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12 Reasons Outsourcing is Better Than In-House Coding

Every home health agency must make the choice between staffing their medical coders in-house or outsourcing their coding to a 3rd party provider. Often, there is a natural tendency to do everything we possibly can ourselves.The underlying assumption being that in-house will cost a lot less. In the case of coding, however, outsourcing is typically the more cost-effective option, and has many other “side” benefits.

Reasons For Outsourcing

The most important reasons why outsourcing your coding is better than trying to accomplish this task in-house are:

  1. All coding is done by certified home health and hospice coders who are specially trained to code for homecare services. This differs significantly from physician office or hospital coding and will boost your reimbursement rates.
  2. The complexities of ICD-10 will not slow down nor trip up coders who spend all day every day doing nothing but coding. With 5 to 10 years of coding experience, professional coders have the needed skills for any size organization.
  3. Many outsource packages also include monthly feedback reports.These give points of reference used to measure your coding progress and identify clinicians needing more documentation training. Also, advise on how to improve efficiency will be only a phone call away. For an initial coding self-assessment, take advantage of these CMS resources.
  4. With outsourcing, clinicians can receive additional education through webinars and/or on-site training. Incomplete documentation guarantees inadequate coding, so both precise and detailed notes are critical.
  5. Overworked managers and clinicians will not be burdened with coding duties when you outsource. And they won’t be distracted from doing what they do best – providing care to clients.
  6. As claims will be submitted faster and always correctly the first time, you won’t experience cash flow back up. Nor will time be wasted on unnecessary re-submissions.
  7. Clients who outsource report a a 29-48% increase in case-mix weight and reimbursement rates. Don’t leave the money you earned on the table!
  8. You will always reach the minimum required OASIS integrity score of 70%, and typically, your score will be even higher.
  9. Your 60-day re-certifications will be complete and accepted quickly the first time. Professional coders will assist with processes to ensure correct documentation is available from clinicians and physicians before submission.
  10. Your clinicians will have assistance in keeping your diagnosis sequencing “on the same page” with other providers, such as physicians, hospitals, and nursing homes.
  11. CMS will issue ICD-10 updates and helpful tools from time to time. With outsourcing, these changes will be implemented immediately and you will never get out of date.
  12. No more worries about who will code if your in-house coder gets sick, goes on vacation, or suddenly leaves for another career path. With outsourcing, there are no troublesome coding gaps or delays causing stress to your bottom line.

Outsourcing and Your Bottom Line

We have presented a dozen excellent reasons why your organization should prefer outsourcing to in-house coding. But the bottom line is, well, the bottom line. Outsourcing surpasses the litmus test, of decreasing days to RAP and a better cash flow, with flying colors.

For more information about the benefits of outsourcing your coding or to get started, contact us or call Kenyon HomeCare Consulting at 206-721-5091 today.

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