Medical coding classifies these for easier reporting and tracking. Coders will need to code, work coding edits, work coding denials, and appeal denials. “We realized you cannot ensure 100% compliance with all of the HIPAA requirements of a security risk assessment … if you’re using offshore,” according to Wagner. Medical coding for social determinants has the benefit of systematically documenting the external factors that may impact a patient’s health and create challenges in their interactions with the health care system or barriers to obtaining recommended treatments. I believe it is going to teach us a lot more about how/where we are deficient, both clinically and operationally.”, For example, Aubry explains, “Healthcare does not prioritize investment in the business-end of the industry whether it is in- or outpatient. Medical coders continue to play an important role in accurate documentation, owing to their knowledge of medical procedures and terminology. Be an expert in your business and industry, not just your role. As evidence, BLS reports in a Nov. 6, 2020, Economic News Release that healthcare employment increased by 58,000 in October 2020. Medical coding … Hence, this segment is expected to grow in the future, due to the rising growth of medical coding across the world. 9. Documentation is still challenging as coders and clinical documentation integrity (CDI) staff attempt to obtain accuracy in reporting. “AI is important,” she says, “but I do not think it has reached the level of accuracy required to code neurosurgery, for example.”, Optum’s survey may be a bit overzealous. Your email address will not be published. “Poor coding quality also increased payer denials with additional management time required to onboard, train and audit the outsourced offshore coders,” writes Wagner. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular diseases is the number one cause of death globally, taking an anticipated 17.9 million lives each year. Medical bills are sent to some kind of insurance company or health program for processing, and then payment is made … Some medical coders may even teach a class to show healthcare employees how to avert coding errors in the future… The number of professional coders is expected to rise significantly over the forecast period, thus boosting the number of companies providing platforms for medical coding professionals. “I do not see volume of visits or need for coders to change that much but be prepared for constantly learning new codes attached to new programs,” she advises. “With the increased focus on value-based and patient-centered care, I see the career of coding expanding at an exciting rate,” she says. This system of medical coding ensures that healthcare … Gaze into our crystal ball …. The current international standard for medical coding is ICD-10 (the tenth version of International Classification of Disease codes), from the World Health Organization (WHO). This shortfall has created a need for added roles where coding skills are needed — clinical documentation improvement (CDI) and medical scribing, for example. The current international standard for medical coding is ICD-10 (the tenth version of International Classification of Disease codes), from the World Health Organization (WHO). Telehealth during a pandemic is a good example of the changes in POS.”. Although the technology is relevant, it has a long way to go and is not presently capable of improving data accuracy without coders. Paddle harder toward the wave and ride it out. Thus, coding-related jobs are expanding, due to the growing landscape of the business side of healthcare, along with their efficiency to automate large amounts of work. ICD-10 means more accurate medical billing and coding, which could translate to more jobs and higher medical billing salaries. Medical coding is an in-demand job The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the job outlook between now to 2024 for health information technician and medical records is 15%. I see problems with current versus history of conditions based on provider statements. Medical coders play a vital role in these companies. As technology continues to disrupt healthcare, there are bound to be changes in the way medical billing and coding … Your email address will not be published. In addition, data security is a major concern for healthcare organizations, and offshore coding companies are also becoming aware of these data security concerns while understanding that breach in a client's data is likely to result in the loss of business. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Media Communications - Journalism. Obtaining new certifications shows your dedication to your profession and gives you the edge in securing new and exciting opportunities.”. 8. Nobody can truly predict the future, though, and COVID-19 proved that. “EMR systems will never be able to intricately think through all of the documentation requirements and nuances for surgical services. “How We Can Expect the Healthcare Industry to Change in the Future.” 2020. This guide can help answer your questions about how to start a career in medical billing and coding. Everything is in a state of decay unless you’re putting constant energy back into it. Hence, the escalating demand for coding jobs is likely to drive the market studied across the world. And that’s a good thing! 