The 4 Steps to Understanding the Future Market for Medical Coding
Many of you are eager to finish your courses and begin your careers. Medical coding will be the same in some ways, while there will be changes to come in the future. We can thank all of the technological advances in helping us to see how important medical coding is and also showing its importance.
One key thing about medical coding is to stay on top of industry trends that will affect your role and apply them accordingly.
Trends in Medical Coding
Here are some trends to look out for.
Medical coders are in high demand and the future looks even brighter for growth in this field. The rate of growth in this field is double what it is now. The industry will rebound even though the pandemic of COVID did affect the medical field in some way.
One of the biggest things to change will be productivity and accuracy. Most coders will be expected to code from 2 charts per hour to 1,000 per day! The accuracy and productivity rate has also jumped to 95 percent or higher. This seems to be affected by place of service and the specialty.
You will see more computer-assisted coding implemented to aid in much of the demands in coding. Computer-assisted coding helps to recognize and extract data from medical documents for coding and billing purposes.
While this might concern some people about their future, it should not. While these computer-assisted programs will help, there still needs to be coders who can be there to ensure everything is accurate. We know from the realities of the world and the use of computers, they are not always 100% accurate and that needs to be taken into consideration.
What Will Influence Medical Coding and the Future Market
Let’s look at some other areas that can influence medical coding:
1 – Physicians and hospitals continue to merge together for various reasons. The main reasons are for financial burdens and even with these consolidations, they are not expected to affect the field of medical coding in a negative way.
2 – Healthcare is becoming consumer-driven with patients having to turn to high deductible plans in order to save money. Patient experience has become more important and this means the entire practice from the call, to making the appointment, to the very last visit are of utmost importance.
Outsourcing medical coding has become a concern for quite a few medical coders. They are extremely concerned about losing their jobs to overseas coding entities. While this may be something that will still be done, it has been shown in some studies that the accuracy rate is still higher with coders in the US versus overseas. So, while some might still outsource, they would be at a better advantage to keep the business in the US with coders who can still provide a higher accuracy in their coding.
There are other factors that can cause issues with outsourcing coding. These factors include: higher payer denials due to poor quality, onboarding, training and auditing and compliance. This is where coders need to continually evolve, and evolving includes staying on top of industry trends and changes in order to provide the best experience possible to whomever you work for.
Continued growth for medical coders will be on the rise. Medical coders just need to be sure that they are an expert in the industry, not just the current role they are in, but in the industry as a whole. Helping your employer with any challenges that arise, not just focusing on your own is also something that can help to validate the need for your position in this field.
Medical coders do not need to be afraid of technology. When there are changes, you need to do your best to learn them and be able to apply them. These are just a few of the things that can be done to show you are an essential employee for the medical coding job. If these things are done, it will show that no one is better for the job than you.
Written by Kara Silvers, CPC, CPC-I