Beware of Medical Coding Vendors Not Dedicated to Coding

The coding industry is chock full of companies offering a bevy of services, one of them being coding.

During our twenty five years in business, we have seen countless vendors in the healthcare revenue cycle industry add medical coding services to their service offerings. Their main focus is generally billing, scribe and documentation assistance, credentialing, or IT services.

They see coding as a natural extension of their business line and add a few generalist coders to help service the clients that ask for coding assistance. Coding isn’t their main focus and therefore doesn’t receive the high level of attention and scrutiny that is required to deliver an accurate and compliant coding service.

Coding is the key cognitive function within the billing cycle. Coding cannot be commodified like bandages or data entry services. Coding is a skill that requires a specialty specific knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and procedures that needs constant attention and updating.

Additionally, we have seen companies use generalist coders to provide their services. Just like a doctor selects a particular discipline and focuses on it exclusively to become an expert in their field, we likewise believe that a coder should target a particular area to specialize in. The code books are too vast for any one person to be an expert across multiple specialties and subspecialties.

If you’re using a company whose core business is not coding, there are some questions that you should ask to help decide if you should continue to utilize their coding service:

Who is doing your coding?

Is it outsourced to a coding company and if so, who?

Is your coding being sent offshore?

Are the coders you’re using specialty specific or generalists?

Do you test new coders in their specialty before they start working for you?

What does your coding QA program look like?

If you don’t like the answers to these questions it might be time to take your coding elsewhere!

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