Tips for Making Your Medical Coding Process More Efficient

Tips for Making Your Medical Coding Process More Efficient

Medical coding requires efficiency, accuracy, and timeliness. Without these three qualities, insurance rejection rates will soar. A mismatched code, an outdated patient information, or a late submission can make health insurers say NO. When that happens, everyone takes a blow. Patients, doctors and medical facilities don’t get the funding they need.

 Medical coding is a crucial process. Even though it operates in the background, its impact is substantial.

 Here are tips on how to make the medical coding process more efficient:

 Work with a Trained Staff

CDT, HCPCS, ICD, DSN, HL7.

 An average joe would ask, “What do these letters stand for?” But to medical coders these acronyms would feel like a second language — familiar, comprehensible, clear. They know the words and what it means. Not only that, they can make sense out of doctors’ notes and procedures. They who know the difference between “acute” and “chronic”; a CT scan and an MRI; a diagnosis and a prognosis.

 Having a medical coding staff that’s well-versed with terminologies, codes, and the entire claims process will expedite the coding operations.

 Embrace Technology

Medical coding calls for high attention to detail and patience. Lots of it. On top of that, medical coding deals with varying billing procedures and different coding systems. It’s a painstaking process, and without technology, the progress will crawl at a snail’s pace.

 Cutting-edge software that adapts to the medical and health insurance industries is a must to speed things up.

 Analyze Rejected and Denied Claims

Keep this in mind: Every failed claim is an opportunity to improve.

 Rejected and denied claims provide valuable business intelligence, showing you the areas for improvement and the processes to streamline.

 So, set aside time to look into reports. Study them and find out what went wrong. Compare approved claims vs denied ones. Trends and patterns often emerge, giving insights on how to strategize for higher approval rates.

 Strive for a Complete and Updated Patient Database

A wrong address, a misspelled name, and an inactive phone number can stretch out the coding and claim filing process unnecessarily.

 Right off the bat, make sure all relevant patient information are documented accurately. Take the complete name; double check the phone number; verify the address; know the birth date; collect the Social Security number. When it comes to patient information, don’t save it for later. Stay on top of it and keep it updated.

 Consider Medical Coding Outsourcing

Medical coding requires manpower, premium software, and ongoing staff training. Do you have the time or the resources for it? Think about it. Having it in-house is a costly exercise.

 But if you choose to outsource, you’ll have what you need, all bundled up in a reasonably priced package. Flexibility is an add-on, too. You’ll have more time to focus on core processes like patient care. More importantly, ROI is guaranteed.

 StraightSource specializes in Healthcare BPO. Our processes our HIPAA compliant and we have modern systems in place. Our outsourcing solutions will give your business the push it needs.

US Outsourcing Talent: It’s There But it’s Scarce

Think of your business as a machine made up of cogwheels, shafts, and chains. Each part has a specific function but all of them are working together to be highly efficient. If one part goes missing or damaged, the machine malfunctions and it ceases to produce the output you desire.

 In reality, these machine elements are your employees, each having their own role to play. If one employee is not the right fit or if there’s a void to be filled, your business will feel the strain. It will slow down and might even come to a halt.

 That’s why it’s important to have the right people on your team.

 Unfortunately, finding the right people is not as easy anymore. High-skilled talent is scarce and businesses in the US, whether big or small, are struggling. Wondering why it’s happening? Here are the two major factors that contribute to the scarcity of high-skilled talent in the US:

 Improved Economy

Shocker, right? An improved economy is a good thing. Actually it’s not just good, it’s wonderful, fantastic, and amazing. You can describe it with all the positive adjectives you can think of.

 But it has a “side-effect” businesses must deal with. A good economy creates jobs, lots of it. It lowers unemployment but it also widens the skills gap. As a result, talent shortage ensues.

 Retiring Professionals

It’s not easy to replace retiring professionals. When they say goodbye to the workforce, they take with them a vast amount of knowledge and a superior set of skills honed over the years. No fresh talent can compare to that.

 Due to the talent shortage, pressure shifts towards the employers. Finding the right person for the job becomes a competition. Supply is low so the demand increases. Employers feel the need to amp up their offers and hiring packages. For job seekers, it’s incredible. But for employers, especially those who own small to medium size businesses, it can be a challenge.

