Tuesday, December 7, 2021

The Importance of Medical Billing and Coding Among Covid-19 Pandemic

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The Impact of Covid-19 on the Healthcare Sector

The last two years have been quite challenging for medical care industries because of ongoing challenges and a more threatening challenge in the form of the ‘Coronavirus’ pandemic. It is a viral disease that causes widespread respiratory problems such as coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath, body aches, headache, congestion, and kidney failure. The signs of Covid-19 can differ from person to person and can be critical.

billing and coding

World Health Organization (WHO) named Covid-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020, as the number of affected patients and deaths increased significantly globally. The Coronavirus initially emerged from China but gradually began to spread across the globe mainly because most people were not conscious of the hardness of the disease. No one in their wildest dream could predict that the entire world would go into lockdown, that everything would close down from airports, schools to restaurants, and people would start practicing social distancing.

The United States (USA) has been one of the most affected countries because of Covid-19. As a result, the healthcare centers from big and small hospitals face a dilemma with increasing patients.

The Growing Challenge for Medical Practices

Medical systems in big cities are understaffed and overwhelmed as they have to manage patients diagnosed with severe and persistent diseases and those infected with Covid-19. In addition, the medical practices have to examine the financial health and the changing costs and laws concerning Coronavirus diagnosis and treatment.

The more critical problem is to stop the further spread of Coronavirus as it’s a viral disease; Covid-19 can quickly spread from one human to another. In addition, the country is already facing extensive economic pressure due to closed-down businesses and people having financial uncertainties.

Medical systems are facing trouble due to a shortage of supplies. In many places, medical care providers have to perform their duties and manage different administrative tasks. For example, medical care suppliers have to maintain claim processing functions as well. Medical care centers have to

  • Source for Covid-19 testing kits, ventilators, and medicines
  • Get Certain Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for healthcare providers and workers
  • Figure out a way to manage the overflow of patients

There is so much essential data about diagnosis, test, treatment, and follow-up that is only installing and implementing useful medical billing software can help maintain a proper revenue flow. ICD-10 has introduced new codes for diagnosing, testing, and treating Coronavirus patients or patients with Covid-19 symptoms.

Hospitals and healthcare centers face a financial dilemma as Emergency Department volume has decreased while many thought it would increase. In addition, the fear of contacting Coronavirus has prevented or discouraged patients from receiving treatment from health centers. As a result, there have been considerable adjustments in budgeting and forecasting to balance the finances.

How Medical Billing Software Has Become Important in Medical Care

With regular financial assurance, healthcare providers have added responsibility to quickly get payments from insurance agencies and reduce the number of denied claims. On average, nearly 5% to 9% of shares are banned. And more than 50% of the claims are rejected due to incorrect medical codes. Also, it can take up to $25 to correct each denied claim and resend it.

An excellent medical billing and coding software is the need of the hour it advantages include

  • Automate the whole billing and coding process
  • Easy alliance with medical practice’s existing management system and Electronic Health Records (EHR).
  • Quick entry of patient details and insurance eligibility verification
  • With a proper system in place, the healthcare providers would not spend hours to get details from patients and enter them and instead can perform other necessary tasks.
  • The software can easily update to include immediate changes in ICD-10 codes, including testing, treatment, therapies, and potential vaccine codes.
  • The medical codes can easily select without the need to spend time and search among hundreds of different and complex codes
  • The claims can be processed more correctly and quickly, saving time, effort, and resources.
  • Better analysis of denied claims and knowing where the errors are coming from
  • Custom edits, which will ease in sending the claims as per type and policies of specific payer and also prior audit and correction before claims are submitted
  • Innovative value-added functionalities and features such as remote patient monitoring, Patient portal, Alerts and notifications, Analytics, and reporting.

COVID-19 has forced Americans across the country to turn away from direct touching or even the presence of each other. The universal national command to stick to physical distance has left many seeking jobs in different places in which they can both stay safe and make a high income. An often overlooked career is one of Medical Billing and Coding. As a Medical Biller and Coder, you can stay safe, make money, and have successful career growth during the era of COVID-19.

What Do A Medical Biller And Coder Do?

Medical Billers and Coders are the connection between physicians and insurance suppliers. When you ever go to a medical supplier, you have to awe: how does this get billed to my insurance? Well, without medical billers and coders, that form of payment would not be complete.

Therefore medical providers will not be able to provide. Alternately, billers and coders draft up invoices with providers that support you and insurance providers to pay for those services. They say that medical billers and coders have a secret language, but this transforms complex medical reports into shortcodes that can be more edible to all parties involved in the transactions. The information often includes procedures and illnesses. For example, a condition followed by an in-house surgery to treat it can transcribe into just one shortcode.

Medical Billers and Coders Can Work From Home

The important part about being a medical biller and coder during the era of COVID-19 is that you can work from home. You can pick up many jobs at home, manage patient billing, repay healthcare providers, and transcribe codes. Many billers and coders have had the chance to do a great job from the safety of their homes.

When you work from home, you not only save lives by distancing and being safe, but you also get the chance to build up your CV and career. At the same time, you save the world by being safe and copying patients who need retroactive care. Working from home means that you are healing the world by distancing and giving patients the retroactive care and assistance they need to carry out their billing and paying tasks.

Medical Billers and Coders Have High Demand

According to BLS, the job outlook for health technicians in this field is to grow by 7% up until 2028. The demand attack to be much faster than other career fields. The stable growth can be because of the rise of healthcare activities in the next few years. The only thing that goes up that does not come down is age, and as we get older, we need extra care. The more humans and society get older, the more they go to physicians’ offices, and all of those methods and illnesses need to transcribe and billed with billers and coders’ support. On the light side, there appears to be a regular need for medical billers and coders as long as people need medical care.

How covid 19 is changing medical billing and coding?

New medical codes

Perhaps one of the possible changes to medical billing and coding from COVID-19 is the opening of new medical codes. Medical billers should now use hundreds of new guidelines related to telehealth services and treatments related to COVID-19. Because medical billing departments have tried to keep up with the latest released codes, many providers have found great value in outsourcing coding services to assure that medical billing is handled correctly.

Rise of telehealth

The exciting rise of telehealth services has also played an essential role in shifting how patients make their payments. Within the past few months, new regulations have been established saying that telehealth visits can be paid for by Medicare at the same rate as traditional in-person services – although whether or not a visit is related to COVID-19. As a result, providers can now bill for telehealth visits about several services, like patient consultations and medical screening exams.

Increase in patient-friendly payment plans

The unexpected damage of COVID-19 has left many patients with notably high medical debts – resulting from a combination of large hospital bills and lay-off factors blended with the pandemic. In addition, it has affected many health care providers to work with local business organizations to offer patients non-interest payment plans. This shift in billing has significantly eased the financial difficulties of families affected by COVID-19 and has made proper pharmaceutical care more available to the public during this violent time.

With much of the medical care industry impact by COVID-19, facilities must be careful in preparing for more medical billing changes in the future. An engagement in adapting to new practices will help organizations navigate financial difficulties and overcome challenges ahead.

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Dennis L. Hernandez
I am a medical biller, a blogger and have 20 years of experience in medical billing, medical billing management, and medical assistant. My background includes positions as a clinical medical assistant, medical records technician, medical office manager, biller, and coder.

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