Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the subsets of AI namely, Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP), have made inroads in nearly all sectors, including healthcare. Computer-Assisted Coding software (CAC) was the first AI-based medical coding software to hit the healthcare industry and remains widely adopted by organizations in the industry to this day.
The shift to value-based care has transformed the way medical professionals operate. Add to that, the constantly changing regulations have obligated healthcare facilities to provide the best patient care possible. Another major issue troubling healthcare facilities is the increasing costs of hiring highly skilled and experienced HIM, coding, CDI, and RCM professionals.
To catch up with trends and stay ahead of the curve, healthcare facilities are investing heavily in processes and technology. By making a modest investment in technology, healthcare facilities can achieve multiple benefits, including cost reduction, improved productivity, and increased revenue.
Technologies such as AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) have proven to simplify medical coding and revenue cycle management processes. Advanced Computer-Assisted Coding software (CAC), for instance, is transforming and streamlining coding workflows – increasing revenue and elevating value-based care.
Understanding Computer-Assisted Coding Software
Computer-assisted coding is a technology software that helps streamline the coding workflow, reduce backlogs by increasing productivity, and help coders navigate through more extended, more complex charts more quickly. It utilizes advanced algorithms and natural language processing (NLP) techniques to analyze clinical documentation and extract relevant information for coding purposes.
The NLP helps identify the specific codes from the patient records.
These codes are based on specific guidelines and commonly include the following:
International Classification of Disease (ICD): The global standard to code health conditions, diseases, causes of death, etc., devised by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Current Procedure Terminology (CPT): A uniform coding language for doctors and healthcare professionals for outpatient services and processes.
Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS): A standard coding system that covers all products and services not covered under the CPT.
Benefits of Computer-Assisted Coding Software
- Increased Accuracy: CAC software reduces the risk of human error in medical coding. By automating the coding process, it minimizes the chances of coding inconsistencies, omissions, and discrepancies, resulting in more accurate and reliable coding outcomes.
- Enhanced Efficiency: With CAC software, medical coders can code at a faster pace without compromising quality. The software’s ability to analyze large volumes of clinical data and provide coding suggestions significantly improves productivity and workflow efficiency.
- Improved Compliance: CAC software incorporates the latest coding guidelines and regulatory requirements, ensuring compliance with industry standards. It helps coders stay updated with coding changes, reducing the risk of non-compliance and potential audit penalties.
- Increased Productivity: With CAC, coders can review and accept auto-suggested codes. Furthermore, CAC improves coder productivity by reducing dependency on time-consuming manual coding processes.
- Increases Transparency: By validating the documentation and following coding guidelines used to assign specific medical codes, Computer-Assisted Coding (CAC) software enhances transparency in the coding process.
- Time and Cost Savings: By automating the coding process, CAC software reduces the time spent on manual coding tasks. This translates into significant cost savings for healthcare organizations, as fewer coding resources are required to handle the workload.
- Better Revenue Cycle Management: Accurate and efficient coding facilitated by CAC software leads to improved revenue cycle management. With fewer coding errors and faster claim submission, healthcare providers can expedite reimbursement processes and optimize revenue generation.
Implementing Computer-Assisted Coding Software
The successful implementation of CAC software requires careful planning and collaboration between healthcare organizations, IT departments, and coding professionals. Here are some key considerations:
- Software Selection: Choose a CAC software solution that aligns with the organization’s coding requirements, infrastructure, and budget. Evaluate factors such as system compatibility, scalability, and vendor support before making a decision.
- Integration with Electronic Health Records (EHR): Ensure seamless integration of the CAC software with the organization’s existing EHR system. This enables efficient data retrieval and analysis, reducing duplication of efforts and maximizing coding accuracy.
- Training and Education: Provide comprehensive training to coding professionals to familiarize them with the functionalities and best practices of the CAC software. Ongoing education and continuous skill development are crucial for harnessing the full potential of the software.
- Monitoring and Quality Control: Establish monitoring mechanisms to evaluate the performance of the CAC software and identify areas for improvement. Regular audits and quality control checks help maintain coding accuracy and optimize software utilization.
Computer-Assisted Coding (CAC) software has emerged as a game-changer in the healthcare industry, revolutionizing the way medical coding is conducted. Its ability to enhance accuracy, efficiency, compliance, and revenue cycle management makes it an invaluable tool for healthcare organizations.
MEDICODIO offers AI-powered medical coding software for healthcare providers and RCM companies looking to streamline their coding processes and reduce administrative burdens. MEDICODIO helps healthcare and RCM professionals save time, reduce errors, and focus on higher-value activities by automating the coding process, offering a user-friendly interface, and providing robust reporting and analytics capabilities.