Reasons for Medical Coding Errors that Impact Adversely

One of the key requirements for perfect medical billing and accurate reimbursements for the services provided is accurate medical coding. Every healthcare provider should check if its medical coders are diligent enough and have an eye for detail. Professionals in medical coding jobs also need to be alert and have good communication skills so as to communicate properly with physicians and other staff if necessary. However efficient the hospital management and coders are, there is scope for medical coding errors that impact the organization adversely. Here listed are some common reasons for coding errors often seen in medical coding companies that have to be avoided.

Getting comfortable: After certain years of experience and expertise in medical coding jobs, the coders get comfortable with their work. With this comfort level, the veteran coders believe that there is no point in using the code books and other references as they are already familiar with all the codes and it’s a sheer time waste. However, the fact is that it is not possible to memorize all the thousands of codes that get updated from time to time. Hence, to avoid such errors, it is required that the coders don’t get too comfortable with their knowledge and keep updating and referring to coding books if required.

Incomplete information: Some of the common claim denials that we come across are due to incomplete or missing information in the records from which the coders take inputs. Few examples of errors that cause such denials are selecting the wrong code for a new or established patient and giving a wrong procedure code of diagnostic instead of routine. To avoid this kind of errors, medical coding companies have to emphasize quality by cross-checking and evaluating coders on a regular basis.

Inefficient management strategy: Any kind of coding mistakes if unnoticed create mayhem and lead to claims denials and revenue losses. What is required is developing a strong coding leadership that is working on of identifying process improvement opportunities and analyzing the latest trends and denial reasons.

One thing that has to be taken note of is that even veteran coders may sometimes commit errors that lead to an increase in the claim denial rates and increase revenue losses thereby affecting the bottom line of the healthcare providers.

Ergonomics that Help a Transcriber

Like most of the jobs these days, healthcare documentation jobs require working on computers for long hours. When people have to work for such a lengthy time at the workstation they need to take care of their posture and ensure that their ergonomics let them work comfortably and maintain good health. A workstation, in general, comprises of a desk, chair and the computer that have to be set up in such a way that work does not become a dreadful task. Let’s check how a healthcare documentation specialist can make his/her work enjoyable by maintaining an ergonomic workstation.

Chair: A chair is the most influencing factor in making one’s work enjoyable or dreadful. People in healthcare documentation jobs need to sit for long hours in their chair, so it’s essential that they choose their chair with prudence. They should choose the one which is adjustable that is not only comfortable but makes your work less tiring and increases your productivity. Adjustable armrests and slanted footrest also increase the comfort quotient and help enjoy working for long hours.

Desk: After the chair, it is the desk that has to be properly selected for better results. It is said that the minimum distance to be maintained between the monitor and eyes is 20 inches and the monitor has to be exactly straight from the person. See that the table has enough space to accommodate the monitor with the ideal distance along with the keyboard and mouse. It should also be ensured that the table provides a keyboard drawer for flexibility. Another important aspect while choosing a table is that its height should enable the healthcare documentation specialist to fit his/her legs beneath the table comfortably.

Computer set up: The best computer set up for professionals in healthcare documentation companies is using a regular computer that comes with a CPU, monitor, and keyboard to ensure there is an ideal distance between the computer and the user which is not possible with a laptop. So, if a laptop has to be used, it is better to go for a separate monitor, keyboard, and mouse that can be attached to the laptop with cables for a better working experience. It should be ensured that the forearms are parallel to the ground and the wrists are straight while working. Headphones that are used for listening to the audio files should also be selected wisely taking into consideration the comfort and noise rejection. It is better to opt for on-ear headphones rather than earbuds or in-the-ear headphones.

Apart from these material things, even the environment where a person is working also plays a crucial role in the health and mood of a transcriber. For the best enjoyable experience of working, there should be enough natural light at the workstation and if needed, it can be supplemented with some lighting. Whether working from home or at companies, healthcare documentation professionals should concentrate on these workstation ergonomics elements to enjoy the work and build a great career.

Are You Self-Marketing?

