Common Coding Errors Resulting in Improper Payments

The healthcare industry and especially the healthcare providers rely heavily on medical coding professionals who give alpha-numeric codes to the ailments, treatments, and procedures performed on the patients. These codes play a significant role in the later process of medical billing that deals with the billing of the procedures performed on the patients and is crucial to receive payments for those services. The coding professionals who are in the medical coding jobs have a gigantic responsibility of maintaining the highest levels of accuracy while coding the procedures since this process determines the reimbursements from the insurance providers. However alert and attentive the medical coders are, there will be a little scope for errors as it is natural for humans to err.

Per the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data for 2017, the accuracy rate for proper payments is 90.5 % and the improper payment rate is 9.5 %. The common reasons for the improper payments are – a) no documentation; b) incorrect coding; c) medical necessity; d) insufficient documentation. Among all these reasons, incorrect coding accounts for about 13% and it is helpful if medical coding companies educate their medical coders about these and take the required measures to avoid such errors. Mentioned here are few common medical coding errors that are seen in the physician practices.

Hospital visit-initial: The services of hospital visit-initial account for 1.6% of overall improper payments with 19.4% improper payment rate.

Office visits-established: These services codes account for 1.5% of overall improper payments with 3.7% improper payment rate.

Hospital visit-subsequent: These services codes account for 1.1% of overall improper payments with 7.1% improper payment rate.

Office visits-new: These services codes account for 1.0% of overall improper payments with 13.4% improper payment rate.

Emergency room visit: These services codes account for 0.7% of overall improper payments with 10.6% improper payment rate.

Nursing home visit- These services codes account for 0.5% of overall improper payments with 9.1% improper payment rate.

Hospital visit-critical care: These services codes account for .4% of overall improper payments with 13.5% improper payment rate.

These are some of the services with incorrect coding errors per the 2017 Fee-for-Service Supplemental Improper Payment Data report. Medical coding companies should take appropriate measures to control the occurrence of such errors to avoid any kind of improper payments and refund of those payments with additional fees as a result of such payments.

5 Habits to Uphold Work-Life Balance for ourselves too and gives us the necessary impetus to go ahead with the rest of the day commitments.

2.Delegate work: We ought to learn to delegate work to others in order to manage workload and avoid biting more than we can chew. It is common that people tend to take pride in taking up more responsibilities and tackling them but, this often piles up the pressure and leads to undue stress. We should learn not just delegating work at the office, but also delegating work at home. Delegating also increases mutual trust and respect with colleagues and family.

3.Deviate from technology: We should frequently remind ourselves of the fact that technology is to enhance our lives and not to deteriorate it. Turning off technology that invades our personal space through social media, television, mobile devices and other electronic gadgets at least for a specific amount of time daily gives us a lot of personal time to spend with our family and friends.

4.Eat and exercise to stay healthy: A healthy work-life balance is not possible without a healthy lifestyle that consists of regular and nutritious diet coupled with exercise. We ought to plan our work in such a way that we never skip our meals and have food at the time we should have. Regular exercise lets us stay fit and a healthy body and mind are important to attain work-life balance.

5.Get enough rest: Set a bedtime and follow that religiously and strictly avoid screen time before hitting the bed to get proper and sufficient rest that is an absolute necessity for good health.

Focusing and working steadily on these habits will lead us to a better work-life balance. Life is full of opportunities and choices. What we need to do is just choose the right actions and continue them with perseverance.

The Implementation of Healthcare Documentation Outsourcing

Many healthcare providers fear the thought of outsourcing their healthcare documentation jobs as they think that it invites unwanted change and disrupts the regular workflow. However, it is beneficial to outsource to experienced healthcare documentation companies that assess the providers’ needs accurately and provide perfect transcription services. While outsourcing, the healthcare providers have to consider these points to verify if the transition of the healthcare documentation process is complete or not.

Assessment of needs: The partners should meet involving the key staff so that the healthcare documentation companies get to know the actual needs and requirements of the healthcare providers and accordingly source the relevant information like special instructions and physician lists.
Planning of the transition: A detailed customized project plan has to be developed consisting of key tasks, timelines, and deliverables.

Implementation of the outsourced project: When all the requirements are understood and a team is ready to implement the workflow, an account manager is given the responsibility to take care of the complete workflow for the healthcare provider. This will include all the training programs that need to be conducted and provided to the team members regarding the people they would be interacting with, turnaround time for their tasks, access to various files and reports to transcribe, edit, print, and run management reports.

