Medical Coding Latest Trends

Medical Coding Latest Trends

Medical coding is a complicated task, and requires constant updating. NItin Chhoda shares the main tasks of a medical coder and the importance of using certified people.

medical coding trendsBecause medical coding is such an important task, many clinics assign a medical coder to do the job. Sometimes the medical coder and the medical biller are the same person, especially in a smaller clinic.

But medical coding is a complex task that requires a detail oriented approach and specific knowledge. Some of the most recent trends in medical coding have shown an increase in the demand for certified medical coders.

Updates to Codes

A certified medical coder for physical therapy billing is required to spend a certain amount of time studying medical coding before they become certified.

You don’t have to have a degree or certification to work as a medical coder, but you do have to understand medical terminology and have a good education in physiology and anatomy.

Reading what a clinician has written and assigning the appropriate medical codes would be hard if you don’t know what the clinician is talking about.

But another advantage of hiring a certified medical coder is that they will be required to take continuing education courses and re-certify regularly. That means that when changes are being made to medical coding websites, the medical coding staff member will be updated through courses.

One very important change that is coming soon is the switch from ICD-9 codes to ICD-10 codes, which will occur in October of 2013. An additional 100,000 codes will be introduced into the system, and the ICD-9 codes only number about 13,600 codes. This change is going to affect every single health care provider in the country.

Education and Job Outlookmedical coding latest trends

As a result of the need for skilled medical coding professionals, the job of a medical coder is looking pretty steady for the next decade and beyond.

Competitive certification programs are popping up all across the country. For people looking for a steady and well-paid job, medical coding is a good option these days.

There have been a few recent trends in medical coding education. Most significantly, more and more medical clinics want to hire certified medical coders rather than someone they will have to train themselves.

A skilled and experienced coder will be able to handle the job efficiently and they will be learning how to deal with changes and updates as part of their re-certification courses. With this kind of confidence-inducing education, certified medical coders are a well-respected part of successful medical practices.

Paperwork vs. Electronic Medical Records

Another big adjustment that is rapidly changing the way medical coding is done is the introduction of electronic medical records. For some coders, this sounds like the best idea yet. EMR systems might make their jobs faster and more efficient, allowing for coding and billing to occur side-by-side within the computer program.

Some medical coding professionals are not so enthusiastic. They see plenty of potential for problems with security and privacy. But as electronic systems evolve and the need for better electronic security arises, it seems that security companies are developing the proper privacy measures to accommodate a paper-free medical coding environment.

Medical Billing And Coding In-House

Medical Billing And Coding In-House

Whether your medical billing and coding should be in-housed or outsourced, there are certain things that are worth considering.  Nitin Chhoda shares the advantages of an in-house medical billing and coding for a small or new private practice.

medical billing and coding in-houseOne of the biggest considerations for many practices is whether or not to conduct the medical billing and coding in-house or to outsource the work.

The question tends to focus on costs, which makes sense.

If your practice can save money by hiring a company to handle the medical billing and coding for you, why hire someone in-house?

But of course, calculating how you are best served is not all that simple. The determination often depends on the size of the office, how many claims need to be filed per day, how many clinicians work at the practice, and the costs of related hardware and software.

And of course, does in-house medical billing and coding improve the rate at which your claims are accepted and paid, or will outsourcing improve collection rates?

Benefits of In-House Billers

The most obvious decision will have to do with the amount of billing that your in-house billers and coders can handle.

In a very small practice, where the receptionist can handle scheduling, medical coding, and medical billing without being overwhelmed, hiring out medical billing and coding is probably unnecessary. And there are a few benefits to having the medical billing and coding professional right there in the office with clinicians.

When you can talk to your medical billing and coding staff member directly, all the details can be accessed at any time about any claim. One downside of an off-site service is that you have less control over and less access to your billing history.

