By Cesilia Faustina
Thanks to the handy tool that is medical coding, hospitals and other healthcare institutions can easily exchange data and accurately create insurance claims and bills for patients. In fact, medical codes are extremely needed in order to successfully provide the right services.
It starts with taking a description of the disease, injury, etc. and then transforming them into numeric or alphanumeric codes to accurately describe the diagnosis. So, these symbols are very important to uphold, especially when it comes to digitalization.
As the healthcare sector is transforming into the digital age, and the rise of customers and better services are in stake, it is only natural we are witnessing a shift towards software management systems. Having everything done online is pushing greater productivity and efficiency in correlation to the rising demands; one of the main factors that pushes for this productivity is the use of medical coding, which is why medical codes play a big role for the success of healthcare management systems.
Before we get to that though, let’s start with the basics.
What is medical coding?Medical coding, according to Verywell Health, is a system consisting of numbers and letters that are unique for each diagnosis and symptoms. These codes are especially important when it comes to billing and tracking statistics. It is also especially important when looking to obtain insurance reimbursements, on top of maintaining accurate patient records.
What are the types of medical coding?So, we now know how important medical coding is, especially when it comes down to the billing process, but now time to get into the types of medical codes out there.
ICD CodesStands for International Statistical Classification of Diseases. These codes are used to classify diagnoses, symptoms and death in humans, so essentially it is a set of codes for conditions and disease, poisons, neoplasms, injuries, causes of injuries, and activities being performed when the injuries were incurred.
CPT CodesKnown as Common Procedural Codes; these codes cover a wide variety of services administered by physicians. They consist of five-character alphanumeric codes that describe medical, surgical, and diagnostic services.
DRG CodesKnown as diagnosis-related grouping codes, are only used to code inpatient claims. These codes are especially important for insurers, where most reimbursements are made based on DRG codes. Regardless of the cost of services, if they fall under the categories of insurance, then a reimbursement may be made.
HCPCS CodesThe HCPCS (Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System) consists of two levels and generally used for ambulance services, durable medical equipment, prosthetics, supplies, outpatient hospital care, chemotherapy drugs and more. They are updated quarterly.
ICF CodesThe International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health codes are used to describe the effect a disability has on a patient and how well he or she can function in an environment.
So why are these codes so important for healthcare management systems?Well, first of all, these codes are an essential part of the work process of medical institutions, as well as insurers; on top of that, they are crucial for accurate diagnosis and treatments, so to have them in any type of work system, whether manual or digital is a must.
Comprehensive and clear documentationHealthcare management systems come with comprehensive features that can help speed up the workflow of healthcare institutions. This is even more convenient by having everything digitally documented, which means it is easily accessible any time needed. Clear documentation, however, is not possible without the help of medical coding.
Flexible and customizable codingSurely, each institution might have its own specific coding or some codes that may be more relevant for them than others. This means that when implementing codes, a healthcare system should have the flexibility for users to personalize any parameters based on specific business needs.
Much simpler integrationMedical codes help ease the integration process of a healthcare software system. Most systems have integration capabilities with third parties so that it will be easier to complete the full medical service cycle. This is especially true when it comes to billing systems and insurance systems.
|How medical coding affects healthcare software|
Medical coding is mandatory to ensure a smooth healthcare workflow. It plays a crucial role in the way healthcare software works in order to digitalize the healthcare sector, so it is always important to remember the importance of keeping your codes updated and accurate.