 Now, how can SMEs compete with the big ones who have far thicker profit margins?

 The answer is: They shouldn’t. Why compete if there’s an alternative solution?

 If talent is scarce here in the United States, go seek a “greener” pasture. Talent overflows in other parts of the world. Tapping into it is a matter of finding the BPO partner you can rely on.

 Outsourcing is your answer to finding high-skilled talent in a cost-effective manner. If you have doubts with integrating a virtual team member into your business, put them aside. Today’s technology makes it possible for you to connect seamlessly. They may not be physically present in your office but the contribution they’ll bring to your business will be remarkable.

In addition, outsourcing saves you from the trouble of headhunting, administration and management. Your BPO partner will take that out of your hands.

 With outsourcing, you don’t only find the “best fit” for your business but you also get “add-ons” that will save you time, effort, and money. Get in touch with Straightsource now and let the the number one provider of Global Outsourcing Solutions connect you with the talent you need.

A Guide on How to Evaluate an Outsourcing Provider

Savings, time, flexibility. These are the three big rewards of outsourcing. However, you’ll only experience the full benefits if you choose your outsourcing provider correctly. Choosing poorly can spell a massive headache for your business. To ensure that outsourcing improves your operations instead of causing a backlash, you have to start it right.

Here’s how you should evaluate outsourcing providers:

Do Your Research

Before even reaching out to the outsourcing provider you have your eye on, research first. Learn as much as you can about them on your own.

Go through their website. Know about the scope of the services they offer. Pay special attention on how they present themselves as a business. Also, don’t skip their social media accounts. Get a feel of their online presence. A strong one often indicates authority in their field.

Knowing who they are will give you insights and help you figure out the questions you should ask once you meet up with them face to face.

Ask the Hard Questions

Keep this in mind: Outsourcing providers, just like any business you try to work with, will “sell” themselves to you. They’ll tell you all the ‘good stuff’. But what you need are straightforward answers regarding their framework. Don’t skirt around topics such as:

  • Their access to technology and the infrastructure they have in place
  • Your control over the outsourcing team you’ll have if you decide to work with them
  • Communication flow and process
  • Measures for data security and risk management
  • Management and support approach
  • Costs

Play Out What-If Scenarios

In an ideal world, all ventures go according to plan. In reality, it’s not often the case.

Anticipate issues you think you might encounter and play out it with the outsourcing provider. Questions like ‘What if you’ll need more people?’, ‘What if you decide to terminate the service?’,’What if your outsourced team need re-training?’. Based on their responses, you’ll be able to gauge if they are the right partner for you.

Look into their Track Record and Experience

Take the time to go through their case studies and ask for referrals. Get to know the outsourcing provider through their past and present clients. Pick up on how they deal with clients and the quality of solutions they provide.

Test them Out

When you buy a car, you do a test drive, right?

Like buying a car, outsourcing is also an investment. Testing the waters before fully immersing yourself is a wise decision. If possible, engage the outsourcing provider on a “trial period.” Test them out with a few tasks and evaluate their response and work quality. It will give you a glimpse of how they are in action.

Choose an outsourcing partner that’s worth your investment. They should be able to provide efficient solutions to the needs of your business. But more importantly, they should embody the values you also stand for.

If you’ve been searching for an outsourcing partner but couldn’t seem to find the right fit, give Straightsource a chance. Our commitment is 100% all the time.

Keys to Managing your BPO Partner

Think of the word “partnership”. What makes it stand out from other relationships out there? Partners have mutual interests, common goals, and more importantly, shared success. The victory of one is also the victory of the other. If one profits, the other also gains. If one fails, the other also loses. That’s how it is when you work with a BPO provider. A partnership.

Some business leaders think that by hiring a Business Process Outsourcing company, you will have that service off of your plate. While working with a BPO makes your life easier, engaging the services of a BPO provider is not a set-and-forget deal. Your work as a ‘partner’ begins even before you sign the contract. It starts the moment you make a decision to work with the BPO provider you’ve chosen.

