When people hear about medical billing and coding, they tend to think that it’s the same, or at least similar work. They could not be more wrong! Both these are completely different, and are only connected by the fact that this work happens in the field of healthcare.
Medical coding is the process that involves assigning specific alphanumeric codes to medical services that includes diagnosis, procedures, and equipment. Medical coders follow medical record documentation, such as physician’s notes, transcription reports, lab results, etc. to assign codes. As payers understand the language of coding, a coding professional converts the information about patient visit into medical codes so that billers can use them preparing bills for submissions. Unlike billers, coders often talk to doctors or other staff to seek more clarification on treatments and procedures.
Medical billing is the process of preparing bills for the treatment or procedures undertaken and submitting them to payers or patients. Billers use specialized software exclusively made for medical billing. Once the billing is done and submitted the billers follow up with payers and patients on pending invoices. They are also involved in processing appeals against rejected claims.
Healthcare providers both big and small depend a lot on medical billing and coding process to keep their revenue inflow intact.
Benefits of Medical Billing and Coding
Medical billing and coding streamlining the revenue cycle management process. All healthcare providers bank on it for:
- Quicker receipt of money and settlement of accounts
- Avoid expensive back billing
- Submit clean claims and ensure minimal rejections
- Generate reports specific to customers
Yet another big benefit of medical billing and coding services is that it manages the revenue cycles help to bring down expenses and increase collections, due to the availability of electronic verification of insurance eligibility and other technologies. In a nutshell, the benefits are:
- Higher revenue generation
- Quicker processing of claims leading to improved cash flow
- Medical professionals can focus solely on their core competencies
- Necessitates fewer employees, and results in reduced overhead costs
- Eliminates the need for negotiations with insurance companies and payers
Medical billing and coding is a process that is mostly outsourced to third party service providers to save on time and costs. These service providers are HIPAA complaint and understand regulatory requirements like the back of their hands thus helping improve the overall efficiency of the process.