Home care coding has emerged as an important part of the home health and hospice value chain. Industry regulations surrounding Medicare payments are becoming increasingly tied to how care is coded. Agencies must efficiently and accurately track operations to maximize revenue. Poor coding can lead to regulatory scrutiny, billing challenges, and financial troubles for any agency. As a result, this creates an operational climate where efficient home care coding is a major priority.
Looking at home care coding as part of the value chain
Home care coding is not just a data entry task. It requires skilled, detail-oriented professionals who can accurately translate and categorize documentation to follow ICD-10 coding regulations. A report from the Journal of AHIMA and Elsevier explained that the rapid growth in the home health sector is creating new demands for care improvements and regulatory scrutiny. This puts more pressure and demand on home care coding teams as they serve as key cogs in the revenue chain.
According to the news source, home care coding professionals are running into significant pressure due to rapidly changing regulations. Therefore, these changes force them to constantly adapt their operations. Furthermore, value-based payments are disrupting the sector. Problems with errors, fraud, and abuse are pushing regulators to take a closer look at home health and hospice operations.
As a result, there is need for significant advances in the coding sector to ease the burden facing home health and hospice workers. These advances would also streamline operations so coding doesn’t become a bottleneck. If home health and hospice agencies are becoming more dependent on coding as part of their revenue creation strategies, they must consider putting resources into improvements.
Streamlining home care coding
Home care coding is a priority across the industry. A study from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) pointed out that it will be putting an emphasis on the National Correct Coding Initiative. It will work with states to ensure they are implementing the strategy effectively. The strategy comes after the OIG recognized major problems with fraud in the industry. They are rolling out greater controls and balances to ensure payment processes are handled accurately and efficiently.
This type of pressure emphasizes the home care coding demands facing agencies. They must find and keep qualified, certified home care coders. On top of that, they need to find coders with home health and hospice experience. One way agencies can streamline their coding is by working with a third party home care coding vendor. As a result, they can focus on patient care while their coding is managed by certified experts.
How we can help
In conclusion, inaccurate coding can slow reimbursement, drain administrative resources, and result in lost revenue. Additionally, it can take your focus away from what matters most…patient care. At HEALTHCAREfirst, we serve as an extension of your home care coding team and work hard to optimize cash flow. We understand how important it is to maintain operations and we treat your revenue cycle management activities with the highest level of diligence and priority.
The HEALTHCAREfirst Difference
More agencies trust HEALTHCAREfirst with their home care coding and are confident that while they focus on patient care, our coding experts are focused on the speed and accuracy of their claims. Contact us to learn how we can help your coding efforts today!