Here are the top tips on how to manage your BPO provider:

Understand Your BPO Contract

Before validating the contract with your signature, understand EVERYTHING written on those pages.

Surely, there must have been discussions prior to the final draft, but still, you should go over all points and stipulations first before signing. By doing so, both parties know what’s expected from each other right from the start and a smooth relationship flow is likely to follow.

Prepare Your In-House Team to Work with the BPO

Outsourcing will have an impact on your day-to-day operations and most especially, to your in-house team. As a business leader, the decision to outsource is yours. But, you will not be the only one working with your outsourced team once it’s up and running. Your in-house team will also have to make room and adjust to the new system.

Outsourcing will bring a positive change to your business. However, it is still change. So, work with your in-house people and make sure they’ll also embrace the change as you do and handle objections up front.

Communicate Regulary

As in every partnership, it’s success depends upon regular and two-way communication. Keep the communication channels between you and your outsourcing provider open. Be upfront about the challenges you encounter and issues you foresee, providing real time feedback along the way. Listen to their input and always strive for win-win solutions.

In addition, schedule meetings to touch base and chat about how things are going. Aside from helping you stay updated on what’s happening, regular catch ups will boost your working relationship with your BPO provider.

Let Your BPO Provider Do Their Job

Sometimes, situations may arise and you’d like it handled your way. And that’s alright. Everyone wants to do the best for everybody. However, there are cases where you’ll need to step back and let your BPO provider perform the service you hired them to do.

For instance, a member of your outsourced team needs to be performance managed. It’s important to remember that the team member is employed by your BPO, not by you. The best course of action is to sit back and let their leadership set their performance management protocols in motion.

Know when to let your BPO provider take the lead when dealing with internal issues. Just like you, they have rules and policies within their business to follow. They are the experts in their field, while you are the expert of your business. Together, you can create a lasting and productive relationship.

With Straightsource, you’ll have a partner you can trust. Contact us to get started.

BPO Then and Now – History and Growth

BPO Then and Now: A Look at its History and Growth

Can you imagine the BPO industry without computers and the Internet? It’s a silly thought, right? Where would BPO be without the interconnected networks that span across two or more countries? Outsourcing is about people and businesses that are geographically apart but are brought together by a powerful technology that makes human and data communication possible in real time.

But, would you believe that BPO used to work sans the technology we know today? YES! Before the Internet became a “thing”, sourcing out operations already existed but it in a very different way.

The Old BPO

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) then was largely associated with the manufacturing industry. The “BP” or business process that was “outsourced” are huge segments of a company’s supply chain, often involving raw materials, production, and distribution of goods and services.

A great example of how BPO worked before is Coca-Cola.

Before Coca-Cola or “Coke” became a global brand, it was ours first. Starting in the late 1880s, Coke made its way into the American market, rising to popularity over time. After roughly three decades, Coke decided to “outsource”. In 1921, Coke teamed up with a local corporation in the Philippines, establishing their first international bottler in the process.

By “outsourcing” their manufacturing operations in the Philippines, Coke did not only save costs but it has also secured a strong presence in the Asia Pacific region.

Early Stages

Now, fast forward to the late 1990s upto the early 2000s. The Internet may not be as good as it is today, but it has allowed the BPO we know to take shape and form. Still centered around cost effectiveness, more and more companies are entrusting their non-core business functions to outsourcing partners in countries like India, China and the Philippines. The number of call centers and back office support companies grew. As a result, businesses gained flexibility, allowing their main office staff to focus on vital core processes.

Business Process Outsourcing in the Present

Today, the BPO industry has definitely gained solid traction. Some even go as far as saying it has undergone a revolution.  Over the years, the BPO industry has proven it has more to offer than being just an economic strategy.

For instance, outsourcing is no longer limited to back office and support jobs such as contact centers. With the right systems and the right people, having offshore teams with high level of expertise and specialization is possible. Therefore, companies can outsource even their core business functions.

And it’s already happening now.

KPO, which stands for Knowledge Process Outsourcing, is a subset of BPO that refers to outsourcing integral business functions and working with offshore teams that have an advanced degree of analytical and technical skills.

