Sticker Shock—Why is OutSourcing Medical Coding So Expensive?
“If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” - Red Adair
Medical coding may not be as dangerous or exciting as extinguishing fires in oil wells, but the above quote, from firefighting pioneer, Red Adair, holds true no matter what specialized service you provide.
In short, you get what you pay for.
Outsourcing medical coding may come with what appears to be a steep price tag at first glance, but the benefits you’ll derive from co-sourcing with a quality coding partner can’t be discounted. Previously, we’ve explained why you shouldn’t be afraid of co-sourcing your medical coding operations, but what about the cost itself? When you co-source medical coding, think about the following benefits that will prove to be invaluable:
It might look like a big bargain to outsource offshore subcontractors for medical coding, but what are you really getting for your money?
This is where the ideal of co-sourcing medical coding—as opposed to outsourcing—got lost. Outsourcing your medical coding doesn't mean it's out-of-site-out-of-mind—it's all about partnership. When outsourcing your medical coding, it's important to keep a co-sourcing mindset—where it's much more about finding a partner.
If it’s sub-standard coding work you want, sure, go ahead, but if you are aiming to actually decrease risk and accurately report services for your organization and providers, you should stay a little closer to home.
Good certified medical coders are hard to find.
Happy certified medical coders may be in ever rare supply.
When you co-source with a high quality company, you’ll know the remote coders who are working directly in your EMR are highly educated and enjoy the benefits of a great corporate culture. Because you’ll get coders who are salaried and treated as professionals within an organization, they will want to work hard and go the extra mile for yours. By acting as a seamless extension of your organization, they’ll be an integral part of your team.
Psst—still looking to educate your coders? You might like our free whitepaper on HCC coding.
Here’s the thing:
we know that there just isn’t a huge pool of rock star medical coders out there banging on your door to work for your organization.
So how do you guarantee quality medical coding? Like, can you guarantee clean and accurately coded claims, that are reimbursed properly and quickly? Co-sourced medical coders have a dedicated coding educator, and internal quality auditors on staff to ensure that the coders are in the know and operating at a high standard of quality and compliance.
With a co-sourcing engagement, you’ll have the unique benefit of being able to scale up and down the specific number of medical coders you need at any given time. Another bonus is the ability to select a coder with a specific specialty expertise who will benefit your practice with little need for ramp up time. Also, when one of your coder’s leaves your practice or takes a leave of absence, it’s not your problem in recruiting and hiring a replacement, your co-sourcing partner will take care of that part.
Take a close look at your medical coder's total compensation statement. Remember to include salary and employee benefits, but don't forget the often overlooked costs of overhead, management, computers and IT resources, training, coding resource materials, continuing education costs and credential maintenance! Your co-sourcing partner takes on those additional costs and eliminates those extraneous concerns for you.
The Bottom Line
A co-sourcing engagement provides a whole team of experts bundled into the engagement beyond simply employing a coder. As was quoted above, it may be expensive to hire a professional, but you can’t compare the value of employing a happy, educated medical coder who is invested in ongoing training, quality assurance and focused on claims submitted correctly and accurately the first time.