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3 Ways coding automation can help a practice


Are you leaving money on the table because you aren't coding correctly?

Times are tough for physicians. A shortage of doctors, exacerbated by the pandemic, has led to a higher patient-to-physician ratio. More patients equals more administrative work for doctors. This translates into less time to see patients and more stress on physicians. And it often leads to increased coding or documentation mistakes that cut into a practice’s bottom line. How can practices improve the situation? Coding automation may be the answer.

You may think that coding automation primarily impacts coders. While that is partially true, the technology has far-reaching effects on practices and a direct impact on the health and happiness of physicians. How is this possible? It all starts with a doctor's administrative duties.

According to one study, 58% of physicians list administrative duties as the number one cause of burnout. How bad is it? Research published in 2022 found that primary care physicians would need to spend 2.6 to 3.2 hours per day on documentation and inbox management to provide guideline-recommended care for a panel of 2,500 patients. These administrative burdens have a negative impact on physicians' well-being and effectiveness – contributing to frustration, work-life imbalance, and reduced productivity.

Coding automation can help alleviate this burden. Not only does the AI technology free physicians from spending time on coding, it also improves the quality and velocity of the revenue cycle for the practice, flagging incomplete or missing documentation earlier for staff to correct. This more efficient approach results in more accurate coding and revenue capture, as well as more time for physicians to spend with patients.

3 examples of how coding automation ensures proper revenue capture in primary care

As AI coding is more comprehensive and specific than its human counterpart, it helps practices obtain appropriate reimbursement for all their work. Below are some real-life, common examples of how this benefit manifests in primary care practices.

Though physicians may be busier than ever, coding automation provides a smarter way to reduce their administrative burden while simultaneously improving revenue capture. For practices struggling to keep up with patient demand and billing, AI coding may be just what the doctor ordered.

Taylor (Ross) Webster is Head of Coding Quality at Fathom, a health technology company that uses deep learning AI to automate medical coding across specialties and practices. At Fathom, Taylor leads coding quality and verification, working cross-functionally with customer success, engineering, and product development to support healthcare organizations through onboarding, production, and ongoing quality assurance. She also manages strategic analysis, client analytics, and reporting.

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