Discover How To Increase Medical Coding Productivity at Your Practice
Due to the highly complex nature of ICD-10-CM, medical coding is often an unenviable task. Your practice faces numerous issues if your in-house coding team is under-coding, inaccurately applying CPT codes, or is slow to file claims. Inefficient and inaccurate coding affects your practice’s financial well-being, patient experience, and ability to grow, among many other unwanted challenges. Continue reading this article to learn essential medical coding tips and the consequences of improper coding practices.
Begin by Setting Performance Goals for Medical Coding
When trying, setting clear, reasonable expectations for your staff is crucial. If you try to implement performance standards that require an unreasonably high number of procedures coded, medical records audited, or claims filed per day, you increase the chance of inaccuracies and denied claims.
It may take a bit of tinkering with expectations and adjusting measuring methods to find the performance goals for medical coding that fit your needs without introducing an increased number of coding errors. However, the long-term benefits of improved billing and coding practices far outweigh the short-term frustrations and difficulties while setting goals.
Ways To Increase Medical Coding Productivity
There are many ways to increase medical coding productivity without negatively impacting quality of work. Here are some medical coding tips to help your staff hit performance goals:
Have a Strategy
It seems obvious, but knowing what needs to be accomplished by the end of a day really does help medical billers and coders plan their day. Your strategy should include prioritizing tasks, setting up times to collaborate with fellow team members with vital information for a particular job, and setting time frames for how long each activity should take.
Encourage your medical coding and billing staff to use desk calendars or weekly planners to see their responsibilities for today and the week ahead. This gives them a holistic view of what needs to be completed, prioritizes each task, and improves time management.
Measure Daily Productivity
Accountability drives performance. If coders don’t face consequences for slow or inaccurate work, why would they be moved to change their routine? Setting performance goals for medical coding is the first element of increasing productivity. To ensure your maximizing this critical step of revenue cycle management, you must also measure how each coder performs compared to expectations.
If your entire coding team is falling short of goals, you may need to look into ways to lighten their workload or what steps you can take to make processes more efficient. If only a few coders fail to hit benchmarks, you can focus on searching for personalized solutions and ways to hold them accountable.
We live in a world that provides constant stimulation, alerts, and distractions. Given the attention to detail and precision necessary to accurately and efficiently code, things like cell phones, radios, or televisions in a workspace can be problematic. While it may be unreasonable to expect your coders to abandon their phones during work, removing TVs and limiting listening to music to personal headphones significantly increase medical coding productivity.
Automation is a great way to increase medical coding productivity. Not only can computer-assisted coding improve efficiency, but it can also drastically reduce the amount of incorrect medical coding submitted to insurance companies. Automated processes also create smoother workflows, ease burdens on overwhelmed internal staff, and shorten the time it takes to issue statements.
One of the most valuable medical coding tips we can offer is to have your entire coding team get certified by the industry standard bearer, AAPC. Their training and credentialing services ensure your team is knowledgeable about the industry’s best practices and is appropriately qualified to handle even the most complex coding challenges. Certified coders also minimize the chances of facing compliance issues, fraud claims, and claim denials or delays.
Are you seeking solutions that improve coding quality and efficiency? Schedule a free, confidential, and no-obligation consultation with BSI to learn how our outsourced medical coding services maximize reimbursements, ensure compliance, and allow you to focus on patient care.
How Can Inaccurate Coding Affect Your Practice?
Prolonged or repeated coding inaccuracies can have many consequences on your practice, some quite severe. False and noncompliant claims can lead to fraud or abuse investigations, federal penalties, and significant fines. And because laws surrounding incorrect claims for Medicare or Medicaid don’t require proof of intent, even innocent mistakes can be pretty costly.
Even if you don’t face the most extreme repercussions, inaccurate coding still disrupts your practice. Poor coding practices frequently lead to financial hardships that prevent practice growth. The most common side effects of improper medical coding are:
- Partial reimbursement
- Delayed payments
- Prolonged turnaround times
- Denied claims
Incorrect medical coding can also have serious consequences for your patients. Take, for example, an incorrect diagnostic code. CPT codes have subtle variances and, if not properly applied, may result in the wrong tests being run or medications being withheld from a needing patient.
Increase Medical Coding Productivity With BSI Medical Billing
For over 30 years, BSI has supported providers and practices in various specialties with meticulous and highly accurate medical coding services. Our team of highly trained AAPC-certified medical coding specialists uses the most innovative software and unmatched attention to detail, which results in maximized reimbursements, minimized denials, and a steady revenue stream at your practice.
If you’re interested in increasing medical coding productivity, reducing operating costs, and freeing your back office to focus on high-priority projects, reach out to BSI today. During your free, confidential consultation, we can discuss your coding issues and begin crafting solutions to your specific needs.