The Impact of Technology on Medical Billing and Coding

Touseef Riaz

October 20, 2020

Technology-on-medical-billing-and-coding

You probably know that the last couple of years has been exciting for healthcare providers, especially because of the advances in technology, such as medical billing technology. For example, we saw the shift to value-based care, incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into medical billing and coding, EHR alignment, etc.

Also, it is worth noting that the international medical billing outsourcing market is expected to expand for many years to come. This is because medical practices face complex challenges related to several payers as well as medical code representation, and many large practices are consolidating, according to a new research report published by Grand View Research.

Note that now new trends, like blockchain, computer-assisted coding (CAC), and outsourcing of billing, will have an impact on medication administration. Thirty or forty years ago, a career in healthcare information management needed a considerable amount of paperwork. However, that has changed with the implementation of convenient electronic health records and medical billing technology.

These and other technologies are reshaping and improving the field of health information management while opening up several new and amazing opportunities in medical billing and medical coding. Note that medical billers and coders have many responsibilities. However, the good news is that technology has made some of the most cumbersome and laborious parts of their jobs much easier.

It is worth noting that gone are the days of using many piles of heavy books for medical coding and billing. With rapid advances in technology, there is no doubt that medical billing and medical coding software have considerably improved.

Increasing Use of Software in Medical Billing and Medical Coding

You may know that software is very helpful and valuable in medical billing and medical coding. This is because it saves healthcare professionals and staff from having to recall hundreds of complicated codes on the fly. Note that this leads to fewer errors, better records, and faster billing, which are great.

Although software can do much of the work, notes that medical billers and medical coders still need adequate medical billing and medical coding training to do their jobs. Perhaps, more importantly, medical billers and medical coders need to have an excellent grasp of the codes in order to make sure the software isn’t making any errors or mistakes.

Medical Coding and Medical Billing – Popular Software

Did you know that medical coding and billing use software is known as encoders in order to assist in assigning numeric and alphanumeric codes?

Keep in mind that there are several different medical coding software at your disposal. For example, Lytec is a popular software system that maintains an encrypted and secure database of medical information.

Medisoft is another excellent software solution that streamlines payments and reports past due accounts. You can use Ingenix to reduce medical expenses, increase savings opportunities and manage facility claims.

Cutting Costs with Technology

Technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, may never fully replace humans in medical billing and medical coding functions. However, note that they will play an increasingly crucial role in slashing healthcare costs in the US.

An estimate indicates the US spends almost twice as much as many countries like Scotland, France, and Canada when it comes to healthcare. Did you know that nearly one-third of this goes toward medical billing and other administrative costs?

It is worth noting that machine learning tools have the ability to efficiently and swiftly interpret every line in your patient’s record. And this can help your hospital avoid duplicate charges and reduce upcoding as well as unbundling-related errors.

Top Technological Trends in Medical Billing and Coding

Here are some of the top trends in medical billing and coding practice that you have to consider.

Blockchain

You will probably know that the medical billing and coding processes often come with various challenges. Some of them are unintentional billings, incorrect filings, billing code errors, and duplication of processes. Note that blockchain is a safe and secure technology that can create authentic data records that you can easily share between various networked database systems.

And it is worth noting that this technology records various digital events in a manner that doesn’t allow the confidential data to be changed or recognized until it finally reaches the intended recipient. The technology is great as it ensures data integrity and also protects your medical organizations’ data, such as electronic health records, monitoring systems data, patient health information, and claims data.

Virtual Medical Care

Note that virtual medical care is another important trend. It is a convenient method that allows you to communicate with your patients without having to call them in your clinic. We can say that this model of care can bridge the gap between patients and physicians, allowing you to move easily from fee for service business model to value-based care.

And the process of billing will change considerably with the advent of virtual medical care. To ensure timely and proper reimbursement, it is important that you are aware of telemedicine guidelines and which codes are applicable.

Automated Billing

Did you know that automated billing is a new medical billing practice through which medical claims submission, insurance management, remittance, and many other aspects of the medical process are easily handled by cloud-based software?

The best thing about automated medical billing is that it reduces the risk of errors in insurance claims. It does this by processing and flagging potential errors and mistakes in advance, which is convenient.  And this allows billers to resolve any issues proactively while minimizing the risk of payment delays and denials.

Another benefit is that billers and healthcare providers can access web-based systems from anywhere in the world, which also explains why outsourced medical billing and coding services are now so popular. To leverage this type of billing, you need to be proficient in the use of technology and know everything regarding medical billing collection as well as claim denials.

Impact of AI on Medical Billing and Coding

It is evident that Artificial Intelligence has quickly worked its way into most industries. Note that the ability to analyze and break down huge amounts of information in order to make predictions and decisions is a priceless and convenient tool that will influence the medical billing and medical coding industry for a long time.

You know that specialty medical billing and medical coding services often require a significant deal of data input and data analysis. And medical coders have to analyze treatments and medical procedures and decide what codes to apply in order to generate accurate patient reimbursement bills.

The best thing is that this viability is what makes AI the perfect tool for automating claims processing. These are some ways AI will impact medical billing and coding.

Streamline Medical billing and Coding Workflows

One of the most significant impacts of AI on a medical biller’s daily tasks may result from comprehensive and deep learning of users’ interaction with billing software and EHR. There is no doubt that using AI to learn a user’s habits and preferences, anticipate their specific needs, and display accurate data is one of the top priorities for almost all of the main health IT vendors in the country.

The great thing is that automatically retrieving, sorting, and manipulating data has the potential to considerably reduce labor and resources spent on manual billing tasks. Note that this allows your staff to make better and timely decisions, especially about the next steps in denial resolution.

Cut down Processing Times

We know that improving the processing time is often in the hands of medical coders. In these situations, medical billing and medical coding services that have AI systems can easily save coders time in gathering procedure and billing information. By saving this time, you can speed up your other processes, which will benefit you and your medical facility.

Automate Repetitive Tasks and Procedures

Automation of repetitive tasks is another innovation that will likely affect the medical billing and coding industry. Did you know that there are a lot of repetitive tasks in medical billing? AI is beneficial as it can help medical billers to enhance their efficiency while reducing the monotony and tedium in their work. And by saving time, medical billers can focus more on other critical areas of work, such as patient care and report analysis.

Enhance Patient Service

As you can imagine, AI technology will soon be used across almost all industries. And customer service advances and improvements could heavily influence how patient communications are managed. For instance, bots can be utilized for patient interactions, like appointment scheduling. You can also use AI-based chatbots for answering patient queries.

 A major benefit of this technology for providers and medical billers is that it can standardize the process. And this can significantly reduce the incidence of difficult patient interactions regarding billing and potentially improve the relationship your patients have with your billing staff, which is great for your practice.

Increase Medical Coding Accuracy

A main feature of AI will likely be its ability to analyze spoken words and text. As a result, systems can learn the language for medical procedures and diagnosis and even assign accurate codes. Note that this capability will likely have a considerable impact after code set updates and ensure that correct codes are used, and documentation is fully compliant. And this will reduce the transition that usually happens with coding updates.

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