Revenue losses for medical practices have a significant impact on providers. Getting payment from patients, even prior to receiving treatment, is not the only time when practices lose money. The middle of the revenue cycle is also where a lot of losses can be experienced.
What Happens Mid-Cycle?
The revenue mid-cycle is usually defined as the period between the time patients receive service and when their information is given to your business office. This is where coding takes place, and where coding problems can occur.
Correct coding is crucial to your practice. It’s what allows you to be reimbursed. Improper coding is what leads to claim delays and even denials, lengthening the time it takes for you to get paid. So how can you stop these mid-cycle revenue losses?
Invest in ICD-10 Coding
The system used to categorize illnesses, injuries, signs, symptoms, complaints and their treatments is the crucial component to making sure your practice gets paid. Using incorrect codes, overcoding, and undercoding can all lead to claim delays and denials. And with the tenth revision to the system has come a lot of problems.
If your coding is done in-house, investing in the new ICD-10 coding system can really help in lowering the incidences of delays and denials that result in mid-cycle revenue losses. Keeping coding in-house, however, is a significant investment of time and money. You need to find employees, train them and retain them. You could hire employees who are already trained in ICD-10 coding, but finding already qualified coders who are the perfect fit for your practice can be difficult. You may also choose to train your current employees and bring them up to speed with the new system.
You may also experience delays as your coders are undergoing training. To prevent these delays from occurring, you could temporarily bring in additional coders who are already trained, but then you may experience them later on after these additional coders leave.
Outsource Your Coding
Another option is to outsource your ICD-10 coding. There are many advantages to doing so. First, it allows you to save money. By hiring a third party to take care of all of your coding needs, you don’t need to worry about finding employees to work in your office, pay their salaries, provide health insurance or invest in training. There is also no loss of productivity. You are guaranteed certified specialists, who are already knowledgeable of the new system, as you need them. Having trained professionals ensures accuracy, reducing the amount of rejections and allowing you to get paid faster.
Another big advantage of outsourcing coding is that you can keep your main focus on your patients, providing them with the quality services they need and deserve. Your current staff can stay focused on their duties and no one is distracted by trying to learn a new coding system. In turn, your patients will be much more satisfied.