Techli – Huge Demands for Medical Coders

Minnesota’s burgeoning healthcare tech scene sparks huge demand for coders

Minnesota is well-known for its robust healthcare tech scene, and now the demand for coders has reached such a high level that the University of Minnesota has launched a coding boot camp.

Last year, 98 health technology startups in Minnesota raised $420.28 million, according to an article by Modern Healthcare.

A simple job search on Indeed for “medical coding specialist” in Minnesota displays some 450 positions ready to be filled while ZipRecruiter lists over 2,000 available slots for “medical coder.”

Companies that are looking for coders include Twin Cities OrthopedicsHealth Partners, and Fairview among many others, but more on that later.

In order to meet the overwhelming demand for tech talent in Minnesota, including its burgeoning healthcare sector, the University of Minnesota is launching a coding boot camp.

Although the boot camp is not aimed specifically at healthcare tech, that’s where you will find the highest demand as evidenced by recruitment within the industry.

With demand for skilled web developers at an all-time high, University of Minnesota’s College of Continuing Education will launch a 24-week Coding Boot Camp in November 2017.

“Students who complete the program will have the skills they need to develop dynamic end-to-end web applications—and to make a great impression on prospective employers,” the university website reads.

The University of Minnesota Coding Boot Camp is offered in collaboration with Trilogy Education Services, a Continuing Education Program Manager (CEPM) that creates and manages skills-based training programs that combine market-driven technical instruction with a deep emphasis on career coaching and employer networking.

minnesota healthcare

Dan Sommer, CEO and Founder at Trilogy Education Services

“Today, more than ever before, knowing how to code is a form a literacy just like the ability to read and write, said Dan Sommer, Founder and CEO of Trilogy Education Services.

“Forward-thinking continuing education programs recognize their essential role in helping train a job-ready workforce with technical skills, and the University of Minnesota College of Continuing Education is at the forefront of this movement.”

While the University of Minnesota Coding Boot Camp will help train students to do code across industries, the healthcare sector is where big companies and startups alike are looking to hire.

Startups in Minnesota’s healthcare tech sector are receiving serious funding, including $14 million raised by Minneapolis-based Gravie last month.

Other leading healthcare startups in Minnesota that are looking for tech workers include Bright Health, who are looking for data scientists, and SherpaHealth, which was created by Element Consulting based on the need to “leverage clinical data to recognize patient risk factors and enable patient interventions with clinicians,” is looking for “Technology Solutions Integration and Migration” positions.

With big funding coming in for startups in Minnesota’s healthcare tech sector, the demand for coders is rising tremendously.

According to Modern Healthcare, “In Minnesota, about 439,300 people are employed in the healthcare industry.”

The University of Minnesota’s Coding Boot Camp is one of way of educating home-grown students to meet that demand, but it still won’t be enough to fill all the thousands positions currently available in healthcare, from well-established corporations to up-and-coming startups that are producing great work everyday in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

What is Medicare new program MACRA talks about

MACRA :

The above abbreviation stands for Medicare Access and Chip Re-Authorization Act.

Medicare keeping in mind to reduce the rising cost in delivering healthcare and in the interest of keeping patient most healthier, introduced some quality payment programmes.  By asking the top providers in the country to join this drive, has made the providers life easier, patient healthier and the rising costs reduced.  As we all are aware Medicare was paying the providers through a method namely “FFS – Fee for service”.  This service actually depends on the sustainable growth rate formula created for fixing the prices for the services provided.  Each year, the congress used to pass a bill which affected the providers remuneration to greater extent as these were based on volume and not the quality of services provided.

Quality payment programme has provided 2 ways to track the quality measures to the providers:

  1. MIPS (Merit based Incentive payment systems)
  2. APMs- Advanced Alternative payment models.

MIPS – When providers participate in MIPS they will be entitled to earn a performance based incentive.  They have laid certain criteria for certain providers, as for MIPS is concerned.  The providers must also be 1. Physician, 2. Physician assistant, 3. Nurse practitioner, 4. Clinical Nurse specialist or 5. CRNA’s.  If they are ready to participate, they have to submit the data on the quality measures undertaken, electronically, for the period Jan 1 2017 – Dec 31 2017 by March 31, 2018.  If they do not participate, then they are entitled for a negative payment retraction of 4% by Jan  1, 2019.

Not only this, Medicare has provided 3 options to choose for those providers who wish to participate for MIPS.  They could 1. select to submit a few quality measures data, 2. Partial year submission 3. Full year submission.

APM’s – When providers participate in Advanced Alternative Payment Model system, they will be entitled to earn the incentive based on the quality measures provided on the APM”s.  The participating providers should submit the data on the quality measures undertaken, electronically, for the period Jan 1 2017 – Dec 31 2017 by March 31 2018.  Through this programme, the providers are entitled for a 5% incentive.  If not, they are entitled for a negative payment adjustments by 2019.

If the providers participate in these quality measures and are successful, they could reach higher heights in terms of remuneration, patient satisfaction and in return, more business expansions can happen.  If not, their negative retraction will be higher…

How do physicians choose an outsourced medical billing provider?

The best way to choose a medical billing service is to understanding the needs of your practice. After that check the accuracy and the amount of time they take for claims filing and the collection percentage.