4. “In facilities using AI,” Aubry says, “I see the coder’s role becoming more of an auditor responsible for reviewing cases to be sure the software performs accurately.”, Physician coding auditor, educator, and consultant Angela Clements CPC, CEMC, CGSC, COSC, CCS, AAPC Fellow, is also optimistic. How Technology is Shaping the Future of Medical Coding The implementation of electronic health records is reshaping the field of health information management and opening up many new opportunities. Medical coders assign codes to clinical diagnoses and procedures. This type of AI uses natural language processing (NLP) to recognize and extract data from medical documents for coding and billing purposes. We would be remiss to overlook the elephant in the room. In short, coding creates good and valuable data. AAPC's annual salary survey gives a good understanding of the earning potential within the medical coding profession. What do you think lies in store … EMRs will not be able to interpret a provider’s thought process for medical decision making or work with them to do a better job at documenting it.”. Technological advances are making it easier and faster for medical providers to access a patient’s … Medical coding is a key component of revenue cycle management. Let’s consider that for a moment. CAC software includes 3M’s 360 Encompass™ Professional System, Artificial Medical Intelligence, Inc.’s EMscribe®, and Pulse8’s Popul8. DUBLIN, March 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- . COVID-19 has certainly fast-tracked healthcare into the “digital age,” but it also has required us to regroup and reassess our priorities. “My advice to coding professionals is to continue to stay abreast of the changes we are experiencing. I have not seen a decrease, but rather an increase in coding opportunities, as we have moved from the paper world to the electronic world.”, As with all new technology, there will be a learning curve. "(Coding) is changing and it is going to change fast, and are students getting the kind of skills, competencies, or exposure to these concepts that will allow them to understand that coding … “I believe more coders will be needed, but they will need to be highly trained to work in the areas that are most complex.”. The business side of healthcare is no exception. Take electronic health records (EHRs), for example. A successful medical coding and billing process will always need meticulous, educated employees to manage the data and apply expertise. The Future for Medical Billing and Coding Jobs With all the wonderful government data saying that medical billing and coding jobs are growing at 15% nationwide, it is easy to just assume that … 6. These alterations have greatly impacted the way medical coding is taking place. I presume more care will transition to outpatient and telehealth, which is not a bad thing for many patients, but new codes and rules will develop to accommodate those POS.”. As per the statistics, the incidence of cardiovascular diseases is increasing, which is directly proportional to the market growth. The technological advancements in the healthcare industry and constantly changing classification systems are expected to create potential revenue opportunities for players operating in the target market over the forecast period. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in its Occupational Outlook Handbook, updated Sept. 1, 2020, that the healthcare and social assistance sector is leading the pack in job growth, and the demand for medical coders is growing at more than double the average rate across all industries. Renee has more than 20 years experience in print production and content management. “Had EHR vendors asked more doctors and nurses how they used charts during the initial software development process, there would be far fewer user complaints and burnout now,” Aubry contends. The pandemic required the industry to backpedal on some initiatives, such as the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), and accelerate others, such as telehealth. Because of this, there are many Physicians in US that have started to wonder what the future of medical … “Why the Current Healthcare Industry Outsourced Coding Model Delivers a Suboptimal Result.” Sept. 3, 2019., AHRQ newsletter Issue No. Be prepared to go solo – could you today? © 2020. Earn CEUs and the respect of your peers. “However, as any computerized program, it can only process what is entered. Therefore, medical providers have started … Report scope can be customized per your requirements. The reason medical billing exists is so physicians and medical entities can be paid. “As globalization continues to accelerate with technology, I see more opportunity for savvy members to capitalize on outsourcing, whether domestically or overseas,” Erickson says. Medical coding is thus being increasingly used in the present scenario, to create a proper record of patient care, streamline the medical billing process, accelerate payments to physicians, and identify … Using a wave analogy, certain trends in healthcare have been swelling for some time now and will peak soon, while others are still stirring underwater, waiting for the right time to surface. A successful medical coding … We are looking for thought leaders to contribute content to AAPC’s Knowledge Center. That wouldn’t be advisable, writes KIWI-TEK Chief Operating Officer Bill Wagner in a 2018 blog for Healthcare IT Today. Therefore, the high demand for specialist coders and the presence of a favorable healthcare system are the key factors that are anticipated to drive the market growth. “Telehealth has experienced explosive growth during the coronavirus pandemic, with telehealth claims lines increasing 3,552% from August 2019 to August 2020,” according to FAIR Health. Medical billers submit the codes to insurance companies for reimbursement of medical services. Here’s what surfaces to the top of our list: These mergers do not consolidate the need for medical coders, however. EHR Integration/Interoperability. “Additional complexity associated with ICD-10 implementation, regulation, and the shift