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Efficient Medication Charge Capture

Efficient Medication Charge Capture

Sample Answer 

Efficient Medication Charge Capture

Current clinical information systems allow healthcare providers to capture charges through either automated dispensing cabinets (ADC) or electronic medical record-based charge on administration (COA). These options have helped to increase medication safety. Although the use of ADC makes medication distribution efficient, COA is more effective in reducing the unintentional fraudulent billing of patients.

Firstly, patients with conditions requiring range orders, such as recurrent pain, may be overcharged accidentally on an ADC-based charge capture. This is because the patient’s account will reflect the total quantity of medication that was released to the healthcare provider (Douglas et al., 2017) rather than the medication that was actually provided. The bill may not reflect the surplus medication that remains un-administered.

The COA option also ensures that the patient is charged for medication only upon receiving the medication. While the ADC indicates the medications dispensed based on a patient’s prescription (Douglas et al., 2017), it may not ultimately cater to drugs that are eventually not administered for reasons such as refusal or when the patient has an own prescription. In such a case, if the nurse withholds or returns the medication, the bill may not accurately reflect the alteration since it was charged during dispensation.

Similarly, in inpatient settings, COA protects patients from additional charges incurred when medications, especially bulk or multiuse drugs such as tube creams, are discontinued. Since the medication was already billed during dispensation through the ADC (Douglas et al., 2017), the bill may include even unused medication. COA is protective since the client is charged only each time the medication is administered and subsequently swiped into the EMR.

Finally, COA protects the patient from accidental fraudulent billing arising from minor changes in the prescription at the point of administration. In some events, an allergy to a drug for which a less potent substitute of the same class is available may be reported. COA allows the substitute drug to be charged at its own price. ADC may result in a patient acquiring a less potent medication at the price of the more potent drug.


Douglas et al. (2017). Automated dispensing cabinets and nurse satisfaction. Nursing management, 21-24.


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Efficient Medication Charge Capture

Efficient Medication Charge Capture

Technology has allowed for the option of charging for a medication on dispense (bill from the ADC) or charging for a medication on administration (bill from the EMR). Make an argument for charging on administration and why this is a better option with less potential to unintentionally fraudulently bill a patient.

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