Considering that more than 86% of doctor offices and 96% of hospitals use electronic health records (EHR), you likely already know the main advantages of using them—but do you know the benefits of coding with EHRs specifically? It turns out that using digital systems like EHRs for medical coding and billing can benefit both patients and their providers in several different ways. Here’s a look at the top advantages of medical coding with EHRs.
1. Reducing Data Entry Errors
One of the most important benefits of EHRs is that they enable medical coding and you get to reduce the chances of any mistakes that could end up in the system. After all, the EHR already has most of the information you need for medical coding and billing, such as demographics and personal information. This means you won’t have to enter it more than once, cutting down on the risk of introducing errors and typos to the EHR system.
Instead, you can simply transfer all that important medical and personal information to the coding documentation with the click of a button. As a result, the coding process becomes much more seamless than when you have to re-enter the same information several times just to properly bill patients. This reduces your chances of claims being denied. Considering that one study found that 86% of claims denials were avoidable--and many are denied based on a single data entry mistake—it’s important to do everything you can to reduce those mistakes. Sometimes it’s as simple as spelling the name wrong or being off by one day on the patient’s birth date. Other times, it’s a more serious mistake, like the wrong policy number or a mismatch in the diagnosis and treatment. Either way, integrating medical billing and coding with an EHR system can help avoid data entry errors.
2. Increase Revenue
Another reason to use an EHR system for coding in your doctor’s office is that it can increase your profitability. In many cases, a simple coding error on a bill means you don’t get paid properly for the healthcare services you’ve provided for your patients. Either the treatment could get coded wrong or might not get entered at all, which could translate to your office losing hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
In fact, experts have noticed that some healthcare providers are so worried about being audited that they fail to bill for certain treatments—or down code to less expensive treatments—just because they don’t have all the documentation they’d need in case of an audit. This can lead to such providers losing up to $40,000 per year. The better choice is to use an EHR that gathers and stores all documentation, and then bills for treatments correctly, knowing that you can easily show proof that these treatments were provided if you’re ever audited. In this way, using EHRs for coding could benefit your office financially.
3. Become More Efficient With the Benefits of Coding With EHRs
Among the main benefits of coding with EHRs is increased efficiency. As described above, your office staff won’t have to input important data more than once when using an EHR, which means they’ll save time when it comes to coding and billing. In fact, when you use an EHR system for billing, you can send bills to insurance companies and patients within minutes, saving time and increasing your odds of getting paid faster. Once the migration to an EHR happens, most billing and coding teams have the flexibility to audit more encounters for accuracy rather than doing data entry from paper superbills.
Your office staff will also find it easy to use an EHR system to transfer and share documentation that involves personal information, treatment, diagnosis, and any other details that patients and insurance companies will want with medical records requests. Using an EHR for this is much faster and simpler than photocopying or faxing these documents when it’s time to bill. This lets your employees spend their time doing other tasks, improving their productivity and reducing your staffing costs. In this way, the benefits of coding with EHRs include saving time and money for your office.
4. Reap the Benefits of Coding With EHRs by Going Digital
Finally, the ability to use EHRs for coding gives you some advantages over paper documentation. First, your employees can access the EHR from anywhere, meaning they can code remotely, even when they’re not at their desk. Compare this to coders who rely on paperwork, in which case they have to wait for it to be picked up or scanned so they can get started. This flexibility can improve productivity when it comes to medical billing and coding.
There’s also the fact that you save space in your office when you go digital compared to paperwork. You no longer have to store all the paper charts—such as documents describing a patient’s diagnosis and treatment plan—that you might need for billing. When it’s all digital and included in your EHR, everything is streamlined and takes up a lot less space—without sacrificing the important information you need for billing.
Experience the Benefits of Coding With EHRs
Ready to get the benefits of coding with an integrated EHR? TempDev can help. Contact us today at 888.TEMP.DEV to find out more about our solutions and how they can help you increase efficiency, improve profitability, cut down on data entry errors, and more.
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