If deemed necessary, physicians and other staff of the health care provider may be provided with assistance to understand and use the document management and process of e-signature. The transition of healthcare documentation jobs to an outsourcing provider will include a lot of technicalities as well. Both the outsourcing provider and healthcare provider have to set and test system interfaces that help in the transfer of data and transcribed reports.

All these things might look scary initially, but when a correct partner in the form of an experienced healthcare documentation company is identified, there is no further need to worry and healthcare providers can focus on providing quality care to patients.

Beat Laziness and Get into Active Mode!

We often see people who are highly productive and have an admiration for them. Being productive is not a talent that someone gets by birth. It is a skill to be honed over years systematically with perseverance. Not everyone is diligent and systematic enough to become productive and hence they pretend to be busy. Although such people keep themselves busy, there work is not productive. In order to work effectively and get creditable results, it is indispensable that such people beat their laziness and get into an active mode. Lazy people get time for all the things they are interested in but for, some productive work. Let’s see how such people can overcome laziness.

Don’t get overwhelmed: One of the basic reasons people tend to be called lazy is that they get overwhelmed by the numerous tasks they have in front of them. They cannot understand what to do and how to do. Instead of starting on any work, they remain idle which makes them lazy.

Take one at a time: When overwhelmed by a number of tasks, it is best to deal with one task at a time with full focus so that at least some work gets done to conquer laziness. Accomplishing even a small task gives a sense of achievement and the much-needed boost to taking up another task.

Take enough rest: Sometimes, laziness can be a result of getting tired and deficient on energy. One has to check, if this is true in his/her case, and take enough rest. Such people should give their body and mind sufficient rest, exercise, and enjoy some fresh air to rejuvenate.

Create a vision: Creating a vision inspires people to work towards it. People who want to get out of their lazy attitude need to create a vision as to what kind of person they want to become and what their goals for life are. This vision motivates and makes them start working that will automatically become a habit and improves their productivity.

Get motivated: Take inspiration from active and productive people to overcome laziness. Inspiration need not be from great people or celebrities only. People can get motivated even by their family, friends, and colleagues who are more reachable and whose lives are nearer. This gives a boost to set realistic and achievable targets that can be worked upon.

One should set a target of overcoming laziness and work towards it through daily actions. Each and every single task accomplished gives strength and increases the willingness to move away from laziness and become productive. All the lazy people – shun the weakness of being lazy and get into an active mode of life.

Follow the Workplace Ethics

Ethics play an important role in a person’s personal as well as professional life and guide how he/she behaves in different aspects of life. Every individual has to follow one’s workplace ethics in order to be consistent with the organizational principles. Following moral principles and a set of values that help in proper conduct in the workplace both as an individual and a team player which distinguish the right and wrong behaviors can be called as work ethics. The elements of work ethics may differ in various organizations but, there are certain common principles that need to be followed by everyone.

Respect: Every individual should respect each other in an organization to create a feeling of being valued and appreciated. A behavior of respect lifts up the morale of all individuals and will improve the confidence levels as everyone is sure that nobody is going to ridicule them.

Integrity: Being honest to the core is one of the most preferred qualities in an individual and every employee should win the confidence of one and all with the highest levels of integrity towards the organization.

Professionalism: Professional attitude and conduct are crucial among all the employees of an organization to create positive vibes among the different people who deal and make them feel confident to work with the organization.

Although every individual needs to abide by these principles on his/her own, the managers can help their team members in this aspect and be role models for the others. Managers should behave in a visible and transparent way and set standards for their team members as to what kind of conduct is acceptable and what is not. Organizations can establish a code of ethics to help all the employees understand the acceptable behavior and help the managers to guide their team members. To set a good example, the top level management and the managers at all levels should follow this code of ethics.

Let’s all take an oath that we shall understand our workplace ethics, and abide by them.

Does Technology Make Healthcare Documentation Jobs Obsolete?

Every day thousands of people visit hospitals for numerous reasons that make the doctors’ lives hectic and tough. In these situations, the healthcare documentation professionals come to the rescue of physicians and other allied hospital staff who are responsible to maintain the updated notes of the patient records. The healthcare documentation specialists deal with the process of transforming the doctor dictations into a text as transcription reports in a prescribed format. The people in healthcare documentation jobs play a vital role in the ever-growing healthcare industry with their accurate transcription reports that form a basis for further processes such as medical coding and billing of a healthcare provider.

