By David Martin, President and CEO of VeinInnovations
Thanks to years of fictional medical dramas, just about any American can answer the question, “What is a code blue?” But how many Americans could tell you what an CPT code is?
Anyone who works as a medical coder could: CPT (Current Procedural Technology) codes are numbers assigned to every task and service a medical practitioner may provide to a patient. There are thousands of CPT codes, and they have to match the diagnosis codes or we don’t get paid. Very nice, since matching codes to diagnosis, procedures, and to one another are the biggest headaches of all when it comes to operating a medical practice. Because the codes are so complicated and must be exact in order for us to get paid, you’ve got to have at least one (probably more) medical coder on staff full time. Medical coding is the fastest growing job in America- from 2010 to 2020, medical coding employment is expected to increase by 21 percent.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the world of coding; the sheer number of acronyms for coding systems could swallow you whole. No matter how you feel about ICD-9, ICD-10, CPT and other coding regulations, they’re here to stay. I’ve written before about the importance of business when running a practice. If your practice doesn’t code correctly, you’ll see claims rejected over and over until you get it right. Without smart, detail-oriented coders, you’re not going to get paid. Take your time and hire a great coder. Your headache will shrink exponentially.