To operate a successful medical practice, you will need to ensure that your coders have proper training. If they don't meet your requirements, you can always offer to send them a course that can be taken online or at a physical location. Just remember, the more knowledgeable and effective your coders are, the fewer denials you will see, which will lead to an increase in your revenue and cash flow. Most importantly, it will lead to better patient care. There are some healthcare offices that don't require their medical and billing specialists to go through training. And while this can lead to savings in terms of paying these staff members a low and minimal salary, it can lead to a decrease in your cash flow due to inappropriate filings and denials. To ensure your coders have the training they need, you'll want to consider these options.
If you prefer that your coders start off with entry-level certifications, two of the best credentials are the CCA and CPC-A. Please keep in mind that the CCA credential only represents a basic understanding of coding principles. The CPC-A, however, demonstrates a more advanced coding capability, and is usually accompanied with a higher-paying salary.
If you prefer your coders to have an even higher level of knowledge about today's best coding practices, they will need to further their training by earning the CCS or CIRCC. For most practices, it is standard to require at least three years of employment as a coding specialist before earning either of these credentials. Just as with any career, coders are greatly influenced by the amount of hands-on experience they have.
It is through formal training that your coders will learn about a variety of topics and practices, including those related to:
- Billing management
- Healthcare documentation
- Government programs
- Health insurance claim forms
- Health insurance
- Managed care
- Electronic data interchange and modifiers
No matter the exact type of credentials you want your coders to earn, there is a time investment to consider. For lower-level credentials, a six to nine month program should suffice. For advanced certifications, three years of experience and anywhere from 12 to 24 months of schooling will be sufficient. There are many online programs to take advantage of, allowing them to gain the training they need from the comfort of their own homes.
If you have coders who have yet to go through training on the transition to ICD-10, you'll definitely need to set them up through a program that provides this type of training. The transition to this new form of coding is going to influence your operations in a major way. ICD-10 mandates that codes be more specific to their diagnsoses, meaning you should see an improvement in correct diagnoses. More importantly, you'll be providing optimal health care services.
As your medical billing practices start to improve, there will be major improvements noticed throughout your other healthcare operations. From diagnosing to providing treatment, improvements in these areas augment growth and allow you to broaden your services. Investing in training for your medical coders is one of the best decisions you will make. As you perform the vital services of diagnosing and treating your patients, other staff members can focus on producing accurate coding.
To learn more about training your medical coders the right way, contact us today at 888-727-4234.