It is virtually impossible for one person to be an expert in all of the specialties. To excel at something, one must do it every day. For the very same reason, we require our neurosurgery coders to focus on a just neurosurgery coding and spine coding. Each of our certified coders has a minimum of three years of single-specialty surgical coding experience and then must pass our very demanding proficiency test in that particular surgical coding subspecialty. Unlike the basic certification tests which are largely multiple choice questions, ours are actual de-identified neurosurgical operative reports from our medical school faculty neurosurgeons. The few who pass must demonstrate an accuracy rate of at least 95% on our ongoing random Quality Assurance/Continuous Accuracy Improvement reviews in order to continue working for us. Compare this approach to quality to the majority of our competitors, both domestic and offshore in third-world countries; their business model is to offer would-be coders a vocational “trade school” experience designed to prepare them for the certification test. Once they pass, these newly certified green coders are assigned to code for you. This is the equivalent of having an intern perform brain surgery!
Many neurosurgeons will tell you that “nobody knows better than me what I did in the operating room…. so nobody can code it better than me” The first part of that sentence is correct, but does not logically lead to the correct conclusion. Coding is dynamic; does that surgeon know that just the 2010 NCCI data set includes 24,060 new active pairs and 19,083 terminated pairs (237 were terminated retroactively to 1/1/09) and 869 modifier changes, and 5,299 swapped pairs? That doesn’t even touch the thousands of annual and quarterly changes to the CPT and ICD-9 coding systems. The specialty is evolving, too. No one called themselves an “endoneurosurgeon” just a few years ago.
Precise surgical coding requires a substantial time commitment to learn the rules, edits, surgical coding regulations, and documentation requirements. Spine surgery is among the most complicated coding on the planet. Neurosurgery coding is not the intuitive experience many neurosurgeons believe it to be. Like neurosurgery, it is a career of its own.
Neurosurgery Coding Background
- Directed by a nationally known neurosurgery surgery coding expert.
- Decades of experience in neurosurgery coding for academic and private neurosurgery subspecialty practices.
- Team of certified neurosurgery coders.
Neurosurgery Coding Need
- Well trained neurosurgery coders are difficult to find, expensive to recruit, and their ongoing training can be quite costly.
- Few certified coders have the extensive neurosurgery coding experience and specialty knowledge possessed by The Coding Network’s staff of neurosurgery coding experts.
- The nature of neurosurgery involves seeing a good number of senior citizens. There is no such thing as “a second chance” after submitting Medicare and insurance claims. They must be accurate the first time. The legal and financial risks of upcoding or undervaluation are enormous. Highly compensated specialists such as neurosurgeons have historically been the targets of OIG and RAC audits.
- Neurosurgery coding includes spine surgery, among the most complex portion of the CPT codes. Spine coding presents a virtual cascade of coding complexities, including co-surgeries vs. assistant, vertebral levels, interfaces, instrumentation, endovascular repairs, intraoperative imaging, modifier, and diagnostic coding challenges.
- Coder turnover creates cash flow peaks and valleys.
- In smaller practices, full time certified coders are expensive overhead items who often fill their high-paid time with other less-challenging non-coding tasks.
Surgical Coding Solution
- The Coding Network’s neurosurgery coders are neurosurgery coding “black belts” who all live-and-work in the United States.
- 2-to-3 business day coding turnaround via overnight courier, fax, or the Internet. We can dial into your electronic medical record or transcription service’s archives.
- HIPAA/HITECH compliance and no documents are sent off-shore.
- Our per-case pricing model is inexpensive and our team of coders stabilizes cash flow. You only pay for what you need. Never worry about revenue cycle “whiplash” caused by absences, vacations, family leaves, etc.
- No monthly minimum gives you total control and keeps us “on our toes”
- Volume-driven pricing makes us an ideal ongoing solution for neurosurgery practices of all sizes.
- Our long-term clients include some of the most prestigious neurosurgery practices in the country.
- Identification and feedback of documentation deficiencies at no additional cost.
- A practical and cost-effective solution for your neurosurgical coding needs.
- No monthly minimums.
- Temporary neurosurgery coding to cover vacations, medical leaves and employee turnover.
- Backlog neurosurgery coding resolution services.
- Neurosurgery coding accuracy and compliance audits with user friendly and educational report formats.
- Documentation training services with neurosurgery subspecialty workbooks..
- Neurosurgery coding “helpline” services.
- OIG and RAC audit defense.
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