Be it any healthcare organization, their practice reimbursement relies on the accuracy and efficiency of the medical coding, thereby submitting the clean claims. However, medical coding can be time-consuming, complex, and even expensive when you undertake it with your in-house coding team. All these challenges influence most medical practices to consider medical coding outsourcing.
Therefore, any healthcare provider needs to choose between the in-house medical coding team and outsourcing to the outside coding professionals. In the majority of the cases, working with third-party coding experts is the optimal solution as this approach provides multiple advantages. These are as follows:
1. Up-to-Date Certifications
Medical coders need to keep themselves constantly updated with the latest coding systems, best practices, certifications, and other regulatory requirements. Additionally, they need to be aware of the latest updates from the various government agencies, medical organizations, and other groups via their public forums, websites, blogs, webinars, email subscriptions, and other available resources. However, keeping up with all such updates seems easy but involves considerable time investment.
Did you know that just a single update can create a substantial change in the medical coding and the related efforts?
For instance, the introduction of ICD 10 has brought up a significant boost in the number of codes. In fact, ICD-10–PCS consists of around 19 times more procedure codes than the ICD-9-CM, volume 3. Additionally, ICD-10-CM has approximately 5 times more diagnosis codes than that of ICD-9-CM.
Therefore, if you outsource your medical coding services to third-party professionals, you don’t have to be concerned about these updates and other regulatory requirements. These experts will take care of all your concerns and assure you about the constant working on your charts with their updated skills, certifications, and knowledge.
2. Consistent Staffing Levels
Undoubtedly, you can rely on your in-house coding team for all your coding requirements. But simultaneously, you only have limited adaptability for adjusting to numerous changes happening in the medical industry. Sometimes the volume of your medical coding might exceed the capacity of your in-house coding team. Other times, your coders might be short-staffed due to long leaves, vacations, medical issues, or even quits. Thereby, this can lead to backlogs in the coding tasks and delays in the reimbursement amount.
On the coin’s other side, medical coding companies have a large number of coders to adjust to the changes in your volume of coding work without adding any extra pressure or cost. When you outsource your coding requirements to third-party outsourcing medical companies, you can be assured of getting the job done efficiently and promptly with enough coders.
In the majority of the cases, outsourcing your coding tasks to professionals proves to be a more cost-effective solution for your practice than hiring a team of in-house coders. In fact, employing highly skilled and experienced medical coders with proper certifications and specializations can be an expensive idea. But with outsourcing, you can get access to the top-notch coders at a much lower rate.
As per the reports of AAPC, the average salary earned by a medical coder is around $52,411 per annum. Whereas coders with specializations and certifications as a Certified Documentation Expert Outpatient, Certified Professional Medical Auditor or Certified Physician Practice Manager get an average salary of around $64,000 per annum.
Of course, salary is not the only cost associated with the employment of a medical coder. There are other expenses as well that you need to bear, such as employer-paid taxes and other employee benefits like paid time off, health insurance, retirement benefits, etc. All these costs account for around 35% of a coder’s salary. You also need to account for the opportunity costs for the time you’ll be investing in hiring, managing, and training your in-house medical coding team.
With the outsourcing medical coding team, you can outsource all of such expenses to them along with the medical coding work. As they operate on a larger scale and undertake coding tasks as their primary focus, they can provide their services at a much lesser price than what it would cost you for your in-house team.
4. More Time for Core Activities
Doing medical coding in-house involves a significant investment in terms of time and resources taken away from other core activities. The provision of training and managing an in-house team seems easy but consumes many resources in reality. In fact, this investment gets multiplied when the physicians do their own medical coding. The reason is the compromise of an opportunity cost, i.e., Patient Care.
However, healthcare providers can now give more time to their core activities by outsourcing their medical coding tasks. This indicates that outsourcing will allow your employees more time to divert their focus on patients, thereby improving their quality of care. Therefore, when you partnered with an experienced coding company, you can still get accurate coding, but without compromising your time meant for your patients and their care.
Keeping in mind all the advantages that can be enjoyed, more and more physicians and healthcare providers are turning to reliable medical coding outsourcing companies for their coding tasks. This indicates that the entire coding services are handed over to the Info Hub Consultancy Services (ICS) – known for experienced and expert coders who eat, drink, and breathe coding. This is all that they do, and their experience and training are second to none.