1. Terra, Sandra Marlene DHS, MS, BSN
  2. Byrne, Amanda BA


Purpose/Objectives: This article reviews the various types of technical and clinical denials that are usually "written off" and proposes strategies to prevent this loss. For purposes of this writing, avoidable technical and clinical denial write-offs are defined as revenue lost from "first-pass" denials rejections. For example, a procedure that requires an authorization is performed without having had an authorization obtained. After appeals and attempts to recoup the revenue, often unsuccessful, the organization ultimately "writes off" the revenue as not collectable. The question to ask is: Are these claims really not collectable or can actionable steps be taken to conserve these dollars and improve the bottom line?


Primary Practice Setting: Acute care hospitals, physician offices, and clinics.


Findings and Conclusions: In today's environment, the need to manage costs is ubiquitous. Cost management is on the priority list of all savvy health care executives, even if margins are healthy, revenue is under pressure, and the magnitude of cost reduction needed is greater than what past efforts have achieved. As hospitals and physician clinics prioritize areas for improvement, reduction in lost revenue-especially avoidable lost revenue-should be at the top of the list. Attentively managing claim denial write-offs will significantly reduce lost revenue.


Implications for Case Management: There is significant interface between case management and the revenue cycle. Developing core competencies for reducing clinical and technical denials should be a critical imperative in overall cost management strategy. Case managers are well placed to prevent these unnecessary losses through accurate status determination and clinical documentation review. These clinical professionals can also provide insight into work flow and other processes inherent in the preauthorization process.