22 May Medical Billing and Coding: Staying Current is Essential
If your medical practice has in-house medical billing and coding services, you may find that they have a difficult time staying current on changes in the field. Being on top of any alterations and developments, learning about how they will affect billing, and understanding how to incorporate them into your system will help to ensure that your medical insurance claims are processed in a timely manner. Presently, there are four areas that need to be closely monitored and addressed by healthcare professionals and those in charge of billing and coding.
Diagnostic and Procedural Codes
This year the system for coding diagnostics and procedures undergoes its first major change in close to 40 years. With the switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 codes the medical billing and coding industry goes from a system of about 14,000 codes to one of almost 70,000 codes. Anyone involved in medical billing and coding will require additional training, plus software systems on all levels will have to undergo major changes and upgrades. This will be a huge undertaking.
National Drug Code Directory
The NDCD can change at anytime, as new pharmaceuticals are added as soon as the Federal Drug Administration approves them. Each National Drug Code includes a list of 10 numbers, which are divided into three segments. The first two segments are comprised of four numbers each and the last is made up of two. Understanding how the directory works and keeping current on updates is important.
Federal and State Laws and Rules
As new laws and rules are adopted, it’s important that doctors and billing and coding professionals understand them and how they will affect the industry. Any changes in laws that are related to medical care, insurance, patient’s rights, and other aspects of the healthcare field can have a major affect on billing and coding. Careful review of new regulations and instruction concerning how they will change procedures, compensation, reporting, and any other aspect of the field is essential to one being able to perform their billing and coding duties properly.
Changes by Commercial Insurers
Commercial insurers will also change what they cover, how much they will pay for a certain service or procedure, and what the process is for making sure that someone is covered for a specific office visit, procedure, drug, or service. Such changes can sometimes surprise even the most informed professionals. Knowing how these alterations will affect patients and healthcare providers is important to a medical billing specialist being able to properly perform their duties.
As the top medical billing company, at Medical Practice Management Resources, Inc., staying up-to-date on all aspects of the medical and insurance fields is an essential part of our job. If we don’t stay current, we can’t properly serve the medical professionals for whom we work. If you’d like insights into upcoming changes in billing and coding, have questions about our services, or would like to know how we can address your needs, please don’t hesitate to contact a medical billing specialist today.