With the October 2015 deadline for transitioning from ICD-9 to ICD-10 looming for health care facilities, the need for qualified medical coding services workers is high. In addition to this, hospitals and other health care providers have to effect other changes necessitated by the Affordable Care Act. An ideal solution is to outsource medical coding services or use an agency to recruit medical coders.
Advantages of outsourcing Medical Coding
- Cost benefit
This is one of the most important benefits. It is much cheaper to outsource as significant savings are made on training and laying down infrastructure including machinery and technology that is compliant to the new standards and requirements.
Accuracy in medical coding is critically important in regard to billing, insurance claims, risk assessment and costing of medical services. Inaccuracies can cost a health care facility a lot in form of lawsuits for inaccurate bills and it can cost insurance a lot in form of inaccurate claims. Also, medical codes are factored in for medical research and education planning. Outsourcing companies and agencies will ensure that those they hire or work with adhere to the new standards.
Non-compliance is a serious issue that can attract large fines that can affect the operations of a health care facility. When you outsourced to a competitive medical coding company hire staff through an agency, you can be sure that you will be putting coding in the hands of qualified staff who have a good understanding of the new regulations. If you need to get workers who are certified by the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC) for instance, you only need to inform the agency that you need coders who satisfy this requirement.
- Expert oversight
While you will find qualified medical coders when you outsource or when you hire through an agency, supervision is still necessary. You can hire a manager or head of department to be based at your health care facility who can periodically brief you. Having in-house managers or supervisors who interact directly with you about the medical coding of your facility is advisable.
This is another advantage of outsourcing. The outsourcing company can be held accountable for errors and inaccuracies. When faced with a potential lawsuit by a patient, insurance company or other body for inaccuracy, the outsourcing company would be held accountable. This and periodic quality audits carried out by an independent audit company will ensure transparency.