to value-based reimbursement models more than offset CAC productivity gains, and coding complexity continues to increase.”, The science will continue to evolve, however, and so too will coders’ job responsibilities. According to the British Heart Foundation (BHF), 17,06,213 cases of cardiovascular diseases are diagnosed in the United Kingdom alone. We are always looking to hire talented individuals with equal and extraordinary proportions of industry expertise, problem solving ability and inclination. “I believe coders will always be needed,” she told us. Stay in growth sectors – healthcare is the best place to be right now. Many organizations want someone who knows what their medical billing and coding staff go through. Technology has advanced medical coding and highlighted the importance of medical coders. Wagner conducted a study to prove his point. There’s an increased demand for managers in the billing and coding field who can offer first-hand experience. Accept change and overcome adversity – it’s coming whether you want it or not. Also, most entities are seeing increased denials because the provider has documented conditions that do not appear supported by clinical evidence. The North American market is estimated to hold the largest share, in terms of revenue, over the forecast period, owing to technological advancements and improved healthcare infrastructure in various countries in this region. 3. Aubry believes “the pandemic has only begun to teach us important lessons. “Is Offshore Coding Really Saving You Money?” White Paper.,,,, Healthcare Tech Outlook, “Artificial Intelligence Meets Medical Coding,” Aug. 10, 2020,,, BLS, Employment Projections 2019-2029,, BLS, Economic News Release Employment Situation Summary Nov. 6, 2020,, BLS, Occupational Outlook Handbook,,, DiMarco, Michael. Medical coding is thus being increasingly used in the present scenario, to create a proper record of patient care, streamline the medical billing process, accelerate payments to physicians, and identify the healthcare areas that require focus. Many U.S. coders fear they will lose their jobs to offshore coders. “The key is to be a coder who is flexible and can change with the times. As per the scope of the report, medical coding is the transformation of healthcare diagnosis, procedures, medical services, and equipment into universal medical alphanumeric codes. Audits still need to happen to ensure accuracy of information. But to stay relevant, you must keep your eye on industry trends that will affect your role and then educate yourself accordingly — depending on whether you want to ride the wave or create waves. We believe the outlook is bright for billers and coders. To help you with this, we did some research on industry trends and spoke to several long-time AAPC members to get their perspectives on the future for medical coders. As a contributor you will produce quality content for the business of healthcare, taking the Knowledge Center forward with your knowhow and expertise. It is the unrealistic demands placed on many coders that have led industry leaders to look for ways to automate claims processing. Level up – push your limits, stack skills, evolve. 2. What we learned is encouraging, especially for those of you who are not afraid to tread in uncharted waters. History tells us that every shift to automation creates new jobs. Data shows how coding … 724. When done efficiently and accurately, it helps ensure hospitals are properly reimbursed for the services they provide. The best place for medical coders to place their attention is an area of coding that they are passionate about. Wagner says he learned the hard way that offshore outsourcing is not cost-effective. 7. This survey also indicates that “56% of health care executives believe AI deployment will create jobs, not destroy them ….”. One thing you can bank on is that nothing in healthcare stays the same. While medical billing software is an integral part of any practice, … Wagner, Bill. Nobody can really predict the future, but you can master your own destiny (see sidebar for tips). They’re responsible for conducting audits and reviews to ensure accurate coding and prevent rejected claims due to coding errors. It’s entropy. ICD‑10 has … If you want to do the same thing next year as you did this year, you should be scared.”. If you put stock in statistics, you’ll be reassured by the numbers that indicate medical coders are in high demand and will be increasingly so in the future. The major factors found propelling the growth of the market include the escalating demand for coding services, rising need for a universal language to reduce frauds and misinterpretations associated with insurance claims, and high demand to streamline hospital billing procedures. Other factors include onboarding, training, and auditing. The Medical Coding Market has been segmented by the Classification System (International Classification of Diseases and Healthcare Common Procedure Code System), Component, End User, and Geography. At the conclusion of the study, each participating organization realized a 1 to 3 percent loss in revenue while using offshore coders. The "Medical Coding Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2019 - 2024)" report has been added to's offering.. This group convened as part of AHIMA’s transformation, a process that involves the creation of the “Coding Change Story,” a task force designed to envision the future of co… But change is inevitable. Follow her on Twitter @dustman_aapc. Ann Barnaby, CPC, CPCO, CRC, CASCC, managing director, Project Resume, leaves us with these words of wisdom and inspiration: I see continued growth opportunities for coders in the future! 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