Medical coding is pretty simple really. All you do is assign a number to every disease, disorder, ailment, medical complaint, or condition and then use another number to describe every procedure. Those codes describe every diagnosis and treatment. The codes are used to create databases and drive the entire reimbursement process. That, essentially, is what medical coding is all about…translating detailed diagnostic and treatment information into standardized alpha-numerical codes.
What purpose does this codification serve? The primary benefit is standardization. Everybody involved uses and understands the codes. Wordy and complicated diagnoses and treatments that might fill multiple pages with detailed patient encounter information are reduced to short numeric codes. Thus, a patient record might consume several lines of codes summarizing the whole patient history.
Through the use of medical coding, computerized processing of insurance claims is made possible, saving millions of man-hours which would otherwise be required (on the part of the insurance carrier) to read through and translate the descriptive information from the provider to process insurance benefits and payments.
So, how does the process really work? Well, it all starts when you walk into the doctor’s office. You have a complaint, or perhaps you are simply there for a routine checkup. The doctor sits down with you, conducts an interview, and probably an examination, then makes a diagnosis and provides a plan of treatment.
What are the Codes?
1) CPT – Current Procedural Terminology (procedures)
2) ICD – International Classification of Diseases – Diagnoses. ICD-9 has been the traditional coding platform for years and is shortly undergoing a huge expansion to ICD-10, increasing by several thousand additional codes for far more detail than the ICD-9 and will also produce outcome results.
Correct coding is the lifeblood of a practice. Without accurate coding, a provider will not get the reimbursement for the service provided. Since the provider is trained to analyze, examine and set up treatments, they really don’t have time to learn all the intricacies of coding. If the provider attempts to do the coding, in studies conducted using 209 notes for patient encounters, only one-third were coded accurately. Surprisingly, only 13 of the 209 were overcoded. Projecting the lost income 63% were undercoded, 6% overcoded. You can imagine the impact on reimbursement. If a practice generated $200,000 in revenue, add 63% lost income and that is significant indeed!
Learn to Code?
Meditech, Inc., has been in the Medical Coding business since 1969, and was one of the very first companies in the United States to begin offering medical coding training courses online via the Internet. Through med-certification.com, the coding course is used by hundreds of colleges and trade schools. On the online course, people may take medical coding training online, learn at home and be ready to work in 6 months.
Check out the full syllabus at http://www.med-certification.com/medical-coding-syllabus/
A shortage of coders already existed before ICD-10 so if you want to learn to code, the time is now! Read more: WWW.med-certification.com