Technology and healthcare documentation:

Although conventionally a transcriptionist listens to the audio file dictated by the physician and transcribes, with the advancements in technology, speech recognition software is being used by many healthcare providers of late. This has created anxiety among the fraternity of healthcare documentation specialists if their services would no longer be needed and they would go jobless. However, this is not true in entirety and services of transcriptionists would be needed even though speech recognition software is used. Now, rather than just transcribing, the professionals in healthcare documentation companies would be doing more responsible jobs of proofreaders and editors to ensure the reports provided by the speech recognition software are accurate and meet the quality standards of the healthcare providers.

Medical transcriptionists will be required to understand and interpret the unpredictable and challenging voice files that are not handled effectively by the software. As per the experts in the field, speech recognition software will be used along with the services of transcriptionists and not independently as physicians are humans and no computer can understand humans and their different accents 100% accurately.

Only humans can understand humans better, hence there will always be a need for talented and skillful transcriptionists. The only change could be related to their job profile as they would be needed to proofread and edit the reports generated by the voice recognition software. Join Avontix, one of the best healthcare documentation companies that provide in-depth knowledge of medical transcription services.

Incredible Power of a Tidy Desk at the Workplace

What turns off you at a workspace when you walk through? For most of the people, it is the workstation in disarray. Many people tend to think that a cluttered workspace gives an impression of being hard-working and busy. But, for people to perform better with high levels of concentration and be productive consistently, it is essential that they keep their workspace organized and tidy. It is understood that people who are not organized and work in a cluttered space tend to suffer from uncalled for stress and anxiety. To avoid such a stressful life and to tidy up your space and have peace with yourself, here are some awesome tips.

Deal with your papers: Papers whether they are documents or any other trash take up a lot of space and are one of the major reasons for a cluttered workstation. So, it should come naturally to deal with them first. File all the important papers in the designated folders and discard what is scrap.

Discard things not needed: Like the unnecessary papers, discard all those items on your desk that you don’t use. You might have over-crowded your space with all those goodies or gifts you received long ago. You might want to have a fresh look at your desk and remove things that really don’t fit in the place but you have put for décor reasons such as a coffee mug, photo frame etc.

Organize those haywire cables: Just have a proper look at your desk and check the cables that are running haywire and remove the ones that are not needed. Whatever cables are needed to support your work, keep them, but ensure they are fixed and organized properly.

Avoid eating at workstation: Eating at the desk may help you finish your tasks on time, but will leave your place messy and sticky. Unclean workspace due to the habit of eating at the workplace may even make you feel awkward when someone drops at your place and give an impression of unprofessionalism too.

Make a routine: All the above-mentioned points go useless until you follow this last one. Discarding unwanted things and cleaning up the desk should become a routine. Else, you tend to ignore and procrastinate doing it and make the job more tedious for yourself. Cleaning up daily is a lot easier than piling up a lot of junk and waiting for a later date to clear it.

Remembering that clean and tidy workspace improves concentration levels and thus productivity will motivate you to keep your desk organized and clutter-free. Keep your space clean and at the same time personalize it to keep you motivated and enjoy the work daily.

Get to Know How EHRs Aid Healthcare Industry

Electronic health records (EHRs) are patients’ digital records that are the electronic version of the patients’ paper charts. Since the EHR contains comprehensive data regarding a patient including the patient medical history, demographic details, ailments, diagnoses, treatment, and medication details. The electronic health records are very useful to the health care providers as they can be used by multiple people who are authorized to access the information. The EHR systems collect and store huge information related to the patients that can be accessed by various players in the healthcare industry such as physicians, laboratories, pharmacies, and even healthcare research organizations.

By implementing EHR solutions, healthcare providers not only comply with the meaningful use act but also create a pathway to improved healthcare. Adopting an EHR system allows the healthcare providers to deliver improved patient care through efficient and timely diagnoses and treatment that is possible due to the seamless coordination among different people who are authorized to access the data. All this is achievable because the collated patient data is safely and securely stored in the system and yet available to the authorized people at fingertips. Irrespective of the geographical location, the patients and healthcare providers can access the information even in emergency situations with ease which immensely adds to the quality of care provided to patients in need.

The healthcare industry, especially the healthcare providers reap numerous benefits from electronic health records. With the adoption of the best EHR solutions, accurate and updated information is available to both patients and physicians and also to anybody else who is responsible for providing services to patients like the laboratories and pharmacies. The accurate patient data available to the physicians at their fingertips helps them to make quick decisions regarding the diagnoses and treatment procedures which ultimately results in better quality care provided to the patients.

The patient data stored with the help of EHR solutions facilitate the highest levels of security and privacy and gives the healthcare providers an additional benefit of diminished administrative costs in maintaining records. If you too want to benefit from the EHRs, consult Avontix, the best EHR solutions providers for ambulatory surgery centers.

