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Medical Coding is Undergoing Massive Shift

ByDhana Prabhu

Medical Coding is Undergoing Massive Shift

Times are changing. So are processes involved in different industries. Health care is no exception. Medical Information Technology has brought about a vast change in the way of performing the erstwhile manual activities. Medical Coding is one among those.

The Medical Coding Process

Way back in the final decades of the last century, documentation work involved manually maintaining records, using hand-written or type-written methods. From the electric typewriter, technology has taken a giant leap in the way of managing records.

Health care segment, with its voluminous medial record management purpose, has embraced health IT by adopting the modern and accurate processes made possible by computer software. Adding fuel to the trend has been the proliferation of the Internet. Now, with any activity being possible to be achieved using the digital means, there is little wonder in medical coding process evolving at an incredible manner.

Changes in Medical Codes will Impact Billing & Coding Processes

Modern medical science has been evolving and improving, so is the contemporary classification of diseases. The statutory system being used presently assigns alphanumeric codes appropriate to medical conditions and corresponding patient information. The main objective behind this is keeping a consistent and exhaustive standardized system of recording medical information including conditions, symptoms, and diagnoses.

Having come across a vast shift in disease classification, namely, from ICD-9 to ICD-10, medical industry has faced a challenging and even confusing scenario that has left several professionals awestruck, including experienced health service professionals.

Who is directly impacted by the Shift in Coding process?

Almost everyone involved in health care service will be in some way or other affected by changes caused by ICD-10 compliance. Starting with physicians through insurance carriers, the change applies to one and all – while the effect may be subtle for some, it could prove noticeable for the others. Naturally, coders and transcriptionists will be the ones who feel the change the most. The recent changes and their impacts on different health care professionals have been listed below:

  • Medical Billing & Coding Professionals: Having to learn and get accustomed with the new codes, coders and billers need to undergo training and practice for meeting the latest changes – it will not do to try memorizing each and every code, yet, it proves effective to start by memorizing the frequently used codes initially
  • Transcriptionists: The job of medical transcriptionists is a little similar to that of coders, the difference being that while transcriptionists listen to the providers’ dictation and type it into text, coders need to make use of the charts for coding them into diagnoses and procedures appropriately – coders have got the responsibility to keep updating themselves to meet the current compliance requirements
  • Medical Administrators: Even though not directly involved in writing codes, administrators have to be familiar with latest changes in codes as they are the ones who pre4pare bills and so they need to handle questions or errors, if any rise

Changes have been occurring from time to time in every field. There is no need to be intimidated. After all, all changes are opportunities to update and learn.

Getting themselves trained and educated with necessary knowledge to be able to face the current changed environment pays rich dividends in the career of the medical coders and billers.

About the Author

Dhana Prabhu editor

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