Nuance Acquires Quantim to Boost ICD-10 Health Care Transition

Nuance has announced the acquisition of IT service provider Quantim to improve health care workflows in the transition to the new ICD-10 claims code.

Nuance Communications has announced the acquisition of Quantim, a health information management unit of QuadraMed, to smooth the transition in the health care industry to a new claims code identifier called International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10.

QuadraMed offers applications that allow health care organizations to manage access and identity, care, health information and revenue cycles.

Announced on Sept. 27, the deal will integrate Nuance’s clinical language understanding (CLU) technology with Quantim's computer-assisted coding (CAC) applications.

This integration will make the coding workflow more efficient and speed up providers' reimbursement, according to Nuance.

Nuance and Quantim will work with EHR providers on the ICD-10 transition and enable providers to maintain the quality of care during the switch from ICD-9. Quantim enables 650 commercial hospitals and the Veterans Administration Health System to manage these diagnostic code identifiers.

"By uniting the strengths and resources of Nuance and Quantim, we will bridge clinical documentation, clinical documentation improvement (CDI), coding and compliance," Carina Edwards, vice president of health care solutions marketing at Nuance Communications, told eWEEK in an email.

Quantim's software allows health care organizations to boost productivity while ensuring proper financial reimbursement. The company's Web platform offers coding, compliance and record-management tools for hospitals to share data in multiple locations.

The federal government requires that health care organizations switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 by 2014. On Aug. 24, the Department of Health and Human Services announced the extension of the deadline to 2014.

ICD codes are the foundation for financial reimbursement, according to Nuance. These ICD codes will increase from 17,000 diagnostic and procedural codes in 2012 to more than 155,000 codes over the next two years, Nuance reported.

Quantim offers a Web-platform for coding, compliance and record management. The coding application can scale to allow for deployment in multiple hospitals in a health organization through a central system.

In addition to Quantim, Nuance has purchased QuadraMed's Core Measures and Performance Management application, which allows providers to manage clinical quality and reporting.

The automated coding workflow created by integrating Nuance's CLC and Quantim's CAC applications will allow health care providers to reduce productivity loss and improve workflows and quality of care as they move to ICD-10.

"The acquisition of QuadraMed's HIM business is a natural extension of Nuance's strategy to transform the clinical documentation and revenue cycle processes," Duncan James, CEO of QuadraMed, said in a statement.

By using natural language processing to drive coding and compliance, doctors will be able to reduce the amount of time between care and reimbursement and reduce time spent on physician follow-up, according to Nuance.

"From a reimbursement standpoint, providers only get paid for what they document," said Edwards.

By using an application that streamlines and automates clinical documentation and coding, doctors will save time on these processes and complete all documentation needed for accurate reimbursement.

Automated prompts will allow doctors to comply with ICD-10 regulations and adjust to the new code base.

"Today's clinical documentation and coding process is manual, meaning coders often have to go back to physicians and inquire as to additional detail on the patient note in order to ensure accurate reimbursement," Edwards said. "It can take days to get in touch with the physician and gather this additional information, and often coders are asking physicians for details on a record after they've already moved on to other patients."