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Top 7 Tips for Solving Medical Coding Concerns in a Medical Practice

February 24, 2017

Group Docs.jpegEven though the transition to ICD-10 is now complete, many medical offices are still suffering the effects of the big switch. Because of this, practices may still be having trouble with documenting patient issues, billing, and coding specific diagnoses. While these issues might seem daunting, by following these helpful tips, providers can ensure their practice’s billing department runs smoothly and efficiently.

1. Communicate With Each Other

Any provider’s office has a lot of employees handling a number of tasks. While the billing, authorization, and coding departments all might work separately from each other, they still need to stay in touch. Without proper cooperation and communication, these groups won’t be able to do their jobs efficiently, which will lead to costly mistakes and denials. 

2. Strive for Accuracy

Obviously, no one ever tries to be inaccurate. However, because of the increased specificity of ICD-10, it is more important than ever to try and avoid mistakes. To promote accuracy, give physicians the ability to quickly record data in the patient’s electronic health record, where it can then be properly documented at a later time.

3. Pay Attention to Small Details

As the day drags on, providers might find they are skipping over the small details in an effort to keep up with workflow. Not only is this bad for billing, but it can also be a threat to patients’ wellbeing. Practices can avoid this by checking over each medical report twice and always looking up codes that they aren’t certain about. Workers should never be afraid to ask questions if they aren’t sure exactly which code would work best in a particular scenario.

4. Have a Plan for Denials

No matter how accurate and diligent a provider is, they will still face denials from time to time. It’s important to make sure that a provider has a plan in place for what to do when a denial comes through. Because the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has now dropped its grace period on unspecified ICD-10 codes, practices might have to perform an assessment of how well their teams are working to prevent further denials.

Related Article: Major Medical Coding Mistakes That Providers Must Know

5. Train Your Staff

Unless a provider’s whole office understands the new ICD-10 system, they are at risk for costly mistakes. Just one person that submits a wrong diagnosis could cause an entire episode to go unpaid. Offices need to ensure that all of their staff understands how and when to use the most common codes. Additionally, all staff should be equally proficient on how to use the documenting software. 

6. Stay Up to Date With Regulatory Changes

If it seems like the rules and regulations are different every year, that’s usually because they are. To stay ahead of the curve, it’s important that practices are constantly monitoring and watching these changes. For example, in 2015, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) was passed. However, in 2016, 50 percent of physicians surveyed by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions said they had never even heard of MACRA.

7. Make Sure You Know Your Software

Documentation software can often be cumbersome and confusing. That is why it is so important that everyone in the organization is fluent in how to use this technology. As of 2014, fifty four percent of offices run completely on electronic records, with that number increasing every day. To increase proficiency, make sure employees know how to make edit records, create new patients, and submit data to insurance companies and other providers.

By following these tips, providers can make their patient billing and authorization claims run much smoother than before. However, if your office is still having issues with preparing accurate ICD-10 charts, M-Scribe Technologies, LLC is here to provide assistance. As one of the nation’s leaders in medical claims billing, it can help your practice with its coding needs.


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