Medical coding is a very important process, and is essential for accurate patient records, in-patient or outpatient care, and from a business standpoint, paramount for the billing reimbursement process. There are various facilities for medical healthcare coding including on-site, departmental or office coding, and off-site coding labs. Private Dynamic Network of Chicago provides medical coding services locally in Chicago as well as nationwide medical coding for healthcare facilities all over the US.
There are various classifications of medical records coders. Healthcare records coding involves the creation and maintenance of Medical Records, bills, and insurance coding for reimbursement (private or government). There are many healthcare, record coder services requiring specific certifications or Associate Degrees.
Certified Healthcare Coding
Certified healthcare coding requires specific, standardized codes for all diagnoses, procedures, and for financial reimbursement from government agencies and insurance companies. Healthcare coders, who are specialized in their respective field or job, have thorough training and a certification process.
Medical records coding enables easy access to health records with respect to diagnoses, as well as, determining procedures for clinical care, research, and education. Most common uses of healthcare coding systems include:
- Identifying symptoms that must be assessed in order to alert all healthcare professionals to various life-threatening allergies, conditions or medication interactions.
- Reporting all related service that is performed for reimbursement.
- Helping with administrative functions of scheduling, staffing, and adding or decreasing any healthcare service.
- Evaluating all facilities and planning for any new services, if required in any underserved areas.
Standardized, Healthcare Code Systems
Standardized, medical coding procedures are published through the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS), which is the standard set of health care procedure codes based on the Current Procedural Terminology of the American Medical Association. This healthcare coding system, established in 1978, was designed to provide a standardized coding system for describing specific items and services rendered by healthcare providers. This coding system proved to be beneficial for Medicare, Medicaid and various other health insurance programs, thereby assuring that insurance claims are processed in a systematic, orderly, and consistent manner.
The standard, Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System includes three main levels of healthcare coding:
- Level I codes consist of the Current Procedural Terminology of American Medical Association in the numerical form.
- Level II codes are alphanumerical codes and largely include non-physician services like ambulance services along with prosthetic devices. This level of codes represent those items, supplies and non-physician services that are not covered by Level I codes. Level II, alphanumeric procedural and modifier codes are a single alphabetical letter followed by 4 numeric digits. The first alphabetic letter ranges between A to V. These codes are maintained by the US Center for Medicaid Services.
- Level III codes are known as local codes, which were developed by Medicare contractors, State Medicaid agencies, and private insurers for use in specific programs and jurisdictions. The use of Level III codes was later on discontinued in order to adhere to consistency in coding standards.