There are several jobs or business opportunities in the market but, how do employers or people who deal with you get to know what is special about you which is compelling enough to make them work with you. What kind of efforts are you putting in to make yourself important in this competitive world? Most of us are reluctant to promote ourselves. Many of us seldom update our superiors with our accomplishments or take credit for a good idea that has worked for the team. It is a general tendency among many that we should remain humble and not brag. It’s true that we should not brag, but it is necessary that we do promote ourselves in order to make our work visible to others and they understand our significance. We should promote ourselves without annoying and isolating others. This is the concept of self-marketing.

Self-marketing and its importance:

Self-marketing is the process of promoting yourself (a person). In this process a person markets himself/herself rather than a product. It is crucial for managing your professional reputation and building your personal brand that augment your career. Self-marketing helps us to gain more opportunities to express ourselves better by communicating our qualifications, values, skills, vision, and experience. By self-marketing, we can successfully distinguish ourselves from hundreds or thousands of others who are competitive players in the market.

How to do self-marketing:

In the process of self-marketing, it is vital to not go overboard and brag. We ought to take care that we promote ourselves without hurting others and annoying our superiors. Let’s see how we can promote ourselves.

1.Mindset: One of the foremost elements of effective self-marketing is having a clear mindset that encourages us to get noticed for our accomplishments. We must accept the fact that there is nothing disgraceful in seeking credit and recognition for our efforts that result in accomplishments.

2.Proactive: We should not assume that people will automatically notice our work and reward us. We should be proactive enough and take advantage of situations and opportunities to communicate the value we provide to the organization.

3.Attributes: We should focus on the attributes that will create and enhance our brand value as a person and promote those brand attributes.

Effective ways of self-marketing:
We have seen that self-marketing is crucial to stand out among the competitors, but it is also critical that our self-promotion does not turn-off people. Let’s see some effective ways of self-marketing.

Discuss accomplishments: An important aspect of self-marketing is discussing accomplishments. This should be done by promoting the steps we have taken and our role in accomplishing the task. Facts and figures should substantiate our story.

Focus on other parties: We should ensure that while promoting ourselves we should give an impression that we are much concerned about the organization or the other party to whom we are talking. We should be cautious enough not to give an idea that we are more concerned about our self-promotion rather than the organization’s success.

Recognize others: In the process of self-marketing, we ought not to forget the role and contribution of others involved. We should whole-heartedly give credit to others when they deserve it.

Take notice: We should not self-promote without noticing the audience emotions. We should be aware of our audience emotions and notice their annoyance or boredom while talking about our accomplishments and other thoughts.

To become successful in our career, we should focus on our brand attributes and do some excellent self-marketing. With so much of competition everywhere, it’s inevitable for all to indulge in self-promotion to improve their image to advance in career.

Common Issues in Medical Coding

The job that eases the work of medical billers with detailed information of services provided and equipment used in the treatment of a patient to prepare accurate bills is medical coding. The work of a medical coder is to give appropriate universally accepted alpha-numeric codes to the procedures performed on a patient so that it facilitates the healthcare providers and other research organizations to classify and track illnesses, diseases, and mortality. The people in medical coding jobs have to ensure that they code to the highest levels of precision so as to help the billers in getting full reimbursements for the services provided by the healthcare facility. For this purpose, the medical coding professionals have to evaluate the medical transcription reports and use designated codes for the procedures. This job is not that easy and there are many issues that are part of medical coding jobs.

No access to the provider: Medical coders usually code based on the documents they have and also constantly contact the healthcare providers. However, in certain situations, it may not be possible for them to contact the providers which make their job challenging to understand the procedures and raise the claims.

Missing documentation or information: In some situations, it happens that the healthcare providers do not give the coders sufficient information they require about the procedures performed. The physicians may leave some information in the reports that leave the coders puzzled and lead to inappropriate codes.

Failure to use latest code set: The various code sets, ICD codes; CPT codes; HCPCS codes, that are used by the coders are updated annually and the onus is on the medical coding companies and medical coders to keep themselves updated with the latest codes that are brought out by the organizations that maintain these codes. In case, the medical coders fail to update with the latest codes, they may use wrong codes leading to billing issues and claim denials.

