Do You Really Need the Services of a Medical Coder for Medical Billing?
Medical coders are integral members of the healthcare industry revenue cycle management (RCM) team. A skillful coder helps healthcare facilities, insurance payers, and patients to navigate the complexities of the many laws, regulations, and guidelines related to the business side of healthcare. Another attractive aspect of a medical coding career path is that it offers challenges and opportunities for self-advancement without long years of schooling.
Medical coding specialists play an essential role in the healthcare business. Using alphanumeric diagnosis and procedure codes, they communicate critical information about medical conditions and treatments in a quick and time-efficient manner. Such medical coders also translate medical terminology into a standardized format, allowing information to be transmitted accurately and efficiently between healthcare providers and insurance payers.
Medical Coders and their Job Expertise
Professional medical coders spend most of their time reviewing medical records so as to assign codes and ensure that the healthcare providers they work for are properly reimbursed for their services. The role of medical biller and coder is not an easy one. Firstly they must carefully read the doctor's notes so as to determine exactly what services the patient received. Secondly, the coder must also understand private payer policies and government regulations for accurate and compliant coding and billing practices.
Some of the responsibilities of medical coding professionals include:
- Translating patient information into an appropriate alphanumeric code
- Collecting and managing payments for each individual patient account
- Preparing patient statements and reviewing the same for errors
- Maintaining confidentiality of all patient data while ensuring database security
- Submitting claims to insurance companies
- Working with relevant computer software to organize data, maintain databases, and prepare charts and reports
- Following-up with insurance companies on claims, especially the ones which have been denied and getting to the root cause of the denial
- Making sure that the medical facility has received the payments for all the procedures performed
Qualities of a Good Medical Coder
With the increasing need for electronic health records and computerized record-keeping in the healthcare industry, the field of health information technology is changing quickly. Many people are looking to get into this field and are pursuing medical billing and coding training. Some of the key skills needed to be a medical coder include:
Medical coders need to be able to analyze the information in the patients' records in order to determine what codes are appropriate. This is important so that the billing is accurate and the healthcare service provider gets paid on time for the services rendered.
Accuracy and attention to detail are of highest importance for medical coders. Processing health insurance claims and understanding the medical coding system are two skills that require a keen eye for detail.
Medical coders need to be honest and have a high level of integrity. They work with patients' medical records, which are required by law to be kept confidential. People working in this field must be committed to protecting patient privacy and confidentiality.
Medical billers and coders have to be comfortable interacting with colleagues in the billing department as well as physicians and nurses. This is because often times they might have to discuss billing problems, patient information, or ask questions about a patient's chart with the designated personnel. Therefore it is important for medical coders to communicate well with others in a professional and friendly manner.
Being comfortable with computers and technology is important for people working in the medical records industry. Most institutions use Electronic Health Records (EHR) software for all of their billing and coding functions, and employees need to be adept at the said software.
Conclusion: Do You Really Need a Medical Coder for Medical Billing?
Having a dedicated medical coder for your firm can be a boon as they will be responsible for reading the medical files and notes of doctors and other practitioners and translating diagnoses, prescriptions, and the services rendered into relevant codes for insurance claims. Having a medical coder, even on a part-time basis, could reduce your number of denied claims, improve your collections rate, and reduce the time it takes to receive payment, boosting the cash flow. At the same time, there are a few things which need to be taken care of while hiring medical coders, including:
- The coder should have relevant experience in the domain that you are dealing with
- You should make sure that the coders you hire are certified by authorized bodies in the medical billing domain
- Apart from technical knowledge, skills such as communication and decision making skills also need to assessed
- The various metrics and deadlines involved in your practice need to be discussed in advance as this is vital to setting up a successful working relationship
Hire the Best Medical Coders at Flatworld Solutions
Flatworld Solutions has been a pioneer organization for medical coding in India and is a one-stop-shop for all your healthcare administrative needs. We have been in medical billing and coding industry for over a decade now and provide highly experienced medical coders and help your healthcare practice to gain a competitive edge. Our medical coding experts guarantee accuracy levels up to 98% at highly cost-effective prices and within a quick turnaround time.
If you have any kind of medical coding requirement, feel free to get in touch with us and we will be more than happy to help you.
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