Just this year, a patient’s Corona-virus test was left off her medical bill, resulting in her having to pay for the visit even though the insurer was not charging patients for visits intended to diagnose corona-virus. The nature of medical services in the United States makes faulty medical coding services costly to everyone involved, from the patient to the medical provider to the insurer.
Record of Events
Anyone who has watched Law & Order is familiar with the suspect nature of eyewitness testimony. People remember identical events differently, which is why you must rely on accurate event recording for important situations, such as a medical visit. The complicated nature of medical coding, however, makes it susceptible to outdated codes and resulting errors. Medical establishments can pursue services such as chargemaster training to shore up faulty systems, but the inaccurate recording of a medical visit can be nearly impossible to sort out, resulting in a negative financial impact on all parties involved.
Impact of Inaccurate Coding
Faulty medical coding or inaccurately coded or medical services many times result in medical bills not being paid by insurers. The impact of an insurer not paying is felt across the board by medical institutions and patients alike. Patients can dispute insurance provider decisions, yet once a patient leaves the medical office, the official record of the services provided is what was coded, and disputing that official record is difficult.
Once the burden of payment is transferred from the insurer to the patient, the patient many times suffers hardship attempting to pay for the services out-of-pocket. Patients’ inability to pay results in medical providers having to send the debt to debt collectors or sell it to debt buyers, resulting in massive write-offs and overall inflation across the board costs of medical care.
The bottom line is that an inaccurate record of services for a medical visit has a negative impact on everyone involved. Going forward, everyone can benefit from a concentrated focus on the improvement of the accuracy in this area.
Also note that coding is a skill that anyone could start learning but if you already have the basics then you can even help.