It’s Tuesday; Tiffany is the Director of HIM at a chain of surgical centers in the Eastern United States. Tiffany has been working tirelessly to replace one of her In-House medical coders who decided to start working from home for another company. Her search has been in vain as so many coders are choosing to work from home for more dollars than she has budget to offer. One of Tiffany’s fastest and most accurate medical coders walks up to her and tells her she is leaving effective immediately.
The workload has become overwhelming, and the benefits that once kept her working for Tiffany have been outweighed by the promises of higher wages and more freedom from other companies. Tiffany is now down 2 medical coders with a mounting backlog growing every minute.
Does this real-life situation sound far too familiar? It eventually happens to everyone in the medical coding world. There are some benefits to having medical coding all done in-house, but as the healthcare world has evolved drastically over the last 10 years, so has medical coding. Very few healthcare organizations are keeping their medical coding in-house. For some, it makes sense, for most, it doesn’t. Here are 4 factors you should consider when making the decision to outsource or keep it in-house:
- Cost: This is a big reason most companies decide to keep everything in-house. If done right, it can be cheaper. Done right means; no backlogs, no denials, no overtime, no office space, no benefits, etc. "Doing it right” has become nearly impossible for most organizations. Cost to outsource eliminates many of those issues, its not a long-term commitment and you only pay for the productivity, not the time on Facebook or chatting at the water cooler.
- Access: We like to have control and oversight. This can be easier with having everything in-house. However, with the right partner, this visibility can become even greater depending on the software and processes they use.
- Time: This is two-fold. Time finding new coders has become far more exhaustive than ever before. Your time to reimbursement will stretch far past it should. Also, your personal time becomes affected. How many late nights will you put in?
- Experience: Outsourced companies usually have a vast array of specialties served. This collective knowledge allows for faster more accurate coding, no matter the complex encounter they might be coding for.
It is common practice already to outsource your development team, accounting team, customer service, and many other facets of business. Doing so saves overhead, commitment, recruiting time, training time, and expenses of full-time staff, while allowing you to tap into experts without all the associated expenses.