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5 Medical Billing and Coding Trends to Watch in 2023

Medical Billing and Coding
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No doubt, the medical billing industry has witnessed massive changes in recent times. With studies revealing 87% of consumers prefer making their payments online, the industry is quickly adopting innovative billing and coding solutions to enhance efficiency, improve customer experience and prevent unintentional or incorrect billings. As medical technology continues to advance at breakneck speed, it can be quite challenging to understand the future of the medical billing and coding industry.

If you are a medical billing and coding professional wishing to take your career to the next level, here are five emerging trends to help you stay in the game.

Use of blockchain technology 

Blockchain technology is a distributed ledger that leverages a decentralized system to store information. In the medical and coding industry, blockchain can be used to streamline medical billing processes and improve outcomes. It is considered integral to future medical billing and coding, enhancing security and consistency across multiple processes. The technology codes each transaction as its own consistent block, thus preventing a single transaction from occurring more than once. In a nutshell, once a transaction has been logged in the blockchain, it is impossible to alter or duplicate. This ensures medical records and billing remains consistent, transparent, and secure. The medical coding trend has other benefits, including preventing billing errors and reducing fraud risks. 

Automating with computer-assisted coding

Computer-assisted coding, or CAC in healthcare, is a technology that leverages software and powerful medical algorithms to automate billing and coding processes. The methodology assigns specific medical codes to medical records directly from clinical documentation, thus eliminating the gaps between financial healthcare systems and electronic health records (EHR). The medical billing technology leverages a specialized algorithm to source unstructured data from records which guarantees accurate transcription of codes. 

SaaS cloud billing

Although cloud and software as a service (SaaS) has been with us for a while, the technology is just starting to make notable inroads into the medical billing industry. Many players now prefer hosting their billing and coding platforms in the cloud to increase efficiency, cut costs, and improve processes. Cloud billing gives health systems and billing administrator access to crucial software from anywhere globally. It also provides real-time data and summarized overviews to enhance the productivity of administrators. With everything from claim submission to error correction and remittance moving to the cloud, stakeholders are maximizing cloud-based tools to enhance accuracy and reduce the time required to prepare and submit bills. 

The rise of virtual care

As more providers put greater emphasis on telemedicine in response to patient needs, medical coders and billers should expect to see massive adoption of virtual care in 2023. Virtual medical care focuses on accessibility first and drastically eliminates the need for patients to travel to the physician’s office. Although its primary focus is enhancing accessibility to prompt Medicare, virtual care has an impact on the medical billing process. With many patients preferring to see their providers virtually rather than in person, medical billing software is incorporating new codes for telemedicine services. As a biller or coder, you need to familiarize yourself with the specific guidelines, insurance policies, and appropriate CPT codes that guarantee accuracy and compliance.

Electronic claims submission

Throughout history, the medical industry has primarily relied on paperwork for most of its transactions, audit, and information. However, rapid technological developments provide the industry with innovative solutions to improve workflows and meet changing expectations. One of the latest trends being adopted by the billing and coding industry is the use of electronic claim systems instead of strenuous and error-prone paper claims. Experts reveal paper claim set up in the medical industry requires between five to seven weeks of turnaround time to process an entire claim. The electronic claims submission cuts the turnaround time to two weeks, drastically improving productivity and patient experience. This technology is especially beneficial for providers who tackle a huge number of clients and patients. 

How many versions of medical coding classification are in use?

Here are the two medical coding classification systems widely used in the billing and coding industry:

  • The Current Procedural Terminology (CPT): This code is published by the American Medical Association. There are nearly 10,000 CPT codes in use today. They provide a uniform data set that helps providers to describe medical, surgical, and diagnostic services given to patients.
  • The International Classification of Diseases (ICD): ICD is an international system used to classify mortality and morbidity rates. The system, which is used in over 100 countries, defines diseases and allocates appropriate resources to ensure seamless provision of care. 

What is the current version of the medical coding?

The current version of medical coding is ICD-10. It boasts over 70,000 codes assigned to various infections, parasitic diseases, congenital malformations, and neoplasms. Included also are diseases of the respiratory system, nervous system, and digestive system. 

What are the steps to becoming a medical biller and coder?

Medical billers and coders are non-clinical professionals supporting clinical workers by taking administrative tasks off their desks. They leverage various tools to collect health information data, prepare medical records and submit bills and claims to clients and stakeholders. If you are considering a career in medical billing and coding, here are a few steps that could actualize your dreams: 

  1. Enroll in an undergraduate certificate program in medical billing and coding.
  2. Pursue a relevant certification in medical billing and coding. 
  3. Gain relevant experience through internship programs or volunteer programs
  4. Apply for positions regularly

Get started with SCI’s online Medical Billing and Coding program 

As the healthcare industry continues to incorporate new technologies into their operations, new non-clinical jobs are emerging. Among these non-clinical positions are medical billers and coders crucial to the optimal running of care facilities. 

Southern Careers Institute (SCI) can help train on the skills needed to pursue a career in medical billing and coding through our online Medical Billing and Coding program. Contact us today for more information about the Medical Billing and Coding online program at SCI.

This article was published on: 07/11/23 3:16 PM

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