While it tends to be that the people who are in the frontlines get the most notoriety, it is important to remember there are many people “behind the scenes” who are just as important to your medical practice.
Therefore, while we don’t want to take away from the amazing work of physicians, nurses, front desk employees, etc., our team at MEREM Healthcare Solutions also wants to make sure medical billers and coders receive the recognition they deserve for the critical role they play within the healthcare industry.
There isn’t growth without the experience of medical billers and coders on your team.
What Do Medical Billers and Coders Do?
While your patients might not see them during their visit to your medical practice, medical billers and coders are there every step of the way—from the initial examination to diagnostic tests to the overall treatment of the patient. Medical billers and coders are responsible for translating the entire patient visit into special ICD-10 codes for proper billing.
But, before you start thinking, “How hard can that be?” did you know there are more than 140,000 ICD-codes? And each ICD-10 code has its own purpose. For instance, there isn’t just one code for “pain.” Rather, there is one ICD-10 code for pain in the arm that is unspecified. Then, there is another code for low back pain, and so on and so forth.
Not only is it vital for these specific codes to be known, but it is also vital that they are used correctly, as one wrong code entry could cause a delay in billing and payment, which can hurt a medical practice’s profitability.
The Unsung Heroes – Off-Site or Outsourced Medical Billers and Coders
Although some medical practices try to utilize their front office staff to assist with the medical coding and billing of patients, this practice of sharing responsibilities is not as conducive for the profitability of the medical practice as outsourcing the billing and coding to a third party.
For example, a patient walks into your medical practice. Depending on your specialty, your patient might already be high-anxiety. When they walk in, the front desk person isn’t able to welcome them warmly because he or she is on hold with an insurance company. All the patient has done at this point, is walk into your practice, and everything is already off on the wrong foot.
However, if your medical practice outsourced your medical billing and coding, not only can you reduce your chances of errors when it comes to cash flow, you can also allow your front office staff and medical team to focus directly on the patient, which can both improve patient outcomes and patients reviews—which is a win-win!
Discover how our team at MEREM Healthcare Solutions in Birmingham, AL, can help your medical practice avoid medical billing and coding errors.
Merem Healthcare Solutions offers services for every step in a practice’s revenue cycle management. We can start from the beginning from credentialing and end with payment posting once an account has been satisfied. In addition to outsourced medical billing and coding, we offer a wide range of solutions which include auditing, consulting, credentialing, payment posting, practice management, and pre-collections training. Check out our website or feel free to call us at (205) 329-7519 to see how we can help run your practice like a well-oiled machine.