Coding and Documentation Synergies: The Power of CAC and CDI Integration

By AGS Health

October 12, 2023

In the healthcare industry, efficient and accurate coding and documentation processes are crucial for effective revenue cycle management (RCM) and optimal reimbursement. Two essential components of this process that offer significant benefits for healthcare organizations are computer-assisted coding (CAC) and computer-assisted clinical documentation improvement (CDI). While CAC focuses on automating coding tasks, CDI aims to enhance clinical documentation quality. By leveraging the synergies between CAC and CDI, healthcare organizations can unlock a range of benefits that optimize coding accuracy, financial outcomes, and overall operational efficiency.

One of the primary advantages of using both CAC and CDI within a single platform is the ability to streamline workflows and foster collaboration. With integrated systems, CDI specialists can work collaboratively with coders, ensuring that documentation is accurately captured and queries are issued in real time. This collaboration reduces the need for retrospective queries and streamlines the overall coding process, ultimately enhancing productivity and reducing the accounts receivable (A/R) cycle.

CDI plays a pivotal role in ensuring accurate clinical documentation that reflects the severity of a patient's condition and the level of care provided. By reviewing charts and issuing queries early in the admission process, CDI specialists can capture the necessary details to support precise coding and billing. When integrated with CAC, the coders have access to the CDI queries, facilitating accurate code assignment and reducing the likelihood of coding-related denials or underbilling. The result is improved documentation quality and accuracy, leading to appropriate reimbursement levels and reduced audit risks.

Using a single platform for both CAC and CDI provides the advantage of consolidated reporting and real-time information flow. This enables healthcare organizations to track CDI codes, DRGs (Diagnosis-Related Groups), reimbursement, and coding accuracy, all within a unified system. Managers and revenue cycle directors can gain comprehensive insights into the entire workflow, facilitating informed decision-making and efficient resource allocation.

With the combination of CAC and CDI, healthcare organizations can strengthen compliance and audit management processes. By ensuring accurate documentation from the outset, CDI reduces the need for retrospective audits and subsequent account adjustments. Integrated platforms also allow for real-time audits and proactive identification of compliance issues, mitigating potential financial risks and streamlining the audit process.

A single platform eliminates the need to manage and update multiple systems. Hospitals can benefit from:

  • Reduced IT maintenance efforts and costs
  • System efficiency
  • DRG reconciliation

Having the CDI clinical perspective and the coding perspective work collaboratively to reach the best suited DRG for an encounter plays a critical role in the organization's case mix index (CMI) and denials. The seamless integration of CAC and CDI ensures consistent updates, avoids discrepancies in query formats, and facilitates effective knowledge sharing across the coding and documentation improvement teams.

By leveraging a single platform that integrates CAC and CDI functionalities as well as auditing, hospitals can streamline workflows, improve documentation accuracy, enhance collaboration, and achieve better financial outcomes. These combined efforts ultimately lead to improved coding compliance, reduced audit risks, and increased operational efficiency to optimize revenue cycle management.

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AGS Health


AGS Health is more than a revenue cycle management company–we’re a strategic partner for growth. By blending technologies, services, and expert support, AGS Health partners with leading healthcare organizations across the US to deliver tailored solutions that solve the unique needs and challenges of each provider’s revenue cycle operations. The company leverages the latest advancements in automation, process excellence, security, and problem-solving through the use of technology and analytics–all made possible with college-educated, trained RCM experts. AGS Health employs more than 10,000 team members globally and partners with more than 100 clients across a variety of care settings, specialties, and billing systems.

Related resources

RCM Maturity Framework A 4-Stage Journey to Digital
The RCM Maturity Framework: A Path to Digital Transformation and Operational Excellence

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