Can computer-assisted coding revolutionize care delivery?

CAC software can automate nearly 90 percent of medical coding and enable hospitals to compare actual care with best practices to increase efficiencies, report says.
By Tom Sullivan
03:15 PM
healthcare coding

Computer-assisted coding tools are showing considerable potential to improve both billing and care delivery and many hospitals are gearing up to deploy CAC software in the near future.

During the tumultuous lead-up to ICD-10, in fact, the widespread consensus was that the code set switchover would trigger widespread CAC adoption and now a new WinterGreen Research report projects that the overall market will rise to $5.1 billion by 2023.

That’s up from $2.8 billion that WinterGreen Research put the market at for 2016 and among the reasons is the tool’s ability to automate a sizable percentage of coding for billing purposes.

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“Eighty-eight percent of the coding can occur automatically without human review,” the report authors said. “Automation of process will revolutionize healthcare delivery. In addition to automating the insurance, billing, and transaction systems, streamlined care delivery is an added benefit. The ability to look at workflow and compare actual care to best practice is fundamental to automated business processes.”

WinterGreen pointed to examples such as automating the workflow of linking diagnostic data to drug prescriptions and treatment regimens as a way to increase efficiency and determine the best care plans.  

“By making more granular demarcation of diagnoses and care provided for each diagnosis, greater visibility into the care delivery system is provided,” the report said. “Greater visibility brings more ability to adapt the system to successful treatments. Once a physician can see what conditions need to be followed, and see that appropriate care has been prescribed 100 percent of the time, care delivery improves dramatically.”

The authors also said that, so far, the transition to ICD-10 has been smooth and had a positive impact on reimbursement. 

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