CDM Tip of the Month

What’s in a name?

The Charge Description Master (CDM) is used by many different departments for various charging functions. The name attached to each charge must make sense and be easily recognizable to each person connected to that charge.

Supplies, for example, are used in the clinical setting, purchased by materials management and charged by data entry or other means. Everyone must understand by the description of the item exactly what was used. One example is a cortical screw 4.5 X 28mm of stainless steel made by Synthes. The item master defines this item by the catalogue number, 214.228; however, the CDM may only have a description of Cortical Screw. The clinician will charge by what is listed in the CDM. If the description is not detailed, the charge capture will not be accurate. There may be many different cortical screws from many manufacturers. One charge item is not enough to capture the correct cost. The best practice naming convention would be “Screw Cortical Synthes 4.5x28mm SS.”

Procedures or tests should describe the CPT code that is hard-coded in the CDM. Lab tests and radiology exams are examples of this, however, this naming convention should also extend to respiratory therapy, physical therapy and other procedure based charge, whether or not these are hard-coded CPT codes in the CDM.

Consistent naming when adding new charges helps maintain an accurate charging mechanism for all users.


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