A cardiology practice faces special challenges when it comes to medical coding. Coders need to be able to transcribe physician notes and code with a high degree of accuracy. Failure to do so can affect patient outcomes and reimbursements, both of which can be devastating. In order to optimize coding in a cardiology practice, consider the following factors.
Automate Where You Can
Human error is the greatest enemy of accuracy when it comes to coding. When trying to manually record long codes with both numbers and letters, however, it’s easy to make a mistake that can cause claim denials or incorrect reimbursements. To bypass these types of errors, automate coding wherever you can and try to eliminate the need for double data entry.
Make Sure Your Coding Knowledge Is Current
Most medical coding and billing software updates automatically to reflect the most current coding guidelines. These can be extremely tough to keep up on if you have office staff that’s trying to stay up-to-date using books and the internet. Still, be sure to keep the most current books on hand for review purposes and make sure that staff members are reviewing updates to keep their knowledge current, even if only for back-up purposes.
Don’t Skimp On the Documentation
Failure to completely document the events of a patient visit can alter the code that is entered and the reimbursement that’s ultimately paid. When in doubt, it’s always better to document more than less. The amount of time that a patient visits, any procedures or examinations that are performed, and any conditions that are present should be noted every time.
Use the Most Specific Codes Possible
Since coding has gotten so much more specific, there can be a plethora of codes for the same condition and procedure with slight variations. It’s important to review the documentation taken during the visit and carefully match the appropriate code. If applicable, use a diagnosis rather than a symptom to get a more specific and accurate code.
Establish Multiple Check Points
It can help to have multiple eyes on codes in order to spot errors. Having staff members, doctors, nurses, and those doing the billing and coding all double checking documentation and coding can help to reduce the likelihood that an error will be missed or that a non-specific code that can be made more specific will go unchanged. Making it a point to have different people review random codes at certain times can help to ensure greater accuracy.
If your cardiology practice could benefit from medical billing and coding services, call 888-783-7818 today.