3 Billing & Coding Mistakes to Avoid

3 Billing & Coding Mistakes to Avoid

By Manhattan Institute
Posted in Medical Billing & Coding
On November 15, 2017

Medical billing & coding can be a tedious job, and it’s inevitable that you will occasionally make a billing & coding error. Knowing the most common billing errors and coding errors can help you avoid them. Read on to learn 3 billing & coding mistakes to avoid.

Not Coding To the Highest Level

It is your job to code to the highest level of specificity possible, and one of the most common coding errors is coding to a general level instead. There are many reasons this might occur including lack of knowledge or just choosing a general code for fear of rejection with the higher level of specificity.

How To Fix It: Never settle for a general code when there is a more specific code that fits better. Keep up to date on current codes so that you always have the knowledge to find the right code.

Not Being Able To Read The Provider’s Handwriting

Doctors and other healthcare providers are notorious for bad handwriting. A lot of billing and coding errors could be avoided if the provider’s handwriting was more legible.

How to Fix It: If you can’t read the provider’s notes, ask for clarification. If it is an ongoing problem, talk to your supervisor about tricks to reading his or her handwriting. If multiple coders and billers are struggling, the provider may need to switch note taking methods.

Using Outdated Code Sets

Every year, the organizations who release the three main medical coding sets (WHO for ICD, AMA for CPT, and CMS for HCPCS) update their manuals. It is your job to learn new codes and use them appropriately. Using old codes or missing reorganizations will lead to an increase in rejections.

How to Fix It: Stay up to date on current code manuals, noting any new and reorganized codes as they come out. It may be helpful to keep a post-it note with new codes where you can see them until you have them memorized.

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