Medical coding specialists are in high demand these days. In fact, the field is expected to grow by 13 percent by the year 2026!
The field is growing because healthcare needs are increasing. With this increase, there’s a good chance you may need to hire an extra medical coding specialist. You’ll need them to make sure your practice keeps all its documentation accurate and up-to-date.
But wait! What if you didn’t have to hire and train a new employee? What if you could provide medical coding training to your current employees?
Read on to learn more about the benefits of medical coding training for your employees and how it can help you run your practice in a more efficient way.
If you only have one person working at your office who’s in charge of medical coding and billing and they’re stretched way too thin, there’s a good chance that things are going to start slipping through the cracks.
You absolutely cannot afford for this to happen if you want to avoid lawsuits and malpractice claims and maintain your practice’s stellar reputation.
If you have extra hands on deck to handle the daily coding and billing demands, it’ll be easier for your specialists to avoid mistakes and make sure all your information stays organized and updated.
Initially, the idea of paying for extra training for your employees might not seem like a great way to save money.
In reality, though, if you invest in your employees now, you can save a lot of money later on.
It costs way more money to hire and train a new employee than it does to keep a current employee and provide them with the resources they need to take on more responsibilities.
When you cross-train your current employees so they can handle coding and billing issues, you avoid the need to find the funds for another salary and benefits package.
Maintain Consistency and Efficiency
Hiring and training a new employee isn’t just expensive. It’s also stressful.
We’ve all experienced the sense of chaos that seems to arise whenever someone new joins the office staff. It can’t be helped in a lot of cases. It simply takes new employees a while to learn the ropes and figure out how the office works.
When you cross-train employees, though, you get to avoid this awkward phase.
They already know about day-to-day office operations and how you like things handled. They won’t have a million questions or need time to adjust to the new workplace.
Keep Things Running Smoothly
Let’s say you only have one medical coding and billing specialist on your staff. What happens if they get sick, or need to take time off for a vacation or maternity leave?
You could hire someone from a temp agency to fill their place. As you know, though, that can get expensive, and it results in the awkward adjustment period mentioned above.
Instead of having to deal with bringing in a temp to fill your coding specialist’s shoes, what if you had another employee who could jump in and take over while they’re away?
Cross-training keeps your office running smoothly and prevents absences from throwing off everyone’s groove.
Promote Workplace Collaboration
When you cross-train your employees and teach them how to do another person’s job, they develop a new level of respect for that person and are more willing to work together in the future.
If you want your employees to collaborate more, cross-training is a great option to consider.
Now, obviously, cross-training has its limits — you don’t want your nurses handling coding and billing or your coders filling in as nurses.
For positions that need roughly the same skill level, though, there are a lot of benefits that come from giving people the opportunity to learn what their coworkers do on a daily basis.
Increase Employee Motivation
Finally, cross-training in medical coding and billing can be used as a tool to help keep your employees motivated.
Perhaps you can offer to cross-train as a reward to employees who are performing well and are looking for more responsibility.
Knowing that they have the opportunity to move up in the company can keep your employees focused and ensure they’re putting their best foot forward each day.
If your medical coding specialist knows that other people are being trained to help with their job, they may also be more motivated to do their best work and continue to improve their skills.
Start Experiencing the Benefits of Medical Coding Training
To reap all the benefits of providing your employees with medical coding training, you need to make sure they’re well-trained. In most cases, this means investing in a medical coding course.
It’s not ideal to saddle your one or two current coding specialists with the task of training your other employees — they’ve got jobs to do, after all.
If you’re trying to choose a particular training program for your employees, be sure to look carefully at the details of each option before you make a decision. There are lots of different programs out there, and they’re not all created equal.
Make sure you choose a program that covers the programs that your office already uses. Look for one with a low weekly time commitment, too, so your employees don’t feel overburdened by extra demands.
It’s best if you can find an accredited program that is recognized by a professional association. The American Academy of Professional Coders and the American Health Information Management Association are both trusted organizations.
Learn More Ways to Improve Your Practice Today
As you can see, there are lots of benefits that come with investing in medical coding training for your employees.
Now that you know how to go about helping them get this certification, is it something you’re interested in for your practice?
Would you like to learn about other ways to improve efficiency and manage your practice better? If so, we’ve got a variety of helpful articles available for you.
Check out the Management section of our site today. You’ll find articles here on improving morale, handling employee mental health issues in an appropriate way, and much more!