Some services will provide reporting as a scheduled service or on demand. But timing will still be hampered by the fact that the medical billing and coding staff handling your practice probably has a number of practices to worry about. The process becomes less personal.

medical billing and coding needsAnother benefit of in-house medical billing and coding is that the information only has to be communicated once.

In other words, in many ways an outsourced system will require that someone put in a decent amount of work to get the billing accomplished.

In the most efficient scenario, you could simply scan relevant documents and hope they understand what is written.

But outsourcing will not mean that all aspect of medical billing and coding will be handled elsewhere. Someone still needs to be available for communication and transfer of information.

Size Matters When it Comes to Price

As you can imagine, the larger a practice gets, the more efficient an in-house biller can be. If you have a very small office, hiring one or two staff members just to handle medical billing and coding careers will be very expensive. In a private practice, there is a fine line to be drawn between having one staff member to handle everything administrative, and having too much work for a single staff member to handle.

When staff members with lots of responsibilities get overwhelmed, all tasks begin to suffer. And when medical billing and coding suffers, the entire practice is put in jeopardy.

Physical Therapy Software: Relationship Between EMR, Clearing Houses, Payers and Your Wallet

Physical Therapy Software: Relationship Between EMR, Clearing Houses, Payers and Your Wallet

The major roles of EMR, clearing houses, and billing are very important because the flow of the business depends on it.  Nitin Chhoda explains these relationships and the impact it has on your practice’ income.

physical therapy software Reimbursements from private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and Workers’ Compensation are the primary sources from which physical therapists collect revenues.

Those income sources pay the bills and salaries, fund expansion and equipment.

In an age where payments are being limited, capped and questioned, physical therapy software EMR offers assistance in locating the best payers that directly affects a practice’s profit margin.

An EMR offers online submissions for quicker turnarounds on payments, along with billing and coding options for greater flexibility. Physical therapy software also provides the means to identify the best payers.

Contracts with Payers

Therapists may have negotiated contracts with primary payers, but that doesn’t mean the dollars are going to start rolling in. Preferred provider organizations (PPOs) often sell their contracts to third party administrators (TPA) or another PPO that reimburses at a lower rate.

Selling contracts to other providers is a common practice, but most probably the one that’s financially disastrous for clinics. EMRs offer physical therapy software analytic tools that can be used to track payments from a wide range of third-party payers.

Therapists can ascertain which organizations pay the highest reimbursement rates and those that don’t limit or cap payments or services. EMRs offer physical therapy software billing and coding options to ensure practice owners are receiving the highest level of compensation for their services.

The Role of Physical Therapy Software

physical therapy software relationshipsPhysical therapy software provides the means for therapists to compare and contrast the financial benefits of working with specific third-party payers.

The current trend in healthcare is toward cost reduction, which directly affects access to established and potential patients.

Cost reduction is beneficial for insurance companies, but the plan doesn’t provide adequate reimbursements for clinic owners and their services. EMRs offer therapists physical therapy software options that help grow their practice.

Any therapist operating their own practice will soon learn about clearinghouses and the role they play in keeping their clinic funded. Millions of claims are filed with carriers each day, all of which would be traveling by mail to the four corners of the earth.

Clearinghouses and More

Clearinghouses were established to facilitate claims processing, resolve reimbursement issues and address physical therapy software errors. An EMR sends a therapist’s claims to clearinghouses electronically where they’re received almost immediately and checked for errors, before making their way to the specified payer.

The entire process can be accomplished in a matter of hours, compared to traditional mail that could take days to reach its destination. With the assistance of an EMR, questions can be answered, errors addressed, and corrections can be accomplished in the blink of an eye for a quicker turnaround on reimbursements.

Before the advent of physical therapy software EMRs, it could take weeks or even months of paper-based communications to clear a claim question and deposit the funds in a clinic’s account.

Physical therapy software provides the means to submit claims and obtain reimbursements quicker, offering better cash flow for any clinic.

