“The patient is bitten by an orca, Initial Encounter.” Can you guess the ICD-10-CM codes for this injury? How long did it take for the medical code lookup? Did you have to switch multiple tabs for the medical code lookup?
FYI, there are 36 different types of medical ICD-10 codes for injuries caused by underwater mammals. It looks like adorable marine mammals have sent a lot of people to hospitals.
According to National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “Despite wide availability of information and mapping tools for the next generation of the ICD classification system, some of the ICD-9 to ICD-10-CM transition are not well understood.”
Well, searching ICD-10 codes for unique injuries and illnesses is a challenging task. Medical coders must go through the clinical documentation, search several publications to gain complete code data, and assign appropriate codes for billing and reimbursement purposes. While executing this tedious process of looking at thousands of patients’ information and searching for appropriate codes, medical coders often make errors, and in some cases, get confused.
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Here are some of the common reasons why medical coders get stuck:
- If the documentation is out of medical coders’ speciality.
- If physician notes are complicated and hard to understand.
- If there are confusing abbreviations.
- If several medical concepts are mentioned in the same document.
- Injury or illness is mentioned without mentioning specific details.
- If the reason of injury is not clarified. In some cases, there are multiple medical concepts with no detailed information.
- If it is an unusual procedure and treatment, medical coders won’t have knowledge about it.
All these hurdles can be addressed, and coding processes can be streamlined using robust computer-assisted coding (CAC) systems.
Why Would Medical Coders Need Medical Code Lookup?
There are about 60k to 80k ICD-10-CM codes; remembering each code is next to impossible. They must search for these codes in the databases and publications. Performing a search across several publications will take a lot of time. This is where a medical coding automation tool like MediCodio comes into play.
At MediCodio, we have built an AI-powered coding assistant, Codio, which helps medical coders reduce code search time and increase productivity.
The computer-assisted coding software eliminates the need for medical coders to search for codes across numerous sources and publications. Codio’s ICD/CPT search function automatically identifies codes for all procedures and treatments. Medical coders can let Codio handle the time-consuming task of looking up medical codes and focus on providing value to patients. In addition, Codio supports more than 15 specialties.
In simple words, medical coding professionals can leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) to quickly lookup medical codes and increase their productivity while maintaining quality and accuracy.
How to Measure Medical Coding productivity?
In medical coding, the productivity of a medical coder is measured by calculating the number of patients’ records reviewed, procedures analyzed, proper action plans issued, and so forth. It is the same way the productivity of other tasks is measured: by the amount of work done in a specified time.
To measure medical coders efficiency, hospitals or RCM companies must consider the amount of time spent on each activity, the number of tools accessed, the databases and publications reviewed, and the technology used. Basically, the number of resources used by a medical coder and the time spent on using those resources will give you the efficiency result. Along with that, the quality of the outcome also matters.
To maintain the right balance between efficiency and productivity in a medical practice, hospitals and RCM companies have to adopt unique strategies, such as implementing AI-powered medical coding tools. This is because coding 100+ encounters per day may appear to be a brilliant idea on paper, but if 20 of those encounters are rejected due to medical coding errors, the number created has no real value.
MediCodio is a promising medical coding automation solution dedicated to simplifying medical coding workflows. The company offers its proprietary AI-powered medical coding assistant, CODIO, to healthcare organizations, ambulatory surgery centers, physician offices and RCM companies. Powered by AI/ML, CODIO suggests medical codes by reading patient demographic information from EHR systems and physician notes and charts. It is also integrated with a wide range of features, including a CPT/ICD code search function, detailed dashboards, NCCI Edit checks, seamless API integrations, and automated charge entry. With CODIO, users can accelerate the code selection process, reduce errors, claim denials, turnaround time, and expenses in medical coding workflows. Importantly, CODIO is known for optimizing workflow efficiency by up to 85% and increasing productivity by up to 45%.
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