The Center for Medical and Medicaid Services (CMS) has stated that health expenditure in the US is expected to reach a whopping 5.7 trillion dollars by 2026 which adds value to the fact that providers need to stay updated on contemporary trends in coding services to save their profit. The US has the largest per capita medical spending among wealthy countries thanks to the complex US healthcare system. Billers face denied claims and uncollected patient payments daily but that has significantly improved with the increased incorporation of technology to resolve errors.
That being said, the medical and dental billing company has suffered through a massive digital transformation after the Covid-19 pandemic. This has brought innovative methods into practice and caused a major shift in billing and coding services. Below are some of the trends that have been introduced in medical coding services.
Transformation to telehealth aka. Telemedicine
The pandemic presented challenges for patients and providers to physically come into contact frequently but increased telehealth usage allowed contact in a limited way. Medical coding services were affected by the practice. The revised CPT codes incorporated procedural and billing changes that enabled insurers to quickly update their policies. It also initiated the emergence of novel treatments and protocols which again led to changes in medical coding services and dental billing company practices.
Experts suggest that telehealth practices can raise medical costs. In fact, a report from Healthcare Dive indicated that medical services involving telehealth could rise by 265% between 2020-2023. Patients suffering from chronic diseases would be the largest part of the population relying on telehealth services.
Digitalization of claim submission
By adopting electronic claims in their work, providers have found it easier to expedite the process and identify errors at an early stage. Medical billing software speeds up the process making it error-proof from initial drafting to tracking claim progress and receiving reimbursement.
Automation of the billing and coding process
Automating the billing and coding process for medical coding services has transformed the workflow for medical personnel. It has eliminated the need to waste time and energy on repetitive tasks. It significantly reduced manual labor and ruled out errors. As a result of software automation, healthcare providers worry less about unnecessary expenditures and billers can concentrate on creative tasks. Insurance pre-authorization has also greatly improved as the process of checking patients’ eligibility and payment limits has accelerated.
Integrating EHR into the billing system
The increasing trend of automation in medical coding services has heightened Electronic Health Records (EHR) reliability. Physicians are now more confident in technology as it has eased their work and benefited medical services. EHR has facilitated healthcare providers and billers as the amount of patient data in the system greatly reduces the amount of time physicians spend on the task. Also, EHRs facilitate dental billing company by providing easy access to health histories.
Medical billing applications
Medical billing applications specialize in tackling medical billing issues. These applications are equipped with the following modules that facilitate medical coding services:
- Claims management: The applications manage claims data as well as monitor progress and work with denials. These applications incorporate extensive rule databases and AI to aid in claim submission and success predictions.
- Medical coding: This software ensures error-proof coding.
- Billing and payment tracking: These applications allow transparent bill transactions and prevent revenue leakage and save resources.
- Accounts receivable: Users benefit from the software by collecting payments by receiving reminders, payment plans, and processing electronic transactions.
Medical billing and artificial intelligence
Using artificial intelligence in medical billing and coding is the latest trend. Technology has presented many billing solutions, and its scope of application will continue to provide more solutions in the coming years. With the help of its sub-disciplines like machine learning and natural language processing, artificial intelligence provides the following solutions:
- Recognize, extract, and structure patient information from scanned documents.
- Facilitate and deliver error-free medical coding.
- Drastically spent less time than manual work.
- Analyze data and predict denials and reimbursement amounts.
Software solutions for improving RCM
Advanced digital transformation has yielded immense results in medical coding growth. In fact, statistics suggest that profits in healthcare IT are projected to increase from $14 billion in 2019 to $28 billion by 2024. Medical coding services are expected to benefit from AI in the future.
Moving to the latest ICD systems
A major switch has been witnessed in the billing and coding industry with the introduction of ICD-10. This is a universal classification system used to code symptoms, diseases, and medical procedures in the U.S. The updated ICD-10 has over 140,000 revised procedures and diagnostic codes. Physicians’ ability to use these codes can be improved by proper training beyond certification credits or continuing education units (CEU).
What lies in the future for medical coding services?
The above-mentioned trends and predictions suggest that the pace of transition in medical coding services is increasing to a great extent. This has not only brought advancement and ease in billing and coding work but facilitated patients too. The inclusion of modern technology has provided many solutions for better service and has significant potential for the future. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has stated that jobs for medical records and health information specialists, including healthcare coding and billing, are projected to grow 9% from 2020 to 2030.
There are some facts that indicate the everlasting need for market growth in healthcare coding services such as the number of immigrants is growing at a rapid pace, New medicines, medical treatments, and new therapies are proven great help in elongating the age, the federal government is spending billions of dollars on healthcare access and in general, Americans demand more and better quality health care. These indicators suggest that the future of the medical billing and coding industry is prosperous. AI’s increasing involvement in providing solutions to existing issues in the industry has promising results for industry growth.