The industry has grown exponentially since the 1990s. It has opened doors all over the world, benefiting not only the companies that outsource but also the people who openly embraced the opportunity to work with foreign businesses right in their homeland. For both parties, the advantages are undeniable. BPO has gained global acceptance, and without a doubt, it is here to stay.

So, if you haven’t tapped into outsourcing’s potential yet, don’t get left behind. Work with Straightsource and give your business the flexibility it needs. We offer over 44 business services to help you maximize your budget, headcount and resources.

Outsource Mortgage Services to Free Up More Resources Within Your Business

Real estate is often described as a roller coaster and, consequently, the mortgage industry is along for the ride. But despite its ups and downs, this industry is here to stay.

However, just like real estate brokers who have to cope with the ever-changing market trends, mortgage companies have to adapt as well. They have their own set of challenges to face and their own roller coaster ride to survive. It’s not always easy to keep up, and stay compliant.

Outsourcing mortgage processes can help tremendously. Besides saving you from the humdrum and detail-oriented aspect of mortgage processing, it can give you the following advantages:

Higher Accuracy, Better Efficiency

Streamlining processes and having a uniform approach towards mortgage-related scenarios are possible when you have a dedicated team. Your outsourced staff  is focused on nothing but your mortgage processes and as a result, they become experts. Although the goal is not to have a set-and-forget team, they can function independently for the most part.

Systematic Monitoring and Follow Up

Collecting payments is often a tricky process. Think about the countless notifications and reminders you’d have to send out. Having a focused team can ensure that payments are monitored and documented accurately. In case of delinquency, protocols will be set in motion and you will be notified without delay.

Reduced Cost

When you outsource, you’ll get the same quality of work at a lesser price. Your outsourced team will be trained based on your mortgage processes. They’ll carry out your systems the way you want them to. In addition, there’s no need to worry about staffing and performance control. Your outsourcing partner will take care of it for you.

Increased Customer Satisfaction

Meeting customers’ expectations is good but exceeding them is the goal. With an outsourced team, you can expect faster turnaround rates, quicker resolutions, and better interaction. Because your team’s sole focus is working with your borrowers and their mortgage, they can take a more proactive approach with customers.

Use of Up-to-Date Tools and Infrastructure

Aside from having experienced and trained people, you get access to up-to-date and well-maintained infrastructure and tools, a technological advantage already integrated into the outsourcing service you pay for.

Internal Process Realignment

Mortgage processes, although crucial, are downright painstaking. But once you outsource it, you gain back resources within your internal team. You can reallocate these resources  — time, funds, and workforce — to other areas such as research, marketing, and administration. In return, you strengthen the core of your business, becoming more efficient in the process.

Mortgage operations are tedious by nature and accuracy is absolutely critical. From approval to redemption, there are numerous big and small steps in between. Going through them requires effort, money, and most importantly huge amounts of time that could be directed towards attracting more clients and strategizing on how to work with the current state of the market. You need a reliable partner to do the heavy lifting.

Call Center Outsourcing

A Cost-Effective Solution without Sacrificing Customer Service Quality

Business thrives because of customers. They serve as the lifeblood that drives business towards stability, progress, and profit. In other words, success. Taking care of them should be a top priority, and having a call center is an excellent way to keep them happy and satisfied. However, cost is a huge consideration when setting up a call center. On one hand, you want to deliver effective customer support but on the other, you want to keep expenditures low. Fortunately, there’s an answer to it: Call Center Outsourcing.

Moving your call center to a country where your dollar can return more value is the most practical solution. Aside from allowing you to save money on call center operations, quality isn’t sacrificed. In addition, it delivers other benefits your business can capitalize on:

Below are the biggest benefits of call center outsourcing:

Specialized Team

When you outsource, you get a team of trained individuals who are not only knowledgeable about your company’s product and services, but are skilled in handling different types of customers. In reality  customers often call to complain or raise an issue. For this reason, soft-skills are necessary. You need people adept in handling possibly irate customers while providing solutions at the same time.

Management Support

Imagine having your call center in-house. Staffing, training, and people management becomes your responsibility. But when you outsource, these will be taken out of your hands. If something goes awry, you have people to fix the problem for you. As a result, you can keep your focus on the most important thing which is running your business.

