There is a strong relation between medical billing and HIPAA as coding and billing specialists have to deal with sensitive patient information on a daily basis. They are required to handle, patient, provider and insurance information that should be kept secure and confidential. Coders and billers are also responsible for ensuring secure electronic and physical transfer of sensitive data between these parties. If they make errors in this procedure, it can lead to federal investigations. Therefore, providers need to streamline their medical billing process in order to avoid HIPAA violations.
Medical billing specialists should adhere to federal healthcare laws and regulations if they don’t want to get into legal hassles. In order to implement Electronic Healthcare System by the end of 2015, providers will have to let go of paper claim forms and handle electronic transactions. However, to do so, they will have to meet the privacy and security standards required by HIPAA.
- With electronic data transfer, all information related to patients finds its way into data files. If providers don’t maintain high standards of security, confidential patient information can reach wrong hands
- Providers will also have to create a compliance implementation plan and keep tracking the progress of the plan on a constant basis
- A staff should be assigned the work of ensuring that computers are password protected and sensitive areas are secure
- Coders should stay updated about Medicare policies, including compliance issues. They should act as the best resource for staying abreast compliance regulations
As a provider, you need to understand the importance of hiring coders and billers who are not only skilled in billing but also have extensive knowledge of medical terms, anatomy, computer skills and above all, knowledge of HIPAA regulations. If the billers and coders are not certified or experienced, it creates room for errors and HIPAA violations.
The role of coding and billing in today’s healthcare industry cannot be denied. Unless you have skilled staff, mistakes caused in billing and coding can slow down claim submission, causing delays in payment and data breaches. Such errors will not only prove to be costly for your practice but also affect your reputation among patients.
How to streamline your billing procedure?
Today, medical practices lack the time, money and resources to streamline billing tasks, comply with HIPAA, strengthen financial performance or enhance the quality of patient care. However, outsourcing has proved to be a boon for such providers who don’t want to give up their practice due to pressure caused by healthcare reforms.
Medicalbillersandcoders.com is the largest consortium of billers and coders in the US, offering effective HIPAA-compliant medical billing to practices. Our team performs medical billing operations, keeping your patient information confidential and secure. MBC works with the aim to help practices eliminate the pain of hiring or training coders and billers, implementing EHRs and complying with HIPAA and other reforms. While we handle your medical billing requirements, you can concentrate on offering quality patient care.