Was your journey walking across the ICD-10 codes smooth last year? If yes, be thankful to CMS. It was very friendly initially by lessening the ‘transitioning difficulties’ from ICD-9 to ICD-10 by holding on with some number of codes and also in overlooking the small errors that occurred after ICD-10 implementation by not imposing any penalties. The codes that were released last year were incomplete and now CMS has decided to introduce new codes to make coding more specific and accurate.
The ICD-10 medical coding is going to get more perilous with 1,900 diagnosis codes and 3,651 hospital inpatient procedure codes adding to the already huge existing list. These new codes are already added to the hospital inpatient prospective payment system proposed rule for fiscal year 2017.
In-House Coding has its own Challenges
About 90% of the new codes being introduced belong to Inpatient cardiology and cardiothoracic procedures. These new codes require a software system that helps the physicians to easily find the codes and to also ensure that correct and precise information entered. The new update will keep every physician and his coders on their feet and make them realize the risk-based adjusted diagnostic coding for documenting and submitting claims correctly.
Keep an eye on the technology side to ensure you are not running behind your competitors in usage of technology which is a driving force in today’s healthcare. There are many software platforms in the industry. To set up a platform for your coders you need to build or buy software and keep monitoring it on a daily basis. This requires lot of your attention and is also costly than you expect. This is where an outsourcing vendor will be useful as they are aware what technology to use to keep your operations smooth.
Every physician in the United States will cringe to new codes as they were never used before and look totally different even for people who are into coding since long time. Processing claims using the new ICD-10 codes will be difficult in the initial stages. Though there is enough time before the new codes are implemented everyone involved in medical coding can come up with blue-prints of their action plans, any error made will have a detrimental impact on proceedings and will hold up the cash flows for a considerable time.
In-house coding is a big challenge for physicians as it requires man power to work full time on coding. Most of the time they’ll be stuck with complicated coding and consume lot of the valuable time that can be used for other patient related issues. They should be thoroughly trained and also have training sessions in between. This requires you to set aside a part of your budget for training your coders.
Also you need to keep an eye on the amendments happening at the state and federal level to understanding how the guidelines at the payor level are impacted. Managing coding would really become a huge mountain to climb if you don’t follow these changes closely ultimately shaking your accounts receivables. Outsourcing has many benefits and is considerably cheaper than you think. They have experienced coders, technology and other resources to make your life easier.
Why should you outsource?
Many individual clinicians who do their own medical billing face difficulties in remembering and entering these 70,000+ codes. They take lot of time looking for correct codes every single time they want to enter. Time factor will be an area of concern where the physicians will spend more time on searching the codes for specificity rather than spending time on patients.
To succeed in this atmosphere alongside achieving financial, operational and quality care goals you need a guide who is experienced and be a critical part in your ICD-10 compliance success. Today outsourcing companies like Promantra understand your business goals and demystify your challenges in medical coding by working on your real time challenges.
As we enter the last week of June you still have a long way for 2017 before the new codes come into picture. Look out for a partner who can travel along with you during this perilous period and use their experience and technology to bail you out without impacting your revenue cycle.
Talk to our medical coding experts at Promantra who are experienced at operational excellence and competitive technology to help you pass through this critical phase.
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