Call Center OutsourcingAccess to Infrastructure and Technology

Reputable call center companies come with high-grade Internet, up-to-date software, and top-of-the-line communication hardware, tools that will cost you an arm and leg if you choose to purchase yourself. When you team up with one, these tools are at your disposal and you’re paying only a fraction of the cost.

Room for Growth and Flexibility

Let’s say you want to start small. A team of 10 perhaps. But later on, your needs will change. As your business grows, your need for customer support will grow too. A call center company has the flexibility, as well as the capacity, to accommodate your needs.

Data Gathering, Management, and Analysis

Knowledge is power. Who can give it to you better than your customers themselves? All calls and customer feedback are transformed into quantifiable and qualifiable data. Through analysis, you’ll be able to point out which areas are doing well and which ones you should take action on. This allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of your business. You’ll be able to improve, tie loose ends, and boost customer satisfaction.

American business author Michael LeBoeuf once said, “A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” It sounds simple, but the road to achieving 100% customer satisfaction is paved with smart choices. If you’re thinking of having a call center – outsource. You’ll get all the benefits of an in-house call-center at a lower cost.

At StraightSource, we help you find the right solutions to fit your business and your budget.

What is BPO (Business Process Outsourcing)?

What is BPO?

BPO or Business Process Outsourcing is when a company hires a third party company to perform functional business processes. In most cases, a BPO company is specialized in one or more functions, such as accounting, call center management, recruitment, human resources and more. Some are even more specialized towards a particular industry, such as mortgage process outsourcing, medical coding or medical recruitment.

When a company hires a resource outside of their country, it is called offshore outsourcing, while if it’s a neighboring country, it is nearshore outsourcing.

Business Process Outsourcing first became known as a manufacturing solution, whereby companies would hire factories to perform manufacturing services in a variety of industries, from automotive, to clothing, to electronics and more. In recent years, those solutions have expanded to solve many different business functions in many industries. Additionally, information technology outsourcing (ITO) has grown, especially in India.

With the advancement in technology, the world has truly become a global economy. The countries which are the biggest players in BPO include India, the Philippines and China. There has also been growth in Eastern Europe and Africa in recent years.

In 2017, the outsourcing industry equaled approximately US$88.9 billion, with ITO earning the majority at US$64.3 billion.

There are many reasons why companies decide to go the BPO route. Some of the reasons include:

  1. Streamline repetitive and low skill processes to save money that can be spent on higher level initiatives and talent.
  2. Quickly fill a gap where there is a lack of talent, equipment or technology to perform current functions or fulfill new industry requirements.
  3. Manage headcount for better financial reporting.
  4. Manage budget and overhead during high growth or business lows.

In certain regions, such as Silicon Valley in California, finding technology talent is a constant struggle. While much of the international technological education takes place in top universities in the U.S., many graduates take their education back to their home countries where they hope to improve the lives of their families. Getting work visas in the U.S. has been a continuous struggle for many top graduates and those hoping to immigrate to the U.S. It is also a long, expensive ordeal, and can usually only be done by a sponsoring company willing to foot the legal expenses.

With the talent returning to their countries of origin, the talent gets spread across the globe. A smart BPO company will hire this talent in teams in their countries, and provide these services to U.S. companies.

But it’s not just large corporations which utilize Business Process Outsourcing. Small businesses and start-ups also enjoy the affordability of outsourcing, as well as the flexibility it offers.  Consider a small mortgage operation who requires back office support and mortgage processing. Their loan officers can focus on the customer while the mortgage process outsourcing company focuses on the transaction.

If your company is considering BPO for one or many functions, carefully consider the organization before you sign any contracts. Not every BPO is the same, and not all of them will make the ideal partner for you. No savings in the world can make up for a company that fails you or your customers or eats up a lot of your time to manage them.

At StraightSource, we provide you with top quality service for over 45 different business functions. We work with YOU to determine what you need and what solutions will benefit you the most for the best price.

Sources

https://www.statista.com/statistics/189800/global-outsourcing-industry-revenue-by-service-type/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_process_outsourcing#cite_note-almanac-27