Recently few changes have influenced the medical coding and billing industry significantly. Let’s discuss these changes and how they might affect 2022.
Adding COVID-19 Codes
The pandemic and its effects compelled the healthcare industry to make some changes in their system, to handle the situation. Some codes had to be added for streamlining and following the procedures, medical tests for COVID detection, treatment, and immunization linked to it. In 2022 these changes will be an important part of the medical billing system.
Shift to New ICD Systems
The medical billing industry has already made a major shift to ICD-10 from ICD-9. The International Classification of Diseases, or ICD, is a global system used to classify and code symptoms, diseases, and medical procedures. However, ICD-10 was implemented for reporting mortality in 1999, recently it was implemented by billing services quote and insurance companies. The new system makes room for more than 140,000 new diagnostic codes and procedures.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has already endorsed the usage of ICD-11 from January 2022. Thus, the new system will come with more changes and for that, all professionals need to be trained to keep up with the new codes, rules, etc.
Replacing Medicare Physician Fee Schedule
Reimbursements and fee schedules in the future will be changing. This major change enacted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2021, is one of the first implemented in more than 10 years. This will compel professionals to get additional training to keep following the new changes.
Automation has efficiently boosted productivity for various professionals through processes like automated appointment reminders, online scheduling, or patient check-ins. It has proved to be a blessing in the healthcare industry by helping to reduce physician fatigue, increasing accuracy, and streamlining workflow. Besides saving time, automation has also helped in reducing delays and denials during reimbursements.
The next year and the future look promising on automation. It can provide more thorough documentation and completion of tasks in less time.
The growing use of Artificial Intelligence
Like other industries, healthcare has also adopted machine learning as its part. AI has helped to cut costs and increase patient satisfaction by integrating billing workflows and creating a working lineup for claim re-submissions. It has also been used to rectify and verify the demographic information of patients and modify billing statement releases.
It’s a myth that Artificial Intelligence being a part of Computer-Assisted coding will diminish human jobs. But it has been proven that without the help of a professional human coder the software has not been much accurate. The technology is ideally designed to boost the capabilities and increase the productivity of medical billing professionals.
Aligning EHR Software
Almost 86% of office-based physicians already use the EHR software because of many proven advantages. It confirms robust reporting and helps perform digital payment processing via patient portals. It also helps in decreasing the need to photocopy each billing sheet, using cleaner claims to reduce coding errors, accessing data from a single location, and keeping manually filling forms at the minimum.
Changes in Medical Billing Industry Statistics and Outlook
- Patients have become more aware of their payment responsibilities and generally want to know their bills upfront considering the growth of electronic payments.
- Traditional medical billing may delay the collection process by as much as 30 days. The industry is coming up with new payment models such as Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) which can help manage patient payments easily and streamline the whole process.
- According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, employment in the field of medical billing is expected to grow by 8% on a national level in 10 years, from 2019 to 2029.
- Family healthcare insurance plans have moved to a higher-deductible model and consumers will be able to use their Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) for covering the costs.
Other upcoming changes in 2022
- For better medical access to U.S. residents, CMS has come up with a few provisions related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) coming into effect in 2022.
- The No Surprise Act coming in 2022 for Americans will make health providers treat out-of-network services as in-network services, except ground ambulance transportation.
- The European Commission has proposed an AI-based framework for Europe, which might be the first legal framework and might come into effect in 2022.
Despite that, selecting the proper code and accuracy continues to be challenging in this constantly evolving field. It is essential for efficient working of bill payments and preventing fraud at the same time. Educating all the professionals intermittently about billing system changes, insurance regulations, Medicare policies, and medical privacy laws.
Outsourcing Medical Billing Services
Outsourcing medical billing to another company helps providers focus more on patients, increase productivity, and reduce fatigue. It enables providers to allocate their resources in other aspects of their business. Outsourcing help businesses lessen their burden as they take care of all aspects of revenue cycle management, manage the accounts receivable, and timely submission of claims for reimbursements. Zee Medical Billing Services can help you with all your needs.