Can Hospitals Achieve Concurrent Coding?
What is concurrent coding? How can it help with your Revenue Cycle Management?
By definition, concurrent coding is when coders are beginning to match the medical charts of patients currently in the hospital (and not yet discharged) to diagnosis codes. This process helps speed up the billing cycle and allows the medical coding team to never fall behind in coding discharged patients. Cash is king in the hospital world, and it is of the utmost importance for health systems to keep their DNFB (Discharge Not Final Billed) to a minimum.
But is concurrent coding actually attainable?
Rarely do clients outsource their coding operations to a medical coding company with an expectation to reach concurrent coding. Most hospital systems outsource their “easy” charts to offshore coding companies. They send outpatient work or inpatient charts that fit certain criteria, such as newborns or charts with a length of stay under 7 days.
But expectations of what an outsourced partner can achieve has changed. Shearwater Health creates customized solutions that not only code any chart type, but also perform the work efficiently so that hospital partners achieve concurrent coding in a relatively short amount of time.
By taking advantage of the Philippine time zone, Shearwater has a “code while they sleep” mentality that allows the hospital partner to have all their charts coded during the U.S. night shift. That means when they come in the next day the charts of all discharged patients are already coded and out the door. This allows the hospital to utilize their onshore coding staff to code those patients still in the hospital.
Benefits of Using an Outsourced Medical Coding Company to Achieve Concurrent Coding:
1. 24/7 coverage because of different time zones
2. Lower cost while keeping consistent quality with less turnover
2. Internal staff can focus on patients still in hospital
If your hospital system needs to improve cash flow and eliminate backlogs in your coding department, Shearwater can create a plan of attack for you. Our Business Excellence team coupled with our clinical coders can act quickly to prioritize the charts that are causing your DNFB to be higher than your team’s achievable goals. Contact us to learn more.