Errors that may be treated as a fraud: Some errors like unbundling, overcoding and undercoding can be treated as deceitful and coders should be cautious while assigning codes. Undercoding refers to the reporting of more expensive procedures as less expensive and overcoding refers to the reporting of less expensive procedures as more expensive. Unbundling is the coding of procedures in separate codes when they can be coded under a single code.

To avoid any kind of omissions and errors, the medical coding companies should ensure that their coders are diligent and alert. The medical coders should also communicate often with the healthcare providers to eliminate the chances of errors.

Process of Quality Assurance in Healthcare Documentation

Quality is an absolute necessity in every work done and it has even more significance in professions like healthcare documentation which play a crucial role in the well-being of patients. Quality can be achieved by adopting a set of actions that are designed to provide a result that the end-user expects. The main aim of the quality assurance process in healthcare documentation companies is to achieve patient care documentation that is accurate, clear and consistent. Quality assurance professionals command great respect for the excellence and perfection they possess. Although quality assessment is critical and necessary, it is not simple and could be controversial at times too. In healthcare documentation, the quality assurance process is done by senior healthcare documentation specialists who have a thorough knowledge of medical terminology and have good experience in transcription.

In the process of quality assurance, the senior transcriptionists do the quality evaluation of the submitted reports for accuracy and prescribed format while filling out the blanks left by the initial transcriptionist and make corrections if necessary. In this process, the transcriptionists may be awarded grades according to their performance. To understand the importance of quality assurance, let’s get a hold of few of the terms related.

Quality assurance (QA): It’s a process that ensures the transcription reports sent to the client are accurate.

Quality assessment or review (QA or QR): The assessment or review of a medical transcriptionist’s completed report to evaluate the quality of work.

Quality assessment score (QAS): A numeric score that is given to a transcriptionist for the work done indicating the accuracy rate.

Quality assurance editor (QAE): The person who does the job of quality assessment or review.

A transcription report may go to the quality assurance editor in three cases. In the first case, when a healthcare documentation specialist has a problem and needs help, the report can be sent to the QAE. This is termed as putting the transcription report ‘on hold’ for QA. In the second case, all the work done by a particular transcriptionist or work for a specific client can be automatically sent to a QAE. In the third case, random quality assessment audits can be performed.

Usually, a new transcriptionist in healthcare documentation companies is put on 100 quality assessment before his/her reports are sent to the client to ensure that only 100% accurate and properly formatted reports are submitted. When the quality assessment editor gets confident about the transcriptionist’s work, his/her work is taken off from 100% QA.

Moving away from a full quality assessment is an accomplishment for all the new transcriptionists as it means that the work is perfect and needs no corrections. Thereafter, only those reports go the QAE that are problematic or a part of the sample sent for QA audits. Though there may be variations in the process of quality assessment in different healthcare documentation companies, it is one of the crucial processes that ensure accurate and consistent reports are sent to the clients.

Declutter Your Mind for a Fresh Life

For a blissful and happy life, it is required that we have an organized and spacious life. We can organize our spaces by decluttering our homes and offices. But, how do we declutter our lives? Is it possible at all? Yes! We can definitely declutter our lives by organizing out thoughts and decluttering our minds. With the kind of busy lives we are dealing with, we are always rushing from one thing to the other. As we are tackling different tasks, our mind or mental space is occupied with all these tasks and the related emotions. With all the thoughts piling, our mind gets cluttered that leads to stress and anxiety. As the days go on, and our busyness does not subside, we get even more stressed and get exhausted.

This gets even worse at times when we face personal problems. What happens is, our mind is occupied with thoughts of reality and some preconceived fictitious notions. We often struggle with these thoughts and it becomes challenging for us to come out of the stressful situations. To avoid such extreme stressful situations, we need to declutter our mental space from time to time. How do we do this? It’s pretty simple if we can follow these three ways.

Write – Writing our thoughts can be the best answer to all our worries. It’s the purest and the easiest forms of releasing stress. Writing down all our thoughts on a piece of paper works wonders and declutters our mental space easily. It is found out in a research that when negative thoughts are put down on a paper and burnt, the negativity of those thoughts is reduced and we tend to feel much relaxed.

