7 basic Principles For Growing Your Medical Coding & Billing Business in 2018
In the U.S., medical coding is the creation of medical codes that clarify with specific diagnosis and sets in the healthcare industry. These codes are identified by medical documentation. These codes are used to determine the details of billing, and the efficient use of coding leads to accurate billing. This finally results in the determination of insurance claims. A meaningful part, consequently of the medical coding and billing business is the efficiency of the medical claims billing service.
According to the Medical Billing Guide, “Medical records specialist earn a median pay of $35,900 per year, which isn’t bad for a profession that requires little education or training.”
Irrelevant to the industry, there are some business fundamentals that every entrepreneur takes into account. However, market research indicates factors that are specific to each industry. The medical billing and coding industry is one that comes with its specifications. As the healthcare industry is expected to double over the next ten years, medical billing and coding businesses are poised for growth, while being comparatively recession proof.
Medical codes are applied using CPT®, ICD-10-CM, and HCPCS Level II classification systems. Medical coders, consequently, need to be proficient in the application of these codes. The medical billing business, afterward, pursues the claims determined by these codes for reimbursements from health insurance companies to the healthcare company.
A medical billing and coding course of action, consequently, offers end-to-end billing and management solutions to ensure that the healthcare provider gets paid to their maximum entitlement. The ultimate goal is to minimize insurance claims denials.
Below are seven principles that can aid towards powering your medical billing and coding business to transform into an industry leader.
Computer Assisted Coding (CAC) is Your Best Friend
in any case the state of the economy, citizens will always need medical care. However, the affordability is subjective. To avoid any dependence, medical billing sets need to be increasingly efficient in their execution. The most error-free mechanism towards achieving this end is deploying the applicable technology, i.e., CAC. With the ICD 10 change and the introduction of a large number of new codes, medical coders need assistance in ensuring error-free coding. There are ever-evolving technologies of artificial intelligence and data mining that go a long way in improving billing and management solutions, by predicting the possibility of insurance claims being denied, flagging faulty coding, and automating the coding course of action. Ultimately, CAC maximizes the amount that can be claimed by the healthcare provider, which is the meaningful to retaining customers.
The use of CAC further reduces the amount of paperwork involved in the medical billing course of action. Technology has shifted the paradigm to automated coding, which limits the amount of manual execution and thereby minimizes the possibility of human error.
According to a report obtainable by Research and Markets, “the global market for computer-assisted coding software is projected to reach $4.75 billion by 2022”. However, technology is not at a point where it can replace human coders. According to a recent report by Herzing University, “The U.S Department of Labor predicts that employment for health information technicians will grow by as much as 15 percent by 2024-much faster than average for most occupations.” This growth is meaningful of the ever-increasing need for inventive technology to be merged with the skill of medical coders and billers that will solidify the accuracy of medical billing claims sets.
Further, according to the Capterra Medical Software blog, A Cleveland Clinic study found that CAC had a lower accuracyn rate when used without the assistance of a credentialed coder. “It cannot be overemphasized that the use of computer-assisted coding alone does not replace certified coders. The software is limited and does not have the ability to apply guidelines or make decisions about code application and the circumstances of each admission. It does not have the ability to ‘choose’ a principal diagnosis or a principal procedure, and in many situations, does not have the ability to build ICD-10-PCS procedure codes.”
By Sandra L. Brewton (RHIT, CCS, CHCA, CPC, AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer)
In a nutshell, CAC will assist your business by:
Automated translation of clinical documents
Suggested codes for application
Automated reviews for coders
Automated billing suggestions
Fewer errors for rapid claim acceptance
Embrace Blockchain Technology
To put it simply, blockchain technology is an only once-written record of digital scenarios that can be shared between different entities for viewing only purposes. Within the healthcare industry, there is no doubt about the high level of interconnectedness between the healthcare providers, medical billing and coding companies and insurance claims companies. This is where the blockchain technology plays a crucial role.
