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Exceptional Coders | Innovative Technology

Outsource Your Coding Reason 10 of 10: Highly Educated Medical Coders

Posted by Ben Castleberry on Aug 29, 2015 4:33:00 AM

This is post 10 of a 10 post series on the top 10 reasons you should consider outsourcing your coding.

 

 

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical coders are considered health information technicians. Health Technicians hold at least a certificate in health information technology or medical coding. The BLS has also reported that medical coding companies like Aviacode or any healthcare provider prefer a medical coder to have a certification which makes them marketable and more valuable. 

 

Who cares if your medical coder is educated? Having a basic understanding of ICD-9 and ICD-10 will allow them to perform at the level they need in order to fulfill their role, right? 

 

At the center of the revenue cycle there is medical coding. Without it, nobody makes any money ever, period. With a medical coder, companies now have the ability to take their clinical documentation and insert the proper ICD-9 or ICD-10 codes that will allow for proper reimbursement from the payer. 

 

According to Payscale.com the average medical coder makes $37,884 annually. If you add on the costs associated with that the number can reach over $50,000 for a fully burdened medical coder on average. The cost to employ a medical coder, even fully burdened can pale in comparison to the opportunity cost of hiring a medical coder who is not highly educated and dedicated to their trade. 

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Topics: Top Reasons to Outsource Medical Coding, Experienced Medical Coders

Outsource Your Coding Reason 9 of 10: Support & Access to Information

Posted by Ben Castleberry on Aug 27, 2015 8:30:23 AM

This is post 9 of a 10 post series on the top 10 reasons you should consider outsourcing your coding.

 

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco can hold 4,000 pounds per lineal foot. Meaning that if we cut out just one foot of the bridge out it could support two tons. Despite it being capable of holding massive amounts of weights, it can also move downwards by 10.8 ft. and move upward by 5.8 ft. So during winds or storms it can actually move to prevent damage or destruction.

 

These two essential qualities that have kept the bridge there for 82 years are provided by the specific suspension bridge structure that the engineers used. Two large cables run from each tower, with smaller wires jetting down, attaching themselves to the bridge itself. 

 

Speaking to some of our account executives recently I was able to hear stories of why clients leave certain medical coding companies and why they stick with others. The common thread between each story was the support the client would receive from the medical coding company. If the support was good, they would stick. If the support was bad, the relationship would inevitably deteriorate and turn sour. 

 

As our conversation continued I learned a few points that I thought noteworthy to share as people search for a medical coding company. Here are the top 3 points that are critical for selecting a medical coding company that will support you.

 

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Topics: Top Reasons to Outsource Medical Coding, current, innovative

Outsource Your Coding Reason 8 of 10: Reduce Accounts Receivable Time

Posted by Ben Castleberry on Aug 2, 2015 4:30:00 AM

This is post 8 of a 10 post series on the top 10 reasons you should consider outsourcing your coding.

New Orleans is 5 feet below sea level. Which would be fine if it was in the middle of the country and not right on the water. The reason this city has realized so much success despite its hostile location is the levee system installed to prevent flooding.

In order for New Orleans to thrive it needs those levies to work and keep the swamp separate from the city streets. For health care facilities to thrive, charts must be coded and sent for billing as soon as possible. If the charts go un-billed, due to incompletion or denied claims this adds to the accounts receivable time. Increased A/R is similar to adding water against the levee system. If it gets out of control, like what happened with Katrina, it will break causing devastation. When Medical Coders work overflows havoc ensues through backlogs, reduced cash flow, decreased productivity and a hurricane of potential problems.

Denied claims become one of the highest priority's within the accounting department if accounts receivables time increases. When your CFO comes into your office and shows you the recently pulled aged report, the majority of the time the culprit will be denied claims and the ever growing backlog problem. 

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Topics: Top Reasons to Outsource Medical Coding, current, innovative

Outsource Your Coding Reason 7 of 10: Current & Innovative

Posted by Ben Castleberry on Jul 30, 2015 8:50:00 PM

This is post 7 of a 10 post series on the top 10 reasons you should consider outsourcing your coding.

 

In 1793 Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. This machine separated the seeds from the cotton in a fast and efficient manner. The impact of Whitney's invention was far reaching. Prior to this innovative machine, it would take the average person 10 hours to produce 1 pound of lint. Using the cotton gin, a person could produce 50 pounds of lint each day. 

Eli Whitney's cotton gin is but one lesson history has taught us about the power of innovation. If a cotton farmer refused to implement the cotton gin, their production would be dwarfed by those inve

top-10-reasons-to-outsource-07sting in innovation and staying current. Like the farmers who had the foresight and ability to understand the importance of constantly innovating and staying current, we can adapt or fall behind. 

 

There are a few guiding principles every medical coding company should have. If these things are absent, there is a lack of innovation and their practices are not current, or providing you with the best chance to succeed. 

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Topics: Top Reasons to Outsource Medical Coding, current, innovative

Outsource Your Coding Reason 6 of 10: Great Customer Service

Posted by Ben Castleberry on Jul 15, 2015 3:29:00 PM

This is post 6 of a 10 post series on the top 10 reasons you should consider outsourcing your coding.

 

It's 4:30am on Sunday, you submitted your clinical documentation 5 days ago, and still have not received anything back from your coding company. The backlogs continue to mount along with your frustrations. You have tried countless times to get in touch with your medical coders, its the weekend, nobody is going to pick up. Your weekend was ruined again. The stress and displeasure with your outsourced coding company has reached a boiling point.

