reporting, image analysis, and task administration — giving time back to sonographers and physicians.  Some of the near-term opportunities include:

Enhancing Clinical Research Tools

Today, researchers are limited to searching text data contained in historical reports. Adding a search dimension that includes information contained in the associated historical studies and images opens many new and interesting possibilities for exploration.

Maintaining Certifications

The ability to search DICOM images by their contents can enable the creation of new features that aid in preparing submissions to maintain AIUM certifications.

Capturing Charges

By comparing the contents of images captured in a study to the procedures within an order, AI can ensure that procedures listed within an ultrasound report for billing purposes reflect the work completed. This allows organizations to capture additional charges that would otherwise be missed without AI assistance.

Improving Quality Assurance

Detecting image contents can be used to improve the efficiency of individuals performing quality assurance and quality control functions.

Approaches to AI growth and development in ultrasound

As demand for ultrasound technology innovation grows, it’s exciting to see emerging niche AI vendors like BIOTICSai and BrightHeart, and established partners like Microsoft Azure, leveraging AI to accelerate innovation throughout the industry.

There are three paths for companies like AS Software to consider when adding AI into existing solutions:

  • Native AI: Developing AI technologies in-house.
  • Acquired AI: Acquiring existing AI solutions.
  • Embedded AI: Integrating AI tools into existing workflows and software solutions.

While native AI development isn’t our current focus, we are actively exploring embedded and acquisition opportunities. 

With an established history of embedding and complimenting electronic health records (EHR), picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), and other ultrasound and healthcare technology, AS Software is well-positioned to connect and incorporate AI tools within streamlined ultrasound workflows. 

If you have any questions about the future of AI at AS Software or are interested in partnering with us to explore new ways AI can reshape ultrasound reporting, please contact us.

David Lintz

David Lintz is the CEO of AS Software and brings over 25 years of healthcare and technology leadership to the organization. His commitment to building strategies centered on providing value to customers, along with his visionary approach to innovation, is instrumental in propelling AS Software to offer transformative ultrasound reporting, automation, and image management solutions. Under David’s leadership, AS Software continues to expand and enhance its capabilities to better serve the healthcare market, driving efficiency for providers nationwide.

“Ultrasound has expanded medical imaging well beyond the “traditional” radiology setting – a combination of portability, low cost and ease of use makes ultrasound imaging an indispensable tool for radiologists as well as for other medical professionals who need to obtain imaging diagnosis or guide a therapeutic intervention quickly and efficiently.” (Klibanov, Alexander L. PhD; Hossack, John A. PhD).

As ultrasound usage continues to grow, utilizing reporting software for general ultrasound offers many advantages that streamline and enhance workflows for radiologists and sonographers. Here are some of the advantages of implementing a structured ultrasound reporting system with AS Software’s advanced integration capabilities.

Electronic Reporting:  No More Paper Worksheets

Traditional general ultrasound workflows often require sonographers to manually record ultrasound information and measurements on paper worksheets. Then the radiologist must dictate the entire report, including the measurements. This manual data entry can be time-consuming, lack standardization, and increase the risk of errors. 

With reporting software for general ultrasound, this process is replaced with electronic reporting and digital worksheets. Sonographers can automatically input their findings into the system, eliminating the need for paper worksheets altogether.

Automation: Streamlining the Workflow

By seamlessly transferring data and automating report creation, integrated ultrasound reporting software allows sonographers to create reports faster. It also allows radiologists to focus more on their clinical assessments, without disrupting their workflows or requiring them to navigate multiple systems.

For example, a well-designed ultrasound reporting system can create clinical protocols tailored to specific findings. If a sonographer identifies a particular anomaly, the system can automatically generate impressions and recommendations for follow-up procedures. This level of automation not only saves time but also ensures consistency in reporting, benefiting both patients and healthcare providers.

Interconnectivity: Seamless, Secure Integration with Existing Systems

Modern ultrasound reporting systems can integrate seamlessly with existing tools and technology for a closed-loop workflow.

For example, AS Software integrates with speech recognition tools, e.g. PowerScribe, Dragon, etc., allowing radiologists to dictate their findings directly into a predefined format, ultimately saving time and improving the efficiency of the reporting process.

Reports generated by the ultrasound reporting system also integrate with the Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) and are sent back to the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system, ensuring that patient data is readily available for reference and review, and creating effective charge capture.

Web Access: Anywhere, Anytime

Unlike traditional setups that require users to be physically present at specific workstations, web-based systems like AS Software allow for greater flexibility. Sonographers and radiologists can access the system from any computer with internet connectivity.

Whether it’s inputting data, reviewing reports, or dictating findings, users can efficiently and remotely complete work to save time and increase flexibility and efficiency by leveraging reporting software for general ultrasound workflows.

In addition to saving time and effort, these general ultrasound reporting efficiencies can:

  • Reduce redundant tasks.
  • Increase revenue capture.
  • Improve accuracy.
  • Provide data-mining, analytics, and querying capabilities for research, accreditation, and compliance.

