Why Do Healthcare Organizations Struggle to Find Certified Outpatient Coders?
As the healthcare field advances, the demand for accurate and effective medical coding also increases. This is especially true in the Outpatient setting, where healthcare providers struggle to find certified Outpatient coders. According to the AMA, there’s a 30% shortage of medical coders nationwide.
“There are a few reasons why that might be,” Vanessa Youmans, Vice President of Coding Services, says. “Outpatient coding requires a deep understanding of complex coding guidelines and a wide range of specialties.”
As Youmans mentioned, one of the main reasons organizations experience difficulty finding certified Outpatient coders is the complexity of outpatient coding itself. Outpatient coding involves a wide range of services, from lab tests and imaging to physical therapy and medication management. Each service has its own set of codes and guidelines, making it challenging for coders to stay up-to-date with the latest policies.
Another reason for the shortage of certified Outpatient coders is the increased demand for Outpatient services and procedures. With more patients seeking Outpatient care, providers need more coders to keep up with the workload. However, with a limited pool of qualified coders, organizations struggle to find the needed talent. “Also, the competitive job market and the current shortage of qualified and experienced coders has led to an incredible struggle to fill coding positions,” Youmans says.
Additionally, Outpatient coders require specialized training and knowledge. This can make it difficult for facilities to train their own coders, especially when they have limited resources, budgets, and staff. Many providers are outsourcing their coding needs to consulting firms like YES that specialize in Outpatient coding.
Expert Certified Outpatient Coders: Exceeding Industry Standards
At YES, we have a team of expert Outpatient coding consultants who can provide customized solutions to meet the needs of any organization. Our consultants have extensive knowledge of the latest coding guidelines and can ensure that facilities remain compliant with all coding requirements. Additionally, we offer education and training programs for corporate coding staff to help them improve their skills and stay up-to-date with the latest coding changes.
Here are just a few examples of how YES can provide Outpatient coding solutions, gathered from Youmans:
- Coding backlog coverage: Our team is happy to assist on a temporary basis if your organization has a brief backlog, a gap in staffing, acquired a new hospital and need to hire more people, and other scenarios.
- Coding handbooks: YES can provide a centralized handbook of all facility guidelines and procedures based on interviews with management, leads, training sessions, and other staff.
- Additional Outpatient coding services: We can provide HCC reviews, denials management, audits, and so much more.
By outsourcing your coding needs to our firm, your organization can save time and money while ensuring accurate and efficient coding. Our consultants work closely with the client’s management, directors, supervisors, and other decision-makers to understand their unique needs and provide tailored solutions.
In conclusion, the shortage of certified Outpatient coders is a significant challenge for providers. However, outsourcing coding needs to consulting firms like YES can provide a solution.