How Practices are Retaining Coders in Times of Shortage?

The complexity of codes, revised regulations and lack of skilled staff has led to increase in demand of experienced and certified medical coders. Considering the high demand, retaining a skilled coder has become as difficult as hiring one. Shortage of experienced coders and billers has pushed practices to take several measures in ensuring the existing staff does not quit their jobs.

Industry facts

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for medical billers and coders are expected to increase by 21% by the year 2020
Shortage of skilled coders might further increase once the ICD-10 is implemented in 2015

Framework for all the reimbursement responsibilities for a medical practice is provided by medical coders. They play a vital role in helping practices get paid for the services rendered. However, finding qualified coders has become difficult and practices are trying to offer low-stress work environment, competitive pay and flexible work timings to make sure existing coders do not quit their jobs.

Impact of Staff Turnover on Medical Practices

  • Turnover of coding and billing staff results in financial as well as qualitative effects on a practice
  • Lack of expertise leads to errors in coding and billing, causing rejected claims
  • If practices are not able to retain existing staff, claims will not be submitted on time
  • Due to reduced productivity levels, accuracy is bound to suffer

How Can Providers Retain Skilled Coders?

  • Employee retention efforts should start from the moment the employee has been hired
  • Many hospitals using EMR give coders the opportunity to work from home because the system can be accessed remotely. This has helped to retain the skilled staff who otherwise had issues with driving long distances and coming to work
  • Medical practices have had to increase wages and add perks for coders to ensure these do not affect their productivity levels
  • They should recognize their achievements regularly to give them the much required boost for working harder
  • Ensure necessary training is provided to the coders so they remain updated with the industry changes
  • Practices are helping coders take up certification courses to become better qualified to handle coding challenges
  • Grant them access to notices published by insurance companies to make them aware of the flags regarding coding or documentation
  • Many practices provide coders with trade journals too to keep them aware of the industry trend
  • Required assistance is provided for learning new reporting measures and working with practitioners to enhance their expertise offer billing solutions to practices and job opportunities to coders and billers. MBC has been helping practices deal with a shortage of skilled coders. They have a team of well-trained professionals who are constantly updated with latest coding and billing regulations. They are also trained in providing accurate solutions to healthcare providers across all the 50 states and for all medical specialties.

MBC has a job portal and a coding and billing newsletter too, that provide opportunities as well as knowledge with the aim to keep the professionals updated and trained.

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