Embracing ultrasound reporting for general ultrasound workflows is more than just a technological upgrade — it’s a strategic move that can enhance patient care, reduce errors, and ensure that healthcare professionals can make informed decisions with ease.

With AS Software’s ultrasound reporting software, general ultrasound workflows are becoming more seamless, automated, and efficient than ever before.  To learn more about the advantages of ultrasound reporting software, schedule a demo.

Derek DellaVecchia, RDMS, RDCS, RVT, RMSR   

Derek has experience in both shared services and hospital settings. He received Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) board registries in abdomen, vascular, OB/GYN, and adult echocardiography specialties and was able to work in departmental head positions in his career. He currently serves on the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) Continuing Medical Education (CME) board review committee and is a Senior Account Executive at AS Software.

> Learn more about Derek

From small practices to large health systems, optimizing reimbursements through accurate clinical documentation is essential for financial health, sustainability, and growth. It also plays a critical role in maintaining compliance with regulations and providing high-quality patient care. 

Learn how to optimize reimbursements from your exams and ensure the financial health and sustainability of your organization by evaluating these four key areas related to ultrasound documentation. 

1. Accuracy of Documentation  

Prioritize comprehensive, clear, and precise documentation.  

Accurate and comprehensive documentation of ultrasound procedures is essential for optimizing your billing practices. By ensuring precise documentation, you minimize the risk of claim denials and audits.  

It’s crucial each ultrasound report clearly describes and outlines the type of examination, findings, measurements, interpretations, and any associated diagnoses. Inadequate or ambiguous documentation can result in coding errors, claim denials, and delays in reimbursement, impacting the overall financial health of your organization.  

Accurate documentation also lays the foundation for effective charge capture by ensuring that all the services performed during the ultrasound procedure are clearly recorded.  

2. Effective Charge Capture and Reconciliation  

Ensure all services rendered are billed appropriately with timely and accurate charge reconciliation.  

Effective charge capture involves accurately recording and reconciling all billable ultrasound services and includes not only the main ultrasound procedure, but also additional services that were completed during the examination.  

Failing to capture charges appropriately can result in lost revenue, billing errors, claim denials, and compliance issues. To ensure effective charge capture, healthcare organizations should implement processes, technologies, and quality assurance measures to minimize errors.  

Timely and accurate charge capture will maximize efficiency by ensuring that all billable services are properly recorded and billed. Additionally, streamlined workflows and reduced administrative burden will free up resources to focus on other priorities.  

3. Compliance of Coding and Billing  

Ensure compliance with coding guidelines and regulations.  

Proper coding and billing practices prevent underbilling and overbilling, which could lead to significant losses, legal issues, and penalties. Compliance with coding guidelines is also crucial for maintaining trust with patients and payers.  

Ultrasound procedures have specific Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes that must be assigned correctly based on the documentation. Compliance with relevant coding and billing rules, such as National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) edits and local coverage determinations (LCDs), helps prevent claim denials and audits.  

Properly coded and billed claims also provide reliable data for financial analysis. This data is invaluable in identifying revenue trends, potential areas for improvement, and strategic decision-making opportunities to enhance your organization’s financial performance.  


4. Ongoing Staff Education and Training  

Improve departmental efficiency with ongoing training and education. 

Providing ongoing training and education to staff is crucial for maintaining a well-informed and efficient department. They should be familiar with coding and billing guidelines, documentation requirements, insurance policies, and any updates or changes in regulations.   

Also ensure that staff have access to reliable support and receive thorough onboarding and training for the technology you leverage. Properly trained staff are more likely to accurately capture charges, reduce errors, and contribute to departmental efficiency within a more financially efficient department.  

By addressing these areas and implementing technology to help automate coding and correct errors, ultrasound departments can enhance their processes to optimize reimbursements, ensure financial sustainability, and improve patient care.  

Cloud ultrasound reporting and image management from AS Software is eliminates the need for expensive IT infrastructure and server upgrades. The automated technology is uniquely built to give sonographers and physicians the ability to work from anywhere, anytime; access ultrasound studies quickly; and create more detailed, quality reports in less time, with less effort.

Innovative accessibility

Advanced data security

Quicker deployment

Increased efficiency

Cost Effectiveness

Enhanced collaboration

  • Reduce the risk of downtime and data breaches
  • Ensure compliance with healthcare regulations
  • Eliminate the need for expensive IT infrastructure
  • Streamline the reporting process and access studies on-th-go
  • Eliminate budget requests when adding headcount
  • Eliminate the need for server upgrades
  • Remove licensing costs
  • Reduce system maintenance
  • Eliminate storage migration
  • Fewer IT burdens
  • Rapid feature updates
  • Eliminate workstation installations and transfers
  • Improve scalability — add new sites in hours, not days

Download a Sample Ultrasound Report

Cloud environment, no VPN needed

Accessible from anywhere, anytime. Just launch the web application.

Guided auto-fill

Unlimited customization ensures speed, accuracy, and standardized information and terminology throughout the entire system.

Built-in templates

Document with the level of detail that fits your clinical specialty.

Comprehensive studies and data

Reference historical information, embed graphs and images, analyze and extract data, and more.

