Outsourcing medical coding is a method utilized by hospitals, physician groups, and other providers to improve the quality of their services. By outsourcing this service, they are able to more efficiently and accurately conduct medical coding.
Most medical practices understand the importance of coding and see it as essential to getting accurate and timely reimbursement from insurance companies. It’s also a critical part of providing quality patient care.
However, not all healthcare providers have the time or resources to do coding in-house. Or, they may want to free up staff to focus on other tasks.
That’s where outsourcing medical coding comes in. Outsourcing medical coding can help you save time and money while ensuring that your coding is accurate and compliant.
What Does a Medical Coder Do?
A certified professional coder specializes in interpreting medical terms, diagnoses, and procedure codes. They are responsible for billing and coding the patients’ hospital or clinic visits accurately so that they receive the appropriate reimbursement from insurers.
Coders use a standardized nomenclature called Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes to assign accurate codes to various services, procedures, and supplies.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical coders are expected to experience faster-than-average job growth of 22% through 2026.
In addition to the high demand for medical coders, these professionals are also in high demand because their wages are projected to increase by 12% over the same time period.
What are the Benefits of Outsourcing Medical Coding?
Medical practices are faced with numerous challenges that can be overwhelming at times. From patient care to billing and coding, the medical field is a complex one.
Because coding is such a complex process, it can be difficult for medical practices to do it themselves without specialized training and resources.
Also, as new technologies emerge in healthcare delivery models (e.g., electronic health records), it becomes more difficult for practices to keep up with all the changes associated with coding.
Outsourcing these tasks allows physicians to focus on what they do best treating patients and improving health outcomes through quality care.
By outsourcing this vital task to a HIPPA-compliant organization that is centered on providing the highest quality of service with dedicated CPC coders, medical practices can save time and money while ensuring that their patients’ records are accurately coded.
In addition, outsourcing coding can help practices meet government compliance standards.
Improved accuracy and efficiency of medical coding
Medical coding is a highly specialized occupation that requires intensive knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy, billing, and the healthcare revenue cycle. Studies show an average of 30% of physicians’ inpatient hospital bills are incorrect because of incorrectly coded ICD-10 and CPT codes on the claim. By outsourcing this work to a professional coding company with credentialed coders, physicians and hospitals can improve accuracy and efficiency in their billing process as well as free up valuable time for patient care.
Improved compliance and reduced risk
Medical coding and billing are very important components of the revenue cycle in any medical practice organization. But it’s also a key responsibility with its own set of risks, including human error and fraud.
That’s why medical billing outsourcing can be an attractive way to improve compliance and reduce risk by accessing the skills, technology, and compliance management systems that other companies may already have in place.
Consistency in coding practices and the usage of best practices
As more and more regulations are introduced and refined, the need for consistency in coding practices is critical. When outsourced to an expert medical coder, medical practices gain a valuable resource that can be relied on to be consistent, accurate, and reliable with up-to-date coding practices.
In the end, this helps optimize care delivery to patients by providing faster and better billing, which often translates into increased profits for the practice.
Cost-effective and lower overhead
The biggest benefits of outsourcing medical coding services are increased billing and improved patient care. With the ability to concentrate on their clinical work, physicians can better attend to the needs of their patients.
Especially with a smaller practice, doctors would be overwhelmed trying to manage both aspects of running a business – from insurance filing to negotiating prices with suppliers. With a larger office, physicians will have all the help they need from expert coders.
Improved productivity and focus on core competency
To be successful, medical practice organizations need to focus on their core competency. Focusing on quality patient care, treating patients with dignity and compassion, and executing a strategy that is sustainable in today’s healthcare environment can feel overwhelming.
Timely order entry, billing, and reimbursement
Many doctors find themselves overwhelmed by the increasing volume of billing and ordering. This can be difficult if you don’t have enough employees with strong billing and reimbursement skills.
By outsourcing to a professional medical coding agency, physicians will enjoy much quicker order entry, better billing accuracy, and higher reimbursement rates for out-of-network services.
The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) has said that the medical coder, who must be proficient in the use of ICD-10-CM or ICD-11-CM and CPT, is the only person qualified to assign the correct CPT code to any given medical procedure.
And that’s true, but many medical facilities and practices in the United States don’t have enough medical coders on staff to accommodate all of their patients each day.
That’s why partnering with an outsourcing provider that offers medical coding services like Taskforce can lead to faster billing, improvements in patient care, and improved profitability for the provider.