4 Workflow Questions for Medical Coding Companies

In our last blog, we shared five technology questions essential to accurate medical coding. Given the importance of this topic, here are four “bonus” workflow questions for medical coding companies and medical billing companies. 

     1. Do medical coding and IT specialists within your company have ongoing dialogue about ways to further optimize the coding process, as well as to address issues that arise?

When medical coders and IT specialists within a company maintain an ongoing dialogue, they are in an optimal position to continually refine and enhance the coding process. While coders have keen insight about the types of technological enhancements that would benefit the process, it’s the IT department that turns these ideas into reality. For example, a coder may request a section where comments can be noted in a physician’s report. If the company has a dedicated IT department, the technicians can incorporate this enhancement into the company’s proprietary software. Exchanging innovative ideas often results in greater efficiency, accuracy, and productivity. The end result is that healthcare providers get paid sooner, with fewer delays in the process.

     2. Do you have a dedicated IT department?

You generally want a company with a dedicated IT department, so implementations are handled internally. This allows for more control over the process, along with the ability to address issues or problems that arise in a timely and efficient manner.  For example: while it is optimal to receive files in formats like OCR, HL7, or readable PDFs, this isn’t always possible for every client. Given our dedicated IT department and proprietary software, AdvantEdge has the capability to write specialized programs to ensure that just about any form of data we receive is compatible with our system. This ability prevents delays or even a complete halt in the implementation process. AdvantEdge is committed to its ClientFirst(™) priority, and we have the expertise to address issues that require special attention.

What’s more, proprietary technology allows for rapid responses to industry changes through leading-edge automation. AdvantEdge clients continue to reap the rewards of a full-service dedicated IT department. 

     3. From an interface standpoint, have you worked with files exported from a variety of hospital systems, including Epic?

Having knowledge of various hospital systems is essential, as institutions change these systems from time to time and you do not want that possibility to impact your workflow or billing process.  Epic is a good example because so many healthcare providers already rely on or are migrating to this system. Every AdvantEdge coder that works in Epic systems has completed at least 16 hours of specialized training and has passed a comprehensive exam on that platform. It’s important that everyone working within a specific system is thoroughly trained in the related workflow because different systems (and even different versions of the same system)  have different features. Since each of these systems/versions is used by certain healthcare providers, AdvantEdge is well aware of the importance of being knowledgeable in nearly all of the hospital and clinical information systems in use today . 

     4. When confronted with paper claims, how do you comply with HIPAA regulations?

When dealing with paper workflows, a medical billing company should have a detailed compliance checklist in place to ensure that all HIPAA regulations are thoroughly followed. It’s crucial for companies to adhere to these procedures, so all compliance-related matters are addressed. To ensure our team is up to date on every aspect of protecting patients’ health information, AdvantEdge provides training in various aspects of HIPAA on an ongoing basis. 

The final blog in our medical coding series will highlight questions to ask a medical billing company about Education and Compliance. Until then, keep up to date on AdvantEdge and its medical billing initiatives by visiting our LinkedIn page.