According to a recent report of Forbes, “… it will be an evolutionary journey for blockchain-based healthcare systems or applications, where trust and governance within a blockchain network or consortium will be the basic success factors for implementation.” It further states, “The Hyperledger Foundation, an open-source global collaborative effort produced to improvement cross-industry blockchain technologies, is one great example among many developing small blockchain consortia models in the healthcare space.”
The main advantage of the blockchain technology is its ability for data exchange, without the fear of data being hampered across entities. This maintains the basic standardization and security protocol of medical data.
A recent example of the implementation of blockchain application is the development of a blockchain-based claims management solution with the collaboration of Gem Health and Capital One. This has considerably helped to reduce administrative costs and time wastage by providers and claims management companies.
Blockchain Technology can aid your business by:
Higher standards of security
methodic and efficient information exchange
Decreased restricting of medical data
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Systematize Your Collection Unit
As a hindrance to effective revenue management, a important amount of time is spent on making collections of frauds and defaulters. This adversely affects cash flow. When the collection is purely manual, the ever-increasing paperwork and human time consumption take a huge toll on company profits. This course of action can be streamlined by a dedicated and small-sized team that is equipped with the powerful and inventive technology to track and execute pending collections. Another strategy is to choose to pursue payments only when deemed necessary. This will reduce unnecessary time consumption. Well trained and skilled staff is an basic prerequisite to an efficient practice management service and for efficient tracking and recording. Finally, outsourcing bad debt recovery, litigations related to accounts, etc. will go a long way inefficient utilization of company resources.
Collections of overdue amounts are the least likely ones to be reimbursed. This is probably the best reason that your collection team needs to be organized and avoid bad debts as much as possible. An active billing team followed by a small, but skilled collection team should be the priority within the medical claims billing service.
“many ASCs fail to implement a system of tracking and trending for these denials, which is, in his opinion, the most shared mistake ASCs make when it comes to their billing practices. Typically, one or two employees perform all roles, and they expect that single person to be an expert in all of them. This rarely works. We typically see that they will excel at some but fail at others; a Jack of all trades is a master of none.”
– Brice Voithofer, VP, AdvantEdge Healthcare Solutions
To ensure minimum collection hassles:
Keep the team small but skilled
Avoid pursuing long overdue bills
Implement a system to track the trend of denials
discriminate between Appealed and Corrected Claims
This is the time of action that sets in when an initial claim to the payer is denied. Medical billers then allurement the claim or execute a corrected claim for reimbursement of the medical sets. Every medical billing sets company must be acutely aware of the difference between appealed and corrected claims since there are definitive and distinguished guidelines that set them both apart.
Claims that should be appealed are oftentimes sent as corrected claims and vice versa, which only further ensues denials. A corrected claim is submitted when the biller has identified that there was incorrect coding executed and rectifies it with the right pertaining code according to the CPT, ICD-9 and HCPCS codes initially billed. An appealed claim is one where the biller insists that the billed codes are accurate and provides the required evidence toward the same.
A skilled eye should make the distinction and then efficiently follow up with the corrected claim, if appropriate. In the case of an appealed claim, it is always wise to sustain the allurement with sufficient documentation that will minimize the possibility of denial.
“for a corrected claim, the appropriate changes should be made to the CPT, ICD-9 or HCPCS codes, and the bill kind should be changed to mirror a corrected claim. Claim form 837 is typically used for corrected claims. If the bill kind is not changed, it could be denied as a duplicate bill. The corrected claim should then be submitted electronically to ensure the quickest processing. However, for an appealed claim, you must supply documentation to sustain your allurement. Make sure to include the operative observe, any applicable CCI edits, the invoice, official letter of allurement and a copy of the original claim. There are state-specific guidelines that can be used in addition as payor-specific allurement processes.”
-By Dawn Waibel, DoP, Serbin Surgery Center Billing
Distinction between Appealed Vs. Corrected Claims ensures:
No further rejection of denial of payments
Speedy recovery of payments
Higher customer satisfaction
attempt Medical Coding Certification
These certifications are an assurance of standard compliance within the healthcare industry. These certificates are recognized across the country (by employers, doctors, physicians, medical insurance companies, and government entities) and add credibility to your business. Furthermore, the employees of the business must also be chosen based on their certifications as a medical coder.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “medical coding is one of the fastest growing professions in the nation.”