Accuracy, timeliness and collection percentage.

Accuracy – How accurate are the claims that are going out. Do they go to the right insurance company? Do they contain all of the information necessary for payment? Do the payments go to the right lock box or bank account? Who is responsible for errors? What kinds of reports are available? Often known as slicing and dicing, what kind of accurate reporting can the vendor supply that can help the practice with productivity, planning, forecasting, etc.

Timeliness – How quickly does the information provided by the practice get turned around? What is the process for handling claims denied for timely filing? This is usually a negotiation to determine who is at fault when this happens. Making sure these terms are fair to the client as well as the vendor is key here. How soon are reports available for the practice? (Daily, weekly, hourly) How quick is the response to questions, issues, requests. How available is the vendor?

Collection percentage – Who does claim follow up? Who works denials? Percentage of clean claims that go out? How much is collected on the billed dollar? How much work does the practice do to resolve the AR and how much is taken care of by the billing company?

These are common concerns when shopping for a billing company.

What is MACRA and MIPS?

What is MACRA?

mips-macra-next-300x200
MACRA is the Medicare Access and CHIP Re-Authorization Act. MACRA replaces the current Medicare reimbursement schedule with a new pay-for-performance program that’s focused on quality, value, and accountability. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) stated that MACRA enacts a new payment framework that rewards health care providers for giving better care instead of more service.

President Obama signed into law the Medicare Access and CHIP Re-Authorization Act (MACRA) on April 16, 2015. It passed with a 392 to 37 vote in the House of Representatives, and a 92 to 8 vote in the Senate. That bipartisanship indicates the legislative support for MACRA and the significance of the bill in U.S. healthcare reform.

MACRA combines parts of the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Value-based Payment Modifier (VBM), and the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive program into one single program called the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, or “MIPS”.

 

What is MIPS?
MIPS is the name of a new program that will determine Medicare payment adjustments and is an acronym for the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System. Using a composite performance score, eligible professionals (EPs) may receive a payment bonus, a payment penalty, or no payment adjustment.

The Composite Performance Score is based on four performance categories:

  • Quality
  • Resource use
  • Clinical practice improvement activities
  • Meaningful use of certified electronic health records (EHR) technology

Performance for MIPS will start on January 1, 2017 and will annually measure eligible providers in four performance categories to derive a “MIPS score” (0 to 100). The MIPS score can significantly impact a provider’s Medicare reimbursement in each payment year from -9% to +27% by 2022. The four performance categories are weighted:

50% for quality (PQRS/VBM)
25% for Meaningful Use
15% for clinical practice improvement
10% for resource use

The points provided for each category will shift over time to place an increasing focus on more resource use.

 

What should I be doing now to get ready?

The best way to get ready for MACRA and MIPS is to satisfy Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements and continue to work on achieving PQRS requirements. CMS has stated that providers already attesting to Meaningful Use and PQRS will likely have no net new requirements. mips-macra-next

The MIPS proposed rule is expected in the summer of 2016 and the final rule is expected in November. The final rule will determine how points are earned within each component.

How exactly is Medical Coding different from Medical Transcription?

How exactly is Medical Coding different from Medical Transcription?

The terms like Medical coding and medical transcription are often used interchangeably, despite the fact that they are somehow different from each other. Nevertheless, the these terms represent careers that are indispensable for the medical profession. All these careers need an adequate understanding of medical terminology, physiology, and anatomy.

Medical coding and transcription are interconnected professions that are pivotal for every healthcare provider. A better perception of the job description of each of those critical professions will surely help in the development of the careers which will be reflected in a better quality of the health care services offered.

 

What is Medical transcription and what are its opportunities?

Medical transcription applies to the profession which is centered on the process of conversion of audio reports recorded by physicians and other healthcare providers, such as nurses, into written or typed text format.

Medical transcriptions play a crucial factor in the healthcare industry. Medical transcribers need to have sound knowledge of medical terminology, physiology and anatomy, Medical transcribers role is to translate medical records written by doctors and other medical professionals related to this field. Medical transcribers need to have good working knowledge of computer systems and have a right level of typing skill. Medical transcribers start by working in a healthcare setting, and after several years of work experience, they may work from the house or establish their transcription businesses.

 

What is Medical coding and what are its opportunities?

Medical Coding provides codes to diagnose the procedures which assist in financial settlement from insurance companies, IT companies, government agencies and consulting firms. Medical Coding is known as insurance coding in the healthcare industry. This industry produces medical coders who specialize in coding after a comprehensive training course and a certification process. Medical coders work in different places right from Hospitals, clinics to dentists and should have information on medical terminology and physiology.

 

Major difference between Medical Transcription and Medical Coding

Medical transcription includes translating laboratory reports or other medical data as written by medical personnel. Medical coding is converting prescriptions of medical data into numeric or alphanumeric codes to assist the medical billing process. The Medical Transcriptionist assures the notes of the medical personnel are comprehensible while the coder provides that the coding needed for billing insurance organizations are entered correctly.

Why Get Certified

Whether you are brand new to the medical coding and billing field or are a seasoned coder and biller, having a medical coding and billing certification will set you apart.

NEW BATCHES

New batches start on 15th of every month. we have 15% discount for first two students who will take admission before the commencement of course.
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