Learn to say ‘no’: It is often seen through our experiences that when we don’t say “no” to people, we keep doing more things than that we can do which leads to stress piling up. Hence, we should learn to say a firm “no” for things that we can’t do to give ourselves time and energy to focus on more important things.

Do something creative: Indulging in some creative and fun activities will help in decluttering our mental space and giving us enough time for self-care and self-organizing. Creative activities prove to be extremely helpful in reducing stress and providing emotional relief.

Take information carefully: We get loads of information on a daily basis, but it is on us as to what kind of information we consume and what we reject. To keep our mind free of clutter, we should be cautious while taking information and should reject all that is unnecessary for us and adds to the clutter.

If you are one among those who have much to do but not enough time for everything and get overwhelmed on a daily basis, it’s time you declutter your mind and start living a fresh life.

Prove Your Skills with Coding Assessments

Clearing a certification assessment in coding is an accomplishment for many medical coding professionals. Coding assessments conducted by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) assess your coding skills and give you an edge over the others who are not certified coders. The coding assessments of these organizations are conducted with the intent to reinforce your strengths which make you better equipped when hunting for the perfect medical coding jobs.

The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) is one of the world’s largest training and assessment organization for healthcare professionals like medical coders, billers, clinical documentation specialists etc. The AAPC provides training and certifications to professionals in medical coding along with other services. The coding certifications from AAPC have a great value across the world as they are considered the gold standard in the healthcare industry. The organization provides various credentials like a certified professional coder (CPC), certified outpatient coding (COC), certified inpatient coder (CIC) etc. Apart from these, the organization also offers credentials for different specialty experts like certified ASC coder (CASCC), Certified Anesthesia and Pain Management Coder (CANPC) etc. Assessments for these credentials test your skills in CPT codes, HCPCS Level II codes and ICD-10 codes hence, if you are a certified coder, it shows your proficiency in these codes which is very helpful in your medical coding jobs.

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is an association of health professionals that are into the health information management. This association offers credentials in four different domains of the healthcare industry – a) health information management; b) coding; c) data analysis; d) privacy. The certifications in the coding field are Certified Coding Associate (CCA), Certified Coding Specialist-Physician-based (CCS-P) etc.

There are multiple specialties that can be chosen by professionals in medical coding companies, so the training and certifications from either AAPC or AHIMA could be crucial in building a successful career path in coding. Although the qualifications and certifications for earning credentials from these two organizations are different, credentials from both the organizations are widely accepted in the healthcare industry. Medical coders with credentials from these organizations are much in demand in medical coding companies and they have a great career ahead.

Transformation of Healthcare Documentation over the Years

The healthcare documentation process has come a long way from the stage of dictation and typing to digital recordings of voice and documenting patient records electronically in a prescribed format. The physician’s notes are recorded in these days using digital means thereby increasing data accuracy and improving the doctors’ productivity. Technological advancements have resulted in things like automated speech recognition software that helps in faster transcription and these advancements are showing a great impact on the medical transcription and healthcare industry.

Everybody in the healthcare industry feels that innovative technology if optimally used in healthcare documentation could result in enhanced physician productivity as the transcription processes produce quality results in much lesser time. Healthcare documentation specialists have been playing a vital role in the healthcare industry by providing documentation of the diagnoses and treatments offered by the physicians. With the rising demand for accuracy in the documentation from both physicians and patients, the people in healthcare documentation jobs have to take utmost care to document the procedures with maximum accuracy that is increasing the dependency on technological advancements.

One of the major influencing technologies in this field is speech recognition software that is being used to recognize the voice files consisting of the physicians’ dictations and transcribing them into documents. It is being debated that with the advent and use of this kind of software the role of healthcare documentation specialists is diminishing considerably. Although this is true to an extent, it does not mean that there will be no work for these specialists. It is only that their role will move from that of transcribing to editing which is much more challenging. The software is not perfect, and there is always a possibility for errors which have to be rectified before sending the transcribed documents. Here comes the need for transcriptionists with exceptional skills in transcription to proofread and edit the reports generated by the software.

