Advanced Revenue Cycle Analytics: An Overview

For many practices, it is tempting to push the coding work back onto the physicians. For some, the motivation is to ensure compliance. It makes sense; the physician is the only one in the exam room, and they are the ones whose name the claim is billed under. For others, their workflow decisions are driven by outside forces, such as government incentive programs or vendor requirements.

Regardless of the reason, placing coding tasks in the hands of your physicians is harmful for your practice. Here are four reasons why.

1. Doctors went to med school to practice medicine… not coding

That’s right. If you asked any of your physicians why he or she chose to invest such a large portion of their life into medical school, they may give you a variety of answers, but there is one answer you are guaranteed never to hear—that they went to medical school to become a coder.

You would not ask your coders to treat a patient in an exam room, so why would you ask your doctors to do advanced coding? They invested their lives into the valuable skill set of diagnosing and treating patients. Let them do what they are trained to do best.

2. Giving your doctors coding work can lead to burnout

Burnout among physicians is on the rise as a result of the increase in non-clinical tasks that they are now required to fulfill. Coding tasks are just one symptom of the larger problem that is caused by the increase in government intervention into practice workflow through Meaningful Use, ACA, ICD-10, and now MACRA.

Back in the pre EHR days, a physician could fill out a paper superbill practically in their sleep. That’s not to say that we should return to the paper superbill, but things were certainly easier on the doctors. We should be taking away as many of the non-clinical tasks from them as we can to prevent burnout and allow focus to be solely on treating their patients.

Which leads me to my next point…

3. Giving your doctors coding work steals focus from your patients

Patient care. That is why your practice exists.

And your doctors are the ones implementing that care. It is extremely important that they are able to focus their full attention in the exam room on treating the patient in front of them. That attention is divided when they have to worry about complicated coding.

4. It can hurt your revenue cycle

There’s a lot riding on correct and complete coding for your practice. Accurate coding is required to ensure that claims are paid correctly and completely, and the coding rules that each payer demands vary from payer to payer.

This is a lot of important yet complicated information to keep up with. And while your physicians are intelligent and quite capable of keeping up with all of the requirements, we have already established that their attention is going to be focused on the complicated task of treating patients. Which means that they will make coding mistakes, and these coding mistakes will lead to worse revenue cycle outcomes.

As you can see, the cons of using your doctors as coders far outweigh the pros. Leave the coding tasks to your coders and billers, and the patients, of course, to your doctors. Trust us.

This is just one tip among many to ensure that you have the most efficient strategy for your automated charge entry. Want to know more? Click below to view our upcoming on-demand webinar, the Top 5 Secrets to a Successful Charge Entry Strategy.