The Medical Coding Process
Medical coding is a process through which clinical information is converted from texts into universal medical coding symbols. This process has various applications and benefits to both the medical professional and the patient, including patient safety, billing, data management and accuracy. Medical coding software can be used by medical professionals in their own practice or by outsourcing to third-party medical encoding service providers.
The ICD-10 medical coding system was created in response to the requirements of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). The system is made up of ten International Codes Review Service (ICRS) regions, each with a series of classifications. The intent of the system is to create uniformity in the way medical information is presented in clinical records. One benefit of using medical encoding software is that it can make the process faster and more efficient. Using a computer-assisted coding (CAC) system, medical coders are able to manipulate the flow of medical reports to identify appropriate new codes in real time.
Medical Coding Software Applications
Another application medical coding software offers to medical professionals is medical billing solutions. Billing software provides immediate electronic submission of medical charges to insurance companies and payment processes. The medical billing solutions are also beneficial for patients who receive high volumes of medical bills. In this instance, the medical coding software would allow for easy tracking of medical claims so that necessary payments can be made.
Another application of medical coding software is in the identification of new diseases and medical conditions. Using medical encoding technology, medical coders are able to extract all relevant information from a medical record and convert them to universal medical coding symbols. The information extracted can include diagnosis, date of birth, medical treatments, hospital stays, procedures, vital signs, procedures, medications and procedures, special rules and specifications and finally, patient characteristics such as age, sex, etc. This information can then be indexed and cross-referenced with other medical data to create accurate diagnosis and therapeutic outcomes. Using clinical coding solutions, medical practitioners are better able to provide accurate medical services and accurately document patient care.
The Medical Coding Organization
Medical professionals can choose to purchase fully licensed medical coding systems from local medical supply stores. Alternatively, healthcare suppliers that specialize in medical billing software development can offer customized software development solutions. For healthcare facilities, the medical coding organization (MCO) is the top choice. MCOs are regulated by government standards to ensure quality of service. With the implementation of new coding regulations, it is important that healthcare organizations maintain the certification they receive from the MCO.
Choosing the right medical coding solution requires attention to several factors. The most important factor is the level of experience required in the medical coding solution provider. It is important to hire an expert and experienced medical coding solution provider. Healthcare organizations should ensure that their chosen provider has the necessary experience and skill sets to successfully handle new code selections. Another important factor is editing features. Most healthcare organizations prefer to hire medical coding experts that have the necessary editing features to quickly enter and update medical codes.
In addition to medical coding experts, healthcare providers should also consider technical solutions. Such considerations include software development vendors that offer online application development platforms and integrated database management solutions. This type of online application development vendor can assist medical providers in administering workflow tasks. Database management solutions help healthcare providers to track and manage their patient’s medical records.
It is also important to consider customer service options and the technical support offered by medical coding solutions providers. It is advisable to review webpages of medical coding solutions with friendly user interface and a comprehensive list of features. Carefully read customer testimonials and reviews. It is also advisable to contact references to determine if a particular medical coding system worked well for a previous client. Reviewing prices before making a decision is helpful as it helps healthcare providers to determine whether pricing trends are reasonable.