An EMR saves long, tedious hours of phone time with individual insurance providers clarifying claims, allowing therapists to spend more time treating patients and less time waiting for reimbursements. They also contain the essential components needed for compliant physical therapy documentation to protect practice owners from a variety of legal ills.

Physical Therapy Software 2020

Physical Therapy Software 2020

Nitin Chhoda sees a great future when it comes to using the physical therapy software. He shares the benefits and impact it will have on the physical therapy business.

physical therapy software outcomeAs with any technological advances, there are early adopters and late-comers. Most of us fall in the middle.

We don’t want to try something that hasn’t been tested by a significant number of our peers, but we also know that at some point the technological benefit of making changes will be worthwhile.

For early adopters of physical therapy software, the learning curves were steep and the bugs were significant. Fortunately for the rest of us, physical therapy software now exists that can make your practice more professional, efficient, and effective.

Change is Good

Not everyone enjoys changing the way they do things. In fact, we’re so stuck in our ways sometimes that we don’t even realize that there are other options. As they say, humans are creatures of habit.

But we also react and respond well to changes that teach us new things, once we adjust our attitudes. We are so incredibly adaptable that even when we’re put into difficult and unimaginable situations, we figure out a way to get into new habits.

And the best news is that the staff that take on physical therapy software end up adjusting and eventually appreciating the increased efficiency and ease-of-use that they experience. Clinicians find that automated notes are easy to use and easy to review.

Billers find that once they get the hang of new physical therapy software, they are better able to bill and they even get a better rate of accepted insurance claims.

Overall, the entire practice will become more streamlined. Rather than shifting paper files back and forth, everyone has access to everything when they need it, no matter where they are.

With advances in tablet computer technology, physical therapy software can be taken for house calls and medical records can be updated from anywhere there’s an Internet connection.

Physical Therapy Software is Being Developed for a Reason

Physical therapy software isn’t just some crazy fad that was thought up by someone who is trying to make money. These days, physical therapists, medical billers, and physical therapy management are engaging with software developers to create useful programs.

Anything that makes doing your job more cumbersome may have a solution in technology, and there are a lot of people who want to find those technological solutions.

physical therapy software potentialFrom the staff perspective, there are many ways that a practice can become more efficient, from better and faster forms of communication to fewer trips back and forth between medical files and the front desk.

The Future of Physical Therapy Software

Over the next decade or so, everyone is going to make the switch to physical therapy software. The only question for physical therapy practices is when to make that switch.

And from the physical therapy management perspective, physical therapy software offers a whole new world of reporting and analysis that will allow for increased efficiency. How often does a referral turn into a new, paying patient? How many appointments does the typical patient schedule? How often do patients cancel and how often are those cancelled appointments left empty?

Physical Therapy Software Future

Physical Therapy Software Future

Having a physical therapy software seems hard at first, but the practice and  the staff will benefit from it in the long run. Nitin Chhoda discusses how EMR should be introduced to the practice in order to meet goals, and give your staff the right perspective.

physical therapy software futureSuccessful adoption of any new technology is going to take a bit of time. Most practices that adopt physical therapy software end up spending some inefficient weeks getting into gear with their new workflow.

But once everyone is on board, the latest physical therapy software systems provide convenience and efficiency where there were once hold-ups and time wasted.

Practices can see more patients, have better interactions with patients, and are more likely to collect payment from insurance companies.

Re-Imagining the System

The hardest part is going to be changing the way that the physical therapy software and management and staff think about the job they do. As the next generation of physical therapists and medical assistants is educated, they will be taught how to use physical therapy software as part of essential training.

Just as only a generation ago, nobody used email to communicate, the rapid changes in technology can seem to happen overnight for those who don’t realize what was done before.

To re-imagine a more streamlined and efficient physical therapy practice, some of us have to work hard to forget the ways we’ve always done thing. For every physical therapy practice that adopts physical therapy software, training will be essential.

