More and more, hospitals are challenged to recruit, train and retain medical coders. Coding backlogs, payment delays, claims denials, compliance audits and even fines from CMS are some of the repercussions of this changing landscape.
This infographic details how three organizations are managing staffing challenges and coding overload with help from 3M’s outsourced coding services.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates medical coding jobs will increase by 13 percent from 2016 – 2026, with an additional 27,800 new medical coding jobs expected by 2026.
The demand for coders, combined with a lack of qualified candidates, have contributed to why 31 percent of healthcare leaders report staffing challenges, and why 80 percent of hospital leaders are considering revenue cycle management outsourcing.
By outsourcing their medical coding with 3M, these three organizations have successfully navigated the changing coder landscape.
Difficulty recruiting, training and retaining. High employee turnover. Scheduling conflicts. These internal issues resulted in low staff productivity, inability to handle coding volume and an opportunity to improve coding quality.
“Even when you educate from within and grow your own coders, that doesn’t mean you can keep them.” – Hospital coding director
To handle the volume of coding support needed, this organization successfully deployed outsourced facility, professional and specialty coders, as well as experienced auditors from 3M.
What benefits has the organization seen?
Changing Medicaid payment models, the ICD-10 transition and seasonal fluctuations were straining processes, causing backlog and threatening this hospital’s productivity. The hospital needed additional coding support.
However, recent state regulations prohibited overseas outsourcing. The organization either had to recruit an internal coding team or find a domestic outsourcing vendor. Two dedicated coders from 3M were assigned to code outpatient surgeries. Supplemental coding support from 3M allowed the hospital to get back on track without having to recruit, hire and then terminate temporary personnel.
What improvements has the hospital seen?
Challenges with unbilled revenue and coding quality sparked the need for an improved coding quality program. This organization recruited a new coding director through 3M’s outsourced coding services to help.
The new 3M coding director transformed operations by:
As the relationship between 3M and this organization grows, the current coding staff continues to undergo performance improvement education. 3M continues to supply outsourced staffing to help the organization reach the goal of elevating its current operations.
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