Physical therapy coding is the assigning of the corresponding codes to the health record of patients for services rendered and for billing purposes. Using the accurate codes helps ensure reimbursements from third party payers such as insurance companies and Medicare. Coders convert diagnostic and procedural data into numeric codes which allow the electronic submission and processing of claims to payers.
Physical therapy coding requires a high level of accuracy, thus attention to detail is very important. Because large amounts of money is involved, physical therapy coding is an activity that is tightly supervised and closely regulated. It is frequently subjected to rigorous audits, more so than medical transcription.
Physical therapy coding is usually done in clinics and hospitals but the current trend is now going home based. From the transcribed physical therapy documentation, coders make the conversion to the correct numerical codes. This conversion requires that coders are very familiar and knowledgeable with the medical terminology and the associated codes. Physical therapy coding demands extensive training because the coded output is crucial in the approval of claims. Oftentimes, the one who does the coding also performs the billing as well.
Because of the specialized field of physical therapy coding and its role in the management of health information, coders are in great demand. Coupled with this this specialization is the technological advances which allows physical therapy coding to be done online over the web. Just as medical transcription has found traction in home settings, physical therapy coding at home is catching on as a concept.
The current trend for private practices now is to outsource physical therapy coding to ensure accuracy thereby resulting to increased approval rates of reimbursements from payers. Outsourcing also streamlines their day to day operations thus increasing office efficiency and performance.
The complexities of physical therapy coding require expertise and specialized knowledge without which the potential for errors is very high. Millions of dollars are being lost because of errors in physical therapy coding and billing. In-house staff members have other tasks that can impede efficient physical therapy coding so the best recourse is to hire experts to take care of this very important aspect of the physical therapy business.
Outsourcing the physical therapy coding process to physical therapy billing companies will allow the business owners to focus on the other aspects of the business which they can have more control. Outsourcing companies employ the latest solutions that ensure accuracy and precision while giving a quick turnaround of the process. They also stay current on industry updates and changes. More importantly, these companies are cost effective because they make sure that claims are error-free through accurate physical therapy coding and billing.