What Is A Chargemaster?

What Is A Chargemaster?


All of us know what it’s like to go to the doctor’s office to get a flu shot, or when we are sick, but most of us don’t know what happens behind the scenes, or behind the desk for that matter. Doctors hire capable staff to handle the more tedious tasks that go along with healthcare such as paperwork, health insurance and payments. One of the critical roles that happen behind the scenes is that of a CDM charge master. Let’s get into what this person actually does.

What Do They Do?

Chargemasters are people that create a summary of charges and services. This can either be done by hand, or through the use of a CDM charge master. For each service rendered at the doctor’s office, the chargemaster includes the following:

  • service line item numbers
  • CPT or HCPCS codes for the service
  • description of the service which translates to shortcode to work with medical coding systems
  • revenue code
  • the amount of charges for the service rendered
  • general ledger for accounting purposes

Each hospital determines it’s own chargemaster prices for thousands of services offered. Hospitals use chargemaster prices to negotiate reimbursement rates with private payers or insurance providers.

It is ultimately up to the chargemaster to make sure that accurate charges for services are being made, which is extremely important when it comes to billing patients and insurance companies. Since this is such a large task, many of the responsibilities of a chargemaster can be automated through CDM charge master software. This can greatly free up the time of a chargemaster so that they can focus on other things that may seem bigger picture than the day to day processing of accurate service codes and amounts.

As you can see, the duties of a chargemaster play a vital role in the successful operation of any healthcare facility.


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