Computer Assisted Coding (CAC) offers five benefits to those organizations that perform coding and billing functions:
Productivity: Productivity increases when the average amount of time to code a case decreases. An increase in productivity results due to the elimination or speeding up of particular manual tasks within the coding process, such as document sorting, storage and retrieval, duplicate identification, code lookup and selection, code ordering, or data entry.
Accuracy: Accuracy improves when the coding output better matches both official guidelines and payer reporting requirements. An improvement in accuracy can be observed through a decrease in denials, reduction in audit discrepancies, or finding lost charges that were previously under-coded. Increasing accuracy helps assure that an organization captures all of the charges that it is entitled to collect.
Consistency: Consistency in the coding process ensures that guidelines are applied similarly over time and across multiple coding resources. A high level of consistency instills confidence in the coding results, supporting accurate clinical and financial analysis. This is particularly important when employing coders with differing levels of skills and experience.
Transparency: Transparency and traceability enhance the manageability of the coding process by providing evidence of both the work flow and thought processes that went into the coding results. This may include links between the codes assigned and the portions of the patient records that support the codes, or an audit trail of all changes made to the coding or demographics.
Compliance: Compliance supports a proactive and auditable coding process, which strives to “get it right the first time” and reduce additional work time and rebilling. Improvements in compliance are a result of more accurate and consistent coding, as well as transparency in the coding process. Together, these benefits reduce the preparation work for audits, while simultaneously improving audit outcomes.