 

Continuing on this perilous path cannot be justified, its time to stop with the illusion that this medical coding partnership, with all its empty promises will work. 

 

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Topics: Top Reasons to Outsource Medical Coding, Customer Service

Outsource Your Coding Reason 5 of 10: Dedicated & Available

Posted by Ben Castleberry on Jul 13, 2015 11:43:00 AM

This is post 5 of a 10 post series on the top 10 reasons you should consider outsourcing your coding.

Tim Ferriss, best selling author of "The 4 Hour Work Week" writes at length about the importance of outsourcing. This common practice will not only help to improve business operations, it also allows you the personal time and flexibility to live your life how you want. Ferriss makes valid points that are extremely applicable for us as health care professionals. One point is the value of having dedicated and available partners for your business. Finding a partner that is available 24/7 is a rare and precious commodity. Finding a medical coder who is available and dedicated to you and your account is near impossible. 

 

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Topics: Top Reasons to Outsource Medical Coding, ProCoder, Available, HIPPA, Dedicated

Outsource Your Coding Reason 4 of 10: Secure & Compliant

Posted by Ben Castleberry on Jul 10, 2015 6:29:00 AM

This is post 4 of a 10 post series on the top 10 reasons you should consider outsourcing your coding.

New York Presbetyrian Hospital and Columbia University had a data breach that affected 6,800 people in May of 2014 after a physician attempted to simply deactivate a personal computer on the network containing ePHI. Due to the lack of safegaurds within the network, the data was presented online for everyone to see.

 

Since 2009, when the HIPAA breach notification requirement took effect, nearly 31.4 million people have had their protected health information compromised in privacy and security breaches. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the HHS division responsible for enforcing HIPAA, has levied more than $25.1 million in fines against healthcare organizations responsible for violating the privacy and security rules. The constant threat of an OCR audit looms for every healthcare professional. One of the most common places to receive an audit is within the medical coding department of your facility. Reciving a medical coding audit is one of the largest concerns coding managers have, and a large reason why they keep their coding in house. The fear of transmitting ePHI outside of their facility and increasing the risk of compromising the information outweighs the benefits of outsourcing the medical coding to a company like Aviacode. This is a valid concern, and one that should be deeply vetted before ever considering hiring a 3rd party company to take care of your medical coding. 

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Topics: Top Reasons to Outsource Medical Coding, ProCoder, HIPPA, CARE, Compliant, Secure

Outsource Your Coding Reason 3 of 10: Reduce Costs

Posted by Ben Castleberry on Jul 8, 2015 2:38:00 PM

This is post 3 of a 10 post series on the top 10 reasons you should consider outsourcing your coding.

 

The ICD-10 transition is daunting for providers and physicians nationwide. The ICD-9 coding guidelines include a set of about 17,000 codes. Once ICD-10 is implemented on October 1st, 2015 there will be a whopping 140,000 codes. That is more than 8 times the amount of codes! This increase in diagnosis and procedure codes will unquestionably be accompanied by a decrease in medical coders productivity. Denials will increase and revenue will decrease. Let me repeat that for emphasis, ICD-10 will have a negative impact on your revenue. The question on the minds of thousands of healthcare professionals is how to minimize the impact.

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Topics: Top Reasons to Outsource Medical Coding, Revenue Cycle Management, Experienced Medical Coders, reduce costs

Outsource Your Coding Reason 2 of 10: Scale

Posted by Ben Castleberry on Jul 6, 2015 11:41:00 AM

This is post 2 of a 10 post series on the top 10 reasons you should consider outsourcing your coding.

I recently sat down with the CFO from a reputable revenue cycle management company to discuss their recent success. One of the first questions I asked was; "How have you been able to accomplish so much over the last year?" The ensuing conversation was so informative, I felt I needed to share it with health care professionals looking to expand their business and grow their bottom line. 

 

The answer to how they accomplished so much? "We put our clients needs first, however complex their situations may seem, we find a way to execute at a high level for them and fulfill those needs in an efficient manner." We all attempt put our clients needs first, the second part is what most of us find challenging. Not only putting those needs first, but executing those needs at a high level. The CFO listed two critical components to achieving a high level of execution. First, was scale. Second, was strategic partnerships.

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Topics: Top Reasons to Outsource Medical Coding, scale

Outsource Your Coding Reason 1 of 10: ICD-10 Experienced Coders

Posted by Ben Castleberry on Jun 21, 2015 1:31:00 PM

This is post 1 of a 10 post series on the top 10 reasons you should consider outsourcing your coding.

ICD-10 is coming! Are you ready? The October 1, 2015 deadline is approaching quickly

 and to add to the mayhem the nation currently has about a 30% deficit of ICD-9 medical coders. But what about ICD-10 coders? Currently, medical coders using ICD-9 spend an average of 12-15 minutes per chart with a turnaround period of about 69 days. Once the implementation of ICD-10 occurs it is estimated that coders will spend an average of 33 minutes per chart with a turnaround period of about 139 days. Time lost means revenue lost. Without extensive preparation, the ICD-10 implementation will ensue losses for providers and physicians nationwide, not to mention the sky-rocketing of denied claims.

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Topics: ICD-10, Top Reasons to Outsource Medical Coding, Experienced Medical Coders