This profession requires skilled personnel to attempt the responsibility of medical billing and coding. The more proficient the coder, the less likelihood of coding errors and claim denials in the coding and billing course of action. Furthermore, Lisa Rock, president, and CEO of National Medical Billing sets says that the most shared rejections are for invalid subscriber ID numbers; missing subscriber date of birth if different from the patient; invalid diagnosis code; and demographic errors, such as misspelled names.
There are several different types of certification within the medical billing and coding domain. They are as follows:
specialized Coder Certification – This certificate determines the proficiency of the individual in the application of codes correctly of CPT®, HCPCS Level II procedure and supply codes, and ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes, which are useful for medical claims in a physician’s office.
Outpatient Hospital/Facility Certification – This certificate proves proficiency in the appropriate use of CPT®, HCPCS Level II procedure, and supply codes, and ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes in an outpatient hospital facility.
Inpatient Hospital/Facility Certification – This certificate proves proficiency in the appropriate use of ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes in an inpatient hospital facility.
Risk Adjustment Certification – This certificate displays competence in the proper use of ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes towards risk adjustment in billing and coding.
Beyond the above, several individual certificates can be acquired, which displays proficiency in specific types of coding.
Medical Coding and Billing Certification offers:
Higher efficiency in the application of codes
Better employee quality
Reduced rejection of claims
Invest in Business Intelligence for Consistent Improvement
The ever-increasing innovation in technologies suited for medical billing and coding has now brought data mining into the limelight as one of the most efficient ways to enhance billing and collection sets within the healthcare industry. From predictive examination to prescription examination, data mining creates reports that can go a long way in aiding intelligent decision making and successful improvisations. Additionally, data mining offers automated, customized reports that can considerably reduce employee time and allow them to focus on more substantial areas of productivity. Finally, this is another way to minimize errors of coding and bill claims.
“MediGain’s proprietary medical billing solutions, which offers physician offices, ambulatory surgery centers and hospitals a powerful healthcare data intelligence and reporting software tool that delivers control over clinical and financial data. Specifically designed for physicians, healthcare administrators and billing professionals, our proprietary reporting course of action collects and aggregates data from all major practice management systems, electronic medical records and accounting software systems. The examination is automated, eliminating the need for monotonous and time-consuming manual examination and reporting.”
Data Mining can extend itself into the next billing and coding arenas:
Quality and Outcomes
Identifying Skilled Coders
A career in healthcare is complicated across the board. This holds true for medical coders in addition. already though the job does not include working directly with patients, it comes with a requirement to understand complicate codes that represent a varied medical diagnosis.
“Coding is like learning a foreign language. What makes it difficult is that there are three major coding systems and each of them is different. So, you are learning three foreign languages.”- says Professor Bonnie Moore, RHIT and HIT program coordinator at Rasmussen College.
The challenge is in transitioning the medical diagnosis and identifying it with the applicable quote.
According to Meredith Kroll, clinic coder at Ridgeview Medical Center, “At times it was harder than I thought, particularly the E/M coding,” Kroll says. But she emphasizes that the challenging parts of learning medical coding are vital to later success on the job.” This emphasizes the need for medical coding and billing companies to take their time and hire skilled employees who are well versed with the coding requirements. If at the initial stage the coding is done efficiently, a lot of issues can be avoided along the way, such as rejections and denials. Another strategy for success is to ensure that your medical coders are keeping up with the changes in the coding requirements and the changing codes in the healthcare industry.
An efficient medical coder can:
Increase business proficiency
clarify related codes precisely
enhance revenue cycles
Reduce the likelihood of denials and rejected claims
The medical coding and billing industry are targeted to grow at an unheard of rate. To unprotected to and continue your position as an industry leader, ensure to follow the below steps:
Adopt Computer Assisted Coding Mechanisms
Opt for Blockchain Technology
Strengthen the Collection Team
Systematise Appealed Vs. Corrected Claims Structure
Insist on Medical Coding Certification
Choose Data Mining for Business Intelligence
Recruit Skilled Medical Coders