Medical coding is an essential part of healthcare facility business practices. But if services are improperly coded, hospitals and doctors’ offices can lose hundreds, even thousands of dollars of revenue. Oftentimes these coding errors are caused by overworked staff trying to keep up with mounting patient accounts. One solution to this problem is outsourcing your medical coding. There are several benefits to this increasingly popular option that you should consider.
Less Human Resources Used
With an in-house medical coders conducting the coding for your patient accounts, you are responsible for the recruitment and training of your staff. In facilities with high turnover, time spent on these tasks is a significant burden. By outsourcing your medical coding, you can free up this time for more important functions that grow your practice or improve the services you provide in your facility.
Saved Revenue on Location Costs
The necessary resources required to keep your coding needs within your facility, such as computer databases and other tools often take up expensive real estate in a doctor’s office or hospital as well as using revenue to provide benefits and payroll for your medical coding department. By moving this function to a medical coding company, healthcare providers can maximize facility space for revenue-generating or other important functions.
<h2 Changes in healthcare laws, such as HIPAA, the Healthcare Reform Bill, IDC-10 and other legislation can get complicated. When these changes affect coding procedures, it is essential that medical coding departments are kept up to date. This is an ongoing process that can cost your healthcare facility or office a great deal of money, and it is your responsibility to maintain the standards required for coding. A medical coding company dedicated to keeping abreast of these changes ensures that coding is done properly with respect to the latest legislation and updates. This will save you money up-front with training and compliance, but also in the end, with fewer coding errors and less audits from these mistakes.
Consistency in Coding
At most doctors’ offices and hospitals, medical coding personnel come from a wide variety of training programs. This can result in inconsistencies in coding resulting in procedural errors, which in turn creates coding errors. By outsourcing your medical coding, you are assured that each coder assigned to your accounts is following the same protocol, and that two patients who undergo identical procedures will not be assigned different, and possibly incorrect, codes.
Secure Data Networks
Concern over hackers being able to breach networks in hospitals and doctors’ offices is something all facility administrators must consider. Such a scenario creates huge risks for facilities that employ in-house medical coders with less-than-secure networks. Outsourcing this function to a more secure location reduces liability risks and ensures that patient information is protected.