  • Reducing errors and liability with automated, intuitive features
  • Increasing referrals and patient volume with easy-to-generate, comprehensive reports
  • Improving employee satisfaction and retention with better collaboration and communication

  • Standardized documentation made simple
  • Faster report completion and quicker access to information
  • Automate key terms and actions with custom dictionaries and templates
  • Intelligent data mining and statistical analysis
  • Comprehensive library of custom reports
  • Easy data entry and review
  • Vendor-neutral interfaces built with ease across modalities
  • Download the info sheet to learn more about our tailored, centralized reporting platform designed for OBGYN, MFM, Vascular, and General Ultrasound departments.
  • Easy-to-read, structure format links directly to ultrasound images
  • Unique interface removes endless toggling and multiple windows
  • Comprehensive DICOM image management
  • Auto-drop CPT and ICD-10 codes to satisfy orders and charges in your EHR
  • Improve charge reconciliation and reduce rejected insurance claims
  • Fast, reliable day-to-day support delivered on-demand
  • Detailed project coordination and implementation plans

Small to mid-size practices and labs

Large health systems and complex enterprises

Multi-site facilities

Video Captions:

“In healthcare’s complex ultrasound environment, providing quality care requires efficient technology that communicates effectively.

But there are many disparate workflows to navigate and connect for accurate ultrasound documentation and diagnosis.

To make the most of your investments, and to bridge the gap between departments, existing technology, and unstructured data, you need:

  • Reporting customized for your specialty
  • To seamlessly integrate with your environment
  • And reliably exchange data and images

So your team can remain focused on patient care.

With ultrasound reporting and image management solutions from AS Software, you can:

  • Access ultrasound images and reports anywhere, anytime;
  • Reduce the time it takes to make confident decisions, faster, with fewer clicks
  • Deliver the information that referring physicians need in an easy to read, standardized format
  • And increase reimbursements while ensuring billing accuracy

Empower your healthcare team and accelerate diagnostic imaging workflows with AS Software.”

To learn more about Ultrasound Image and Report Technology suited for you, get a demo.

As medical imaging has advanced, a variety of electronic systems and their various technology-based components, such as image archiving systems, ultrasound machines, ultrasound reporting systems and billing systems, have evolved within ultrasound network architectures.  

Each of these components communicate through a variety of interfaces, typically created by different vendor companies with limited collaboration, who focus on their individual components rather than seamless network connectivity. 

“Because this customization requires institutional willingness and resources, most ultrasound networks do not seamlessly provide the clinical information necessary to improve clinical care efficiency and quality.” (SMFM) 

To help facilitate better collaboration, clinicians, maternal-fetal medicine sub-specialists and network vendors, including AS Software, were brought together by the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Clinical Informatics Committee to establish best practices and a better understanding of obstetrical ultrasound network architectures, now published by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in a special statement

Here is a summary of the best practices collaboratively provided for seamless prenatal ultrasound network connectivity: 

1. Use a generalized approach to order design for more clinical flexibility 

There are unique challenges to order design for prenatal ultrasounds due to the frequent need for mid-study adjustments in obstetrics.  

The two most common approaches are to use multiple individual procedure-based orders, or to use a few generalized orders with embedded procedural options. 

While each approach to order design has its limitations and may depend on unique workflows, the ideal approach is typically a generalized one. In this approach, a handful of high-level orders with procedural specificity selected within the body of each order are used. A conditional request can also be embedded based on the study results, and even extend to consultative services. 

This will give greater clinical flexibility, so clinicians can adjust as needed without requiring new orders. 

2. Establish a straightforward data standard to improve communication 

Although there have been standards for formats of communication, like HL7 and DICOM, the content and clinical format of obstetrical data hasn’t had a standard for how it’s transmitted across systems.  

Depending on the individual vendors and design of each component, there are many variations of how data transfer and format is customized through interfaces — leading to varying capacities and complicated translations of each data point that make it difficult for practitioners to effectively leverage data.  

By standardizing ultrasound data transfer and improving consistency, clinicians will have increased analytical capabilities and access to discrete obstetrical data, and communication will be improved between vendors.  This straightforward integration is also less costly for IT professionals. 

3. Optimize billing with search functionality and integrations 

ICD-10-CM and CPT are the standards for coding in ultrasound workflows, but clinics vary on how they send this information and some use paper order sets.  

All requested procedures, associated diagnoses, and indications are best sent via HL7 order entry message to an ultrasound reporting system (URS). The URS should have search functionality for CPT and ICD-10-CM codes, and automatically populate necessary sections of study reports. 

All billing and coding systems should also seamlessly integrate with health information systems; and study procedure and diagnosis codes should automatically populate for final review. 

As imaging technology continues to advance, so will the technology-based components supporting it. These best practices will help both providers and vendors ensure their network  and its interfaces are structured effectively for better communication and more standardized data transfers, relieving burdens placed on healthcare systems. 

To read more about best practices for ultrasound network connectivity, read the entire special statement in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology or download a PDF on the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine site. 

To help better understand your organization’s electronic systems and how they could communicate more effectively, schedule a consultation here