Whether the speech recognition technology is used or not, there is a good demand for expert medical transcriptionists who can understand the nuances of English language, the accents of different physicians, the human anatomy and the latest developments in the medical industry. For the best training and career growth, join Avontix one of the top healthcare documentation companies in Hyderabad.

Positive Vibes for a Happy Life

Positive thinking is a state of mind where a person has thoughts that make him expect good and favorable results. A person with positive attitude anticipates happiness and health at all times that can change one’s life for the better. Many people discard the thinking of positive attitude stating that just thinking good things will not always bring goodness in life. But, studies have proved that positive attitude does bring change in your life not by changing things, but by bringing change in how you perceive things, people and situations. This change in perception will change your way of reacting to people, and situations that will impact in a great way in your overall well-being. Let’s learn how to bring positivity in our life.

Remove negative feelings: We should not let negative thoughts creep in and try to stay as positive as possible even in the worst of the situations. Once negative thoughts conquer our mood, it gets difficult to come out of that feeling and reinstate positivity.

Using positive words in the daily talk: We should use positive words always and shun the negative words that attract negativity. If we use the negative words like ‘I can’t’, we convince ourselves that we can’t do things. Instead, we should use positive affirmations ‘I can’, ‘I am happy,’ ‘I will achieve’ that will help us do everything that will lead to happy relationships, excellent career, and a happy life.

Focus on good things: We face many bad situations on a daily basis, however, we should try to remember and focus on good things that have happened to us. We should try to make the best possible effort to get something good of the bad situation. For e.g. getting stuck in a bad traffic will give you a great opportunity to enjoy some good music, take a much needed quick nap to restore your energy levels.

Focus on the present: We should all learn to just focus on the present moment in order to imbibe positivity in our life. Forgetting anything that is a bad experience then and there and focusing on the present situation is immensely required to gain a positive attitude and go ahead in life.

Befriend positive people: To absorb positive attitude and to maintain in continuously it is important that we are surrounded by people with a positive thinking. Their positivity will help us and affect our thinking in a positive way. Try to make friends with people who have a positive attitude and influence your family and friends also to be positive.

Positive attitude and emotions have a great positive effect on our lives. They help us to enhance our professional and social skills to develop resources that are valuable and useful throughout our life.

Best Practices for Optimizing Revenue Cycle Management

The healthcare industry is an industry that has unpredictable revenues due to the uncertainties involved in the collectibles. To stay in the business of providing healthcare it is requisite that the facility receives its revenues on time. Healthcare providers need to streamline their revenue cycle management to ensure that their business runs smoothly. Providing care to patients is not a single transaction and includes varied procedures like registration, diagnosis, providing treatment etc. until the patient account is closed. To improve the income of the healthcare facilities should be able to prioritize what is important and implement and track the right metrics. Here are few best practices that help the healthcare providers to improve their revenue cycle management.

Focus on your KPIs: The net days in accounts receivable, cash collection as a percentage of net patient services revenues, denial rates, denial write-offs as a percentage of net patient service, cost to collect KPI are some of the key performance indicators for hospitals and other healthcare providing organizations. Industry experts in the RCM services suggest that even among these key performance indicators, it is an absolute necessity to track the denial rates very closely because a rise in the denial rates is a sign of troubles for the organization in the near future.

Do thorough research for investment in new technology: Due to the advancements in technology many new options are available these days to optimize resources and maximize efficiencies. It is not possible to escape from the technology advancements and stay ahead in the business which makes it inevitable for the facilities to implement the new technology as and when required. For this reason, RCM services providers advise doing a thorough research before investing in a new technology. The facilities should analyze the current problems and study if the investment in new technology would eliminate those problems effectively or not.

Get reimbursements automated: RCM services professionals insist on automating the procedures related to reimbursements for timely reimbursements. By taking advantage of the latest technology manual payment posting can be eliminated and the accounts receivable process can be automated to improve revenues considerably.

Revenue cycle management is a unique process for every healthcare facility that requires reducing the number of patient rejections, lost revenues to as a result of underpaid claims and decreasing accounts receivables days. To do all this and to optimize your RCM, partner with the best RCM services providers like Avontix.