What is a bill only item?

In healthcare, a ""bill only""or trunk stock item refers to a medical product specifically procured for a patient during or near a surgical procedure. These items, often implants like pacemakers or joint replacements, can't be predicted in size or type beforehand. Therefore, hospitals partner with vendors who deliver these specific supplies directly to the operating room just-in-time.

Since traditional inventory management doesn't apply, a separate ""bill only"" process is required to document and manage these non stock items that were used in the surgery. Bill only supplies can also be referred to as point-of-use purchasing or vendor-managed inventory (VMI)..

What are some challenges associated with bill-only items?

While bill-only items offer advantages in surgical settings, there are challenges to consider too. One potential hurdle is ensuring timely delivery. Since specific implants or supplies aren't pre-stocked, delays can arise if the vendor doesn't have the required item readily available. This can disrupt surgery flow and potentially impact patient care.

Another challenge lies in the administration and documenation of these items. There is no existing audit trail and so the items needs to be entered and processed in the system after it is used. Robust point of use tracking systems are an advantage for the recording of bill only items as they guarantee accurate billing for the specific items used in the procedure, including those not already ""in the system".

How can technology improve the bill-only process for hospitals?

Bill-only items, are medical devices and implants that are delivered just-in-time for surgery. They offer benefits but come with documentation hurdles.

Without proper records, hospitals risk inaccurate billing and incomplete EHR records. The point of use processing of these trunk stock items is a crucial process that organizations need to get right. Reconciling patient records and medical billing is vital for optimized case revenue.

Integrating electronic documentation systems, such as EHRs, with inventory management software can further streamline the process by minimizing errors and facilitating efficient medical records and charge capture. Ultimately, clear communication and robust documentation are essential for a smooth bill-only process, ensuring accurate billing and prioritizing patient safety.

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