Time Management Skills that Help You Zoom Ahead

Inefficient workflow, missed deadlines, and high levels of stress – these are some of the grave consequences of poor time management. Time management is the method of planning and executing control over the time spent on various activities. Good time management skills enable smart and efficient work that improve productivity and thereby improve professional reputation. Managing time effectively increases advancement opportunities in personal as well as professional life and helps in reducing stress. We shall discuss some time management skills that make us work smarter and enhance our life.

Important things first: The first rule in efficient time management is, doing the most important tasks first. Usually, everybody feels the most energetic in the mornings when the day starts, so it’s the best time to finish the tasks that require the most efforts and time. Identifying and taking care of the most important and challenging tasks in the morning as the first thing to do, will give a sense of accomplishment as well that is a good motivating factor for the rest of the tasks in the day.

Track your time and tasks: For a period of time, track the amount of time you spend on the routine tasks and analyze where you are spending more than worth and losing precious time. When you get a clear idea on where you are wasting time, you can minimize the time spent on those tasks and utilize that time for much better tasks.

Set a timer: Setting a timer is an excellent way to avert procrastination and work with enthusiasm. You should set realistic and achievable timeframe for a task so as to finish it and move on to the next task with more enthusiasm and energy.

Focus on a single task: Although multi-tasking people are looked at with admiration, it is not practical and possible for everyone to do multi-tasking. It is in the best interests of the person to decide for himself/herself if he/she can multi-task with ease. If the answer is in negation, it is the best thing to focus on the single task at hand and tackle other things one after the other.

Keep away from distractions: Stop checking your phone, email or social media accounts while working on a particular task. Set aside a time for these things and use them constructively to enrich personal relationships and maintain business affiliations. If necessary, allow multiple time slots for checking your messages in regular intervals so that you don’t miss on anything important and yet do not get distracted by them on and off. Distractions don’t just come in the form of these messages, but we get distracted by even our thoughts that wander without any boundaries. We ought to learn to control our thoughts and focusing on the task at hand.

Include a buffer time: It is always good to leave a buffer-time in between tasks to give you some extra time for any task that doesn’t get finished within the timeframe and for any unforeseen activities that come up from nowhere. This buffer time saves you from unwarranted tensions and anxieties that result from unfinished tasks or sudden events. Also, the buffer time gives the time to relax between tasks so that you can jump to the next task with greater zeal and energy.

Good time management skills help you work smarter rather than harder. Time management is all about simplifying work, doing things faster and better, and thereby eliminating stress.

Risks That Can Be Averted by Avoiding Coding Errors

The financial stability of a healthcare provider is dependent on accurate medical billing that relies on accurate medical coding. Inaccurate medical coding practices have drastic consequences that range from medical claim rejections, denials to wrong treatment and legal complications. Most of the coding errors are due to upcoding, undercoding, and unbundling that can be averted with due diligence on part of professionals in medical coding jobs. The responsibility of giving the correct codes to procedures performed by the physicians is on the medical coders and to ensure that the coders perform their best, the job should be given to reliable medical coding companies that have experienced coders who with their expertise can avert many consequences of coding errors, some of which are mentioned here.

Financial burden on the providers: Although the health care providers may receive temporary benefits in the form of increased revenues due to upcoding or unbundling errors, the results of discovering the truth, later on, are far more expensive than the revenues. There are always chances of such medical claims being denied if the coding errors are identified at the time claim processing. In other instances, the faulty codes if discovered at later stages may be deemed to be fraud and health care providers have to pay a hefty penalty if they are found guilty. No health care provider can take these kinds of financial burden frivolously and to avoid such errors, it is pivotal that good medical coders are at the helm.

Financial burden on the patients: In recent times, financial responsibility is increasingly falling on the patients and upcoding and unbundling coding errors are major contributors to this. When a patient’s insurance doesn’t cover the expenses that are a resultant of the codes, the patient has to pay the amount from his/her personal finances. This creates disappointment among patients regarding the providers’ services and may incite to think about changing the healthcare provider.

Burden of audits: More than the financial burden, the challenging aspect for healthcare providers is, dealing with the negative attention they draw because of these errors and the ensuing coding audits and investigations that even spoil their reputation. Healthcare providers can avoid damage to their reputation and credibility among patients, insurance providers, and the healthcare provider fraternity, by hiring top-notch medical coding companies.

Assigning the medical coding jobs to a coding company of repute is the best thing a health care provider can do to avoid coding errors and improve accuracy. Healthcare providers must take necessary care to avert any kind of accidental errors or intentional fraud in coding to maintain their name and financial status.