Outsourced Coding: 4 Essential Questions to Optimize Use

Outsourced coding is a necessary tool for many physicians and facilities, as it gives the flexibility and manpower to handle both long and short-term coding challenges. Whether it is supplemental or used as a replacement to traditional in-house coders, calling upon outsourced medical coding companies can be a great resource to any size practice. If you have considered outsourced coding as an option, asking these key questions can help ensure you are choosing the best option for your practice.

Why Outsource Your Medical Coding?

The first set of questions in any process change analysis should include the following:

  • Is the current process working well?
  • Will the change benefit my practice/organization?
  • Is it cost effective?

Analyzing your current workflows, backlogs and revenue cycle processes will often provide insight. Here are some common reasons to consider outsourced coding:

  • Filling in for specialist vacancies and understaffing
  • Reducing denied claims
  • Flexibility during volume fluctuation
  • Experienced, outside perspectives on your workflows
  • Faster, consistent reimbursement
  • Saving time and money

Understaffing and specialist vacancies are ever-present in health care. When coding departments are operating with a partial team, charges will inevitably begin to pile up and lead to more denied claims and slowed reimbursement. When your revenue cycle is on the line, certified coding by experienced specialists can help push through difficult periods. First, look at your practice’s coding workflows and ask, “Are my current processes optimized to their peak efficiency?”

Outsourced coding goes far beyond just increasing your claim submittals. Practices can benefit from outside professionals providing confident support, training, or specialist leadership. Coding companies are full of specialty-specific coders with background experience that will positively influence your workflows and finding the right coding professionals can make a huge difference in the long run. Feedback and improvement are essential in fine tuning your processes. Especially when it comes from experts in the field!

Finally, ask if outsourced coding is a cost-effective solution for your practice. Protecting revenue and ensuring your outsourcing solutions are providing tangible financial returns remains the bottom line in your decision.

There are plenty more reasons to consider an outsourced medical coding company, but just taking the first step to analyze your primary motivators will help narrow your search. Many services specialize in one or two of these areas or offer special benefits like claim denial support that may fit your specific needs. 

For example, if you are looking for more support due to an influx of less specialized claims, that will require a different solution than reducing your rate of denied claims due to the loss of an experienced, specialized medical coder. With the breadth of options available to you, it’s all about finding the best possible fit!

Are You Looking for Long or Short-Term Solutions?

Another big question to ask is if your practice requires long or short-term coding services. Contracts vary widely, with teams using outsourced coding professionals over the course of months or years. Every practice and situation are different, so taking the time to closely examine your busiest periods, expectations for growth, and future plans are important in selecting the proper solution. 

Bringing on medical coders for longer than necessary and getting stuck in a contract is an easy way to compromise your recovered revenue, so if you only need help for shorter projects, consider looking into short-term solutions.

However, medical coding is not a temporary or seasonal challenge, it is year-round. While busy periods in health care are to be expected, many choose to always use medical coders and coding services to some degree, managing long and short-term projects to their needs throughout the year. Coding professionals are always available to help fill gaps in your workflows and deciding how you use them is key in optimizing your revenue cycle through outsourcing coding.

Another advantage of long-term outsourced coding is the availability of full revenue cycle solutions, like documentation feedback and improvement and coding training and updates. Establishing a relationship with an outsourced company over long periods of time opens the door for enduring improvements for your team.

What Types of Outsourced Coding Services Are Available?

Outsourcing coding is never a simple choice. Privacy considerations, managing workflow control with outside coders, and fitting these solutions into your unique revenue cycle are all hurdles that every practice must prepare for. Many practices are wary of placing such an important piece of their revenue cycle in the hands of outside coding professionals. 

While this concern is valid, the outsourced coding industry is full of certified, reliable organizations with accountability programs, along with comprehensive privacy policies and guaranteed protection of patient information. It just comes down to picking the right organization for your practice. In order to choose the best possible option, you have to understand the breadth of outsourced medical coding specialists available, and the structure of their employment.

Outsourced coders may be hired through contracting or remote employment. Contracted coders work on an as needed basis and offer their services and experience as an individual for a specific project or period. Remote employment, however, provides more hands-on time and relationship development between coder and employer, along with consistent practices that ensure they fit smoothly within your workflows. At Revenue Cycle Coding Strategies, we offer remote employment for our clients in need of coding and compliance assistance, over contracting because we see, firsthand, the difference it makes.

Where are the Experienced and Certified Coding Specialists?

Looking for a certified outsourced coding solution that is customized to fulfill your practice’s needs? Look no further than Coding+, Revenue Cycle Coding Strategies (RCCS’s) staff of experienced, certified coding and compliance experts for facilities and physicians to fulfill your coding and billing needs.

Are denied claims at risk of becoming a big issue for your revenue cycle? Daily, weekly, or monthly support is available, with denial support and training available to help you get and stay on top of their coding.

With specialized coding and compliance experts available in over 20 specialties, our team is prepared to help you overcome any coding obstacle and work with you closely to ensure your outsourced coding is both customized and optimized for your practice. Connect with an RCCS expert today to learn more:

Looking for a top-down, comprehensive billing and coding solution for your oncology practice/facility? Partner directly with the coding professionals for remote oncology charge capture. As the Oncology experts that other experts turn to, you can trust the RCCS team to ensure medical and radiation oncology charges are captured accurately and in compliance with payer guidelines. RCCS will serve as your strategic partner by amplifying the capabilities and capacity of your operational team and EMR or address staffing vacancies with our clinical, coding and compliance experts.

Start the conversation with an RCCS expert to see how our outsourced solutions and coding professionals can transform your revenue cycle with Coding+, oncology remote charge capture, or our other highly specialized coding and compliance services  and products.