Health Records Giant Epic Bets On Generative AI And OpenAI’s GPT-4

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  • Source: Forbes
  • 03/26/2024
Medical diagnosis and procedure codes are so numerous and varied that Debbie Beall, manager of coding at Houston Methodist in Texas, needs a 49-person team to translate the medical notes written by the system’s 1,600 clinicians into the codes needed to bill insurers.

There is a medical code for every imaginable scenario – from “burn due to water-skis on fire” to “spacecraft collision injuring occupant” — and their specificity determines how much the insurance companies pay. Each team member processes anywhere from 70 to 250 claims per day, depending on the complexity, she said. That’s why Beall is so excited about the possibility of using artificial intelligence to speed up the job.

“There's no way I'm ever going to replace coders completely with an AI system,” Beall told Forbes. But for run-of-the-mill procedures performed multiple times a day in a hospital, like X-rays and EKGs? “Yes, an AI engine can do that.”

Beall was one of the first dozen or so people to test a prototype of an AI-powered medical coding tool from electronic health records giant Epic Systems, which had $4.6 billion in revenue in 2022. Based on GPT-4, the large language model that powers the viral chatbot ChatGPT, Epic’s coding assistant prototype ingests and summarizes clinician notes and then tees up the “most likely” diagnosis codes and procedures codes, along with suggestions of “other potential codes,” according to mock ups viewed by Forbes that did not include real patient information.
Stethoscope and Laptop Computer. by National Cancer Institute is licensed under Unsplash

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