When it comes to medical practice or healthcare, medical billing and coding play a crucial role in terms of patient safety, efficient operations, and rapid payment. When handling medical billing and coding, only trained, knowledgeable, and skilled professionals read, analyze, record, and document complex medical information effectively and promptly, while maintaining patient confidentiality, strong attention to detail, and data organization. If your system is still the old or traditional way, then you must consider medical billing and coding because this is essential when it comes to modern medicine.
Medical coding refers to the process of taking or documenting information or data about a patient’s diagnosis, procedures, medications, treatments, and equipment, translating them into alphanumeric codes. There are different sources of patient information including medical notes, transcriptions, radiologic assessments, electronic records, and laboratory results. The main responsibility of handling medical coding are called medical coders, who are professionals in transferring these codes from the sources to patient records and medical billing systems. An integral step of medical claims process is medical coding, wherein patient information is submitted to the insurance companies for billing patients and insurers. Medical coding indirectly affects medical care most especially when it comes to insurance reimbursement. Medical doctors are now required to list untreated diagnoses, precautions, and underlying conditions, most especially that we are living in a medical environment of fee-for-service. Having an accurate and effective medical coding ensures that insurance companies have all the diagnostic codes needed for appropriate payment. Medical coding is essential in the assessment of demographics and studies of the prevalence of disease, reimbursement systems, and treatment outcomes.
Medical billing is an integral aspect of any health or medical business, ensuring a smooth revenue cycle operation. Medical professionals are trained, skilled and highly knowledgeable in public and private insurance policies, and medical regulations. Medical coding and medical billing are under federal and state guidelines such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA aims in protecting patient confidentiality, so hospitals and other medical facilities must take appropriate measures in protecting patient information. Under the HIPAA guidelines, it also covers International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) issued by the World Health Organization, and electronic medical records.
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