How Outsourcing Medical Coding is the Right Choice to Make in 2022
Table of Contents
- 1 How Outsourcing Medical Coding is the Right Choice to Make in 2022
- 1.1 The Importance of Medical Coding
- 1.2 What does Outsourcing Medical Coding Mean?
- 1.3 What are the Benefits of Outsourcing Medical Coding?
- 1.4 Final Thoughts
Medical coding is a section of healthcare that is used for the translation of all the prescriptions and other medical services performed for the patient into actionable, serviceable code. This code is then added to a directory and inventory to keep a uniform record of all the diagnoses, equipment used, services and procedures performed, and other inventory at the healthcare facility.
The Importance of Medical Coding
Medical coding is crucial to the functioning of any healthcare service provider or organization because it streamlines the entire billing process for the provider. The coder’s primary role and responsibility is to take the codes of the diagnoses and the procedures from the patient’s records, test results, and more and transform them into an alphanumeric code. This code is then applied to the final bill, which is used by insurance companies and the healthcare organizations themselves to process bills. It is how the doctors and the staff managed to get paid for their services.
Clearly, it is an important function responsible for the operations at any healthcare service provider’s institution, be it a big hospital or a small-scale general practitioner’s clinic. The smaller size of the business makes it difficult for physicians to maintain the records on their own and transcribe them, and it isn’t financially feasible for them to hire a medical coder under their payroll to do this job for them. This is why doctors, small-scale clinics, and general practitioners often opt for outsourcing medical coding services so that they can still manage to keep a thorough account of their activities and regulate their billing.
This function becomes all the more important in 2022 as healthcare professionals are faced with unprecedented strain due to the pandemic. Over the last two years, many physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals have had to work tirelessly and risk exposure daily while they perform routine patient care and invest more time and effort into taking care of the patients infected with the Coronavirus. A large number of healthcare professionals do end up testing positive as well, which only puts more strain on those who are still active in the workforce. Outsourcing medical coding services will eliminate the unnecessary and excessive burden on the doctors, nurses and other medical staff and help them get their dues paid on time despite the large amount of work they are doing.
What does Outsourcing Medical Coding Mean?
Healthcare providers can operate at different scales. They can be single practitioners, work in a group in a clinic, or work at a hospital, but they all need to enlist the help of professional medical coders for their services. Depending on the scale of the organization the doctors and physicians are working at, they might want to consider outsourcing their medical coding services to an external agency.
When the healthcare provider chooses to outsource medical coding services, they usually send in the medical charts, the diagnoses, and the prescriptions electronically to the medical coder or the medical coding agency they are working with. The remote coding agency quickly goes through the documents they are provided with, codes them accordingly, and sends them back. These charts are also reviewed by the coders to ensure that all the procedures performed are compliant with the medical standards set by the state and that they meet all the documentation requirements.
What are the Benefits of Outsourcing Medical Coding?
Some of the key benefits of outsourcing medical coding are:
It Creates a Filter to Prevent Oversight
Since the medical coder’s responsibility also includes ensuring that all the documentation meets statutory guidelines, is true to nature, and all the information filled out is accurate, it adds another level of accuracy to the reports before they are filed and sent out for insurance claims. This means that the chances of the claims being rejected drop significantly lower.
It Improves Billing Accuracy
The overall accuracy of the entire billing process improves due to the additional layer of checking that the medical coder provides. The other reason it improves accuracy is that the codes that the documentation needs to be translated to are all standardized so that they become universally recognizable, and the medical coder is skilled to know which diagnoses, test results, and other documents prescribe to which code. So it reduces the margin of error there as well.
It Speeds Up the Insurance Claim Process
Since the healthcare practitioners have decided on outsourcing medical coding, they do not have to worry about rushing all their processes to get their bills sent on time for insurance claims. The outsourced medical coding service provider is responsible for the quick and timely delivery of the completed document, which will help speed up the insurance claim process for the physicians or the clinics. It means that their payments will also get cleared faster so there is less backlog and more timely delivery of revenue.
Healthcare Practitioners Can Use the Help of Professional Medical Coders
Healthcare practitioners may be skilled at providing care to patients, treating illnesses, and performing tests, surgeries, and more, but they do not have the skills of a professionally trained medical coder. They are certified to perform these tasks, and hiring one full-time in their payroll can become quite expensive. When they outsource medical coding services, the healthcare practitioners have the access to certified professional medical coders without having to invest in the office space, digital infrastructure, or additional salaries that would come with having someone work with them full-time.
Healthcare Practitioners Can Focus More on Patient Care Instead of Administrative Tasks
Now that the burden of filling out repetitive forms, accurately filing them, and translating them into medical code so that they can be processed easily has been removed, it is a big burden off of the physician’s shoulders. They can instead focus on providing the best possible patient care in their power instead of investing their time and resources into completing these mundane and tiresome (yet important) administrative tasks.
Outsourcing medical coding services allow doctors, surgeons, and everyone directly involved with patient care the chance to optimize and speed up their billing processes. Professionally certified medical coders can be easily accessible once they invest the time in finding the right service provider that meets their needs. Organizations and agencies such as Invensis have certified, trained, and experienced medical coders who will perform all medical coding to ensure timely billing and remuneration takes place. All that doctors, healthcare practitioners, and healthcare organizations should worry about is improving the quality of patient care, which is why it is ideal to outsource medical coding services to professionals who are best equipped to manage it.