Managing the staff’s expectations about what it will be like with the new system will be a big job for the practice management. Some staff members may be downright stubborn about changing the way they’ve done things. If they’ve always done their job a certain way, and it works, why would they change now?

Start With Staff Training

Implementation has to start with staff education and buy-in. There should be inspirational slideshows and meetings about the way the practice could run if everyone gets on board and uses physical therapy software.

Staff should know that they will be supported with training, time to adjust, and relatively low expectations at first.

Management and the implementation team must get the idea in everyone’s head that the change will not be easy, but it will be worth the work. If physical therapy software staff members expect it to be a simple switch, they will be frustrated even more by the challenges.

physical therapy software outlookIf they don’t feel it is worthwhile, they will dally with training and the transition will be slower and more difficult than necessary.

But if the right image is portrayed from the start, everyone will know what to expect and they will understand why they are doing what they’re doing.

Physical Therapy Software of the 21st Century

The next decade is going to see an increase in demand for medical services, including physical therapy. The only way to take advantage of increased patient demand is to increase your capacity as an office.

The investment into physical therapy software may feel like a burden at first, both financially and in time, but if your practice is going to survive and thrive in the new economy, streamlining the way you provide services will be essential.

Physical Therapy Software EMR Benefits

Physical Therapy Software EMR Benefits

Learn how EMR can be very beneficial to your practice. Discover how this latest physical therapy documentation can be more convenient when it comes to efficiency, productivity and reporting.

physical therapy software benefitsIf you’ve heard anything about physical therapy software and electronic medical records (EMR), the reviews have probably been mixed.

Over the past five years, many physical therapy software systems have been implemented for the first time.

There are some systems that seem to work well for large scale hospitals and medical facilities, and there are others that improve the efficiency of the billing team but clinicians and doctors have not yet adopted their use.

The Challenging Times

The first few years of any new technology are challenging. Physical therapy software engineers are venturing into new territory. Healthcare providers are unlikely to see the value of something like EMR if they haven’t seen them successfully used in practice. A lot of skepticism, lack of enthusiasm, and problems with the software have given EMR a bit of a bad name.

But regardless, EMR systems are slowly increasing in popularity. More and more medical practices, from large hospitals to small private practices, are implementing technological improvements that are starting to be truly effective. Physical therapy software developers are working with early adopters of technologies to make changes that improve the systems.

Broad Strokes 

The process of implementation can be a bit burdensome, but forget that part for a few minutes and imagine a medical practice that has already implemented physical therapy software. Put aside concerns about cost, and imagine that instead of a paper folder and pencils or pens, the clinicians carry around small tablet computers that are hooked into your server, where all the EMR are stored.

Each time they change rooms and see a new patient, they can quickly pull up the record they need, scan it for the relevant details, and start taking notes on the current appointment.

Sounds like the future, doesn’t it? Well, it is the future of medicine. Each time the clinician finishes a visit with a patient, an alert is sent to the medical coding and billing staff.

physical therapy software EMR benefitsAt their most efficient, physical therapy software solutions could even provide the first draft of codes based on common terminology and previously agreed upon standards. In ten years, it may be that every practice is using some form of physical therapy software.

Convenience, Efficiency, and Reporting

The most basic benefits of EMR are in convenience and efficiency. A physical therapy software staff or member no longer needs to pull files for incoming patients and re-file the files that have been taken out during the day.

Communication between the clinician, assistants, and billers is made smooth and instantaneous.

A lot of time is spent in physical therapy private practices just getting things and information from here to there. Everything can move at the speed of automatic alerts and emails. This will free up time for more important tasks.

And for the management of physical therapy software, having all of the data in one place and easily accessible represents a big change to the way we do business. Reporting can highlight inefficiencies as well as efficient and effective practices. The benefits of having information at your fingertips are almost immeasurable.

Page 1 of 1612345...10...Last »