October 2002 Bulletin

AAOS introduces OrthoStar

Unique handlheld computer software saves time, enhances productivity

By Carolyn Rogers

Are you losing revenues because you failed to charge adequately for emergency department or inpatient services?

Do you have high accounts receivable and less-than-optimal cash flow because of a labor-intensive submission process? Rejected claims due to inaccurate coding or requests for additional surgical documentation?

Is your surgical scheduling and pre-certification process a costly and inefficient process?

Are you tired of repetitively dictating the same OR reports that render operative information essentially inaccessible for outcomes analysis?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, the Academy would like to introduce you to a product that revolutionizes the way an orthopaedic surgeon manages information.

"A single solution"

"The AAOS is pleased to offer a single solution to all of these problems," says AAOS Executive Vice President William W. Tipton, Jr., MD. "That solution is OrthoStar©–a software program that converts your personal digital assistant (PDA) or handheld personal computer into a powerful tool that can enhance your reimbursements, improve your cash flow and better document your patient services."

OrthoStar was created specifically for orthopaedic surgeons by Ian J. Alexander, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon and founder of Aristar, Inc.

"This system requires minimal computer experience, yet provides a way to expedite documentation of cases, automate coding and capture surgical charges," Dr. Alexander says. "OrthoStar contains virtually all the specialty-specific ICD-9 and CPT codes you’ll ever need."

This system has been critically reviewed by the Academy’s CPT and ICD coding committee. The utility of the application also was confirmed by a number of orthopaedist and practice manager "beta-testers," who concluded that OrthoStar is an excellent product for orthopaedic practices and is "well-developed, well-organized and priced appropriately."

Point-of-care coding, documentation

"With touch screen technology, drop-down menus and field filling macros, documenting services at your point-of-care becomes a quick and easy process," Dr. Alexander says. "Even from outside the office, surgical charges–complete with operative notes–can be in the hands of your billing staff within minutes of completing a procedure. The same applies to hospital consults or emergency department care."

OrthoStar is a family of integrated software modules with additive features and functions designed for use with Palm and Pocket PC operating systems. The flexible system allows users to configure a software package specifically tailored to the patient data management needs of the individual orthopaedist or practice.

Easy purchase and installation makes OrthoStar a stress-free addition to your orthopaedic practice, and with an annual subscription rate of just $199, OrthoStar Basic provides a rapid return on your investment. OrthoStar Plus and OrthoStar Premium modules are available to further automate your billing, documentation, scheduling, correspondence and narrative reports. All modules are integrated, allowing users to move seamlessly from a basic package to a more advanced package.

Meeting members’ needs

OrthoStar represents the first Academy offering that makes the handheld computer the information center of an orthopaedic surgeon’s professional life. With the rapidly expanding capability of handheld computers and the current convergence of the PDA, cell phone and pager, the AAOS sees almost limitless possibilities in what can and will be done with devices that fit in the palm of your hand.

"Our members’ interest in handheld computing is not lost on us," says Howard Mevis, director of the Academy’s electronic media, evaluation and course operations department. "At the 2001 Annual Meeting, more than 500 members packed a session on the use of PDAs in orthopaedics. At that time, we promised to bring the membership clinically useful applications on the handheld platform."

OrthoStar offers Academy members exactly that, Mevis says. "This is not a program to replace their current billing and scheduling system, but rather a means of revolutionizing the management of daily activities and improving process and efficiency."

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