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The Common Thread of Large Consulting Firms and Outsourced ICD-10 Coding Practices

Over the past number of years, homecare and hospice agencies have been wise in choosing to outsource ICD-10 Coding and Quality Assurance of Assessments. Internal workflow, employee expense and provider compliance has always been an issue. The outsourcing of coding overall should be both a cost savings and a quality benefit.

So where do these homecare and hospice agencies turn for help? Managing a business that is significantly dependent on success by the quality of documentation and the coding that is produced can be a challenging endeavor. Large consulting firms boast the ‘quality’ of their coding because of relying on ‘experts’ in their company to produce the codes “accurately”. In most cases an Agency may see increased revenue, but at what cost?

All these large consulting companies have common and very similar practices due to the company’s infrastructure, high advertising costs, additional software, and elevated executive salaries. Costs for all of this are typically passed on to YOU-the customer. These large and bloated national companies also have high turnover of coding staff resulting in inconsistencies of coding assignments and quality assurance practices that put the Agency at risk with compliance.

When looking for a coding resource, consider alternatives. Look for companies that align with the mission and vision of your agency and are willing to dedicate qualified staff. Your coding and quality assurance needs should be a plug-in feature that is consistent with your existing policies and communication practices. The goal is to achieve a higher level of compliance as well as minimize internal overhead. Gone are the days of agencies having the financial resources for high-cost coding or the risks of undergoing medical review from CMS.

Equating higher cost to ‘quality’ and ‘compliance’ is a fallacy. Often-times audits conducted on coding that are prepared by these large and expensive national companies find multiple and significant errors in accuracy. Don’t be blinded by “improved case-mix” or “increased HHRG”.

When looking for a reliable and fair priced coding company, consider these questions:

1. What is the turn-around time?

2. What is the volume capability of the coding company?

3. Are there volume discounts?

4. What are the credentials of coders?

5. How often are coders audited?

6. What is the cost per assessment?

7. Are there annual or monthly fees?

8. Do I have to use additional software or websites?

9. Will this save time?

Gateway offers complete and accurate coding with one of the fastest turnaround times in the industry and can easily answer the additional questions. Our business practices allow you significant savings in the cost of coding compared to others. Our quality is not surpassed by any in the industry. It is truly the goal of Gateway to maximize your profitability, efficiency, and potential!

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