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The ICD-10-PCS system for cataloging procedures has roughly 87,000 codes. This seems appropriate since — at any given time — providers and their support teams typically feel as if they have about 87,000 things to attend to.
We all know that EHRs and other factors have made physicians’ work lives extremely demanding. But don’t forget that in a typical practice, those doing the coding and billing are feeling overwhelmed, too. In addition to coding, which is challenging enough, they’re often expected to take on a slew of other duties, including (but not limited to) answering phones, scheduling appointments, signing patients in, measuring vital signs, sending out statements and claims, posting Medicare and other payments, training new employees and sometimes even pitching in during procedures.
In short, while revenue cycle management is challenging under the calmest of circumstances, when you add in the moving parts, unceasing whir of activity, and unexpected disruptions that are omnipresent in a typical busy practice, the challenges can become seemingly insurmountable.
Silence isn’t golden
“Maintaining communication between physicians and coders often is a challenge because both parties are so busy,” says Deborah Grider, a consultant and coding expert. “Many times, unfortunately, physicians don’t even communicate with coders.” The reverse may be true, too, since coders don’t always feel comfortable pressing beleaguered providers for information or clarification.
Writing in Forbes, Nicole Fisher, founder and President of HHR Strategies, says coding issues are among the “10 ways lack of communication is ruining healthcare.” “Health providers are individuals, and they code, prescribe, diagnose, misdiagnose and scratch notes like individuals,” she says. Those quickly scratched-out notes are vulnerable to a host of potential problems, including the possibility that they’ll be misread.
At best, communication may be terse or cryptic. At worst, it may be virtually nonexistent. No wonder billing errors are rampant, with estimates on the percentage of medical bills that contain errors running as high as 75–80%.
A combined solution
It doesn’t have to be that way.
ScribeAmerica provides a scribe-and-coding solution that connects front-end providers with back-office coders in real time. The synergy improves efficiency, allows providers to work top-of-license, ensures that patients receive quality care, and increases revenue.
ScribeAmerica’s trained professional scribes are connected at the point of care with back-office operational staff, and are expert at providing accurate and efficient documentation. Linked by next-generation technology, scribes and coders enable all revenue cycle operations to be handled efficiently, accurately and transparently.
Gone are the outdated coding programs that perpetuate communication silos and result in increased costs and delays. The solution uses advanced software with next generation analytics to close gaps in reporting and to make sure coding is accurate. So every patient encounter is billed properly and every invoice is sent out quickly. It also helps decrease collection time by facilitating communication with physicians and hospitals, compliance and auditing professionals, and other coding and billing professionals.
As a total solution, the technology also helps promote understanding of RVUs, and other operational and financial metrics.
As providers transition from traditional reimbursement models to value-based propositions, effective revenue cycle management has become more important than ever. Outdated information management and billing processes can stunt the growth practices need in order to survive in an increasingly competitive environment.
And as patient-satisfaction scores take on unprecedented levels of importance, providers need to ensure that lower-level clerical tasks and office inefficiencies don’t mercilessly chip away at the amount of face-to-face time they give their patients.
ScribeAmerica understands the complexities and challenges every practice faces, and are passionate about providing practices with solutions that are both practical and financially rewarding.