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5 Major Benefits Of Outsourced Coding

Healthcare organizations continue to be challenged by this ever-evolving industry. Regulatory changes, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Recovery Audit Contractors (RAC), medical necessity requirements and the transition from volume to value has impacted their ability to be reimbursed. Hospitals and physician practices are under intense pressure to delivery high quality care at a lower cost. To achieve cost reduction goals, these organizations are focused on improving operational efficiency. Outsourcing has become a popular resource for organizations across the country that offers major advantages. These benefits are outlined below:

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1. Cost Effective

In most cases, outsourcing your medical coding proves to be more cost-effective than hiring and managing an in-house team. There is a considerable difference in wage models of the western developed countries that enable hospitals, medical billing and coding companies and physician practices to get work done at a lower cost and in a much more efficient manner. Although the ability to save money is an obvious benefit of outsourcing your medical coding, the following factors cannot be overlooked:

  • Savings on office resources: when medical coding is outsourced the organization will benefit from a reduction in office supplies and paper usage.
  • Elimination of infrastructure cost: when work is outsourced, the overhead cost associated with developing the infrastructure is eliminated. The outsource partner will make the changes necessary to support daily operations.
  • Elimination of employee and benefit costs associated with the outsourced positions.
  • Elimination of the cost associated with the daily management of the outsourced positions including payroll, time keeping, production and quality tracking, and time and attendance.

2. Decreased Turnaround Times

Compliance with organizational turnaround times is a major factor in achieving and sustaining a successful revenue cycle. A partnership with an outsourcing vendor who has a global footprint offers the greatest benefit. A large time zone variance provides around the clock production, which improves your speed to revenue and positively impacts your bottom line. Furthermore, the vast time zone difference provides additional support to weekend coverage that can eliminate the peaks and valleys and time delays that most organizations are challenged by.

3. Improved Accuracy Rates

The requirement for reliable coded data has never been more apparent than it is today. Coded data has many uses such as for reimbursement, coding policy, research and tracking public health. It’s important that assigned codes are complete and that they accurately reflect services provided. Because Medical coding companies specialize in all aspects of coding, most guarantee an accuracy rate of 95% or greater, and offer robust quality programs to assure coding compliance. Many hospitals and physician groups are lacking the budget necessary to develop and maintain a dedicated education team, and don’t have the bandwidth to consistently monitor and enforce compliance with a 95% accuracy rate.  Coding vendors have dedicated resources to monitor and assess coded data on a routine basis. Programs are in place to provide concurrent coding education and to assure compliance with 95% best practice standards.

4. Certified Coders

Recruiting and retaining experienced, certified coders is not an easy task. It takes time and money to identify and onboard the appropriate resource for the job. Although many hospitals and physician practices are beginning to warm up to the idea of remote work with local coders, not all facilities are in an area with a strong coder pool to choose from. When partnering with an outsourcing company you gain access to a large pool of coding professionals that are certified through American Health Information Association (AHIMA) or The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). These partnerships offer the benefit of flexibility and scalability without sacrificing quality.

5. Increased Business Focus

Working with a reliable coding partner eliminates the worry and challenge associated with correct code assignment and turnaround times. By outsourcing your medical coding, your healthcare providers can make better use of their time by focusing on their main business objectives- providing excellent patient care and improving overall satisfaction.

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