It doesn’t take an industry expert to know that healthcare is changing faster than many can keep up with. Every day, new breakthroughs and tests mean new elements for coders to document. With the medical coding field growing more than twice as fast as the national average and no end in sight, coders may soon need to rely on the help of artificial intelligence to complete their daily workload.
In particular, the recent shift to ICD-10 may have dropped coder productivity from 20-25 completed accounts per day to as few as 10-12. With many hospitals in particular still scrambling to fill the void left by coders who transferred or retired before the 2015 transition, many are turning to new means of upping productivity.
Enter artificial intelligence, such as the Computer-Assisted Coding (CAC) software from Artificial Medical Intelligence. Though still far from the point of being able to analyze and code a patient’s chart by itself, this program serves as an invaluable assistant to human coders. If the CAC software detects a possible discrepancy, it flags the issue while the coder is still working, allowing him or her to address the potential problems before submitting the account. This real-time analysis not only improves coder accuracy by allowing them to fix minor oversights right away, it also speeds up the entire submission process by eliminating the chance of having to wait for auditors to bring up the error long after the fact.
Better still, these artificial intelligence programs can often be adjusted to fit the exact needs of a facility. For example, the algorithm can be adjusted so that the CAC software only calls attention to issues that have a high chance of being incorrect. If a hospital is busy and isn’t concerned with errors that only have a 3% chance of causing a problem, they can choose for the program to skip over these minor warnings. Alternatively, the software can be set to only flag discrepancies that would result in additional reimbursement larger than a set amount.
The bigger the healthcare industry becomes, the greater the need for aid from outside sources such as artificial intelligence. Though the days of computer programs running facilities alone are far in the future, current software can make all the difference is maintaining a quick and efficient workflow.