In healthcare outsourcing, urgent care management is a new playing field with complex regulatory issues, complicated reimbursement systems, and multiple health plans from a gamut of service providers. Amidst ever-changing regulations and overwhelming coding rules, finding the lost income that your urgent care business legitimately owes has become a daunting task.
Efficient cash flow not just helps an urgent care center with more short term financial freedom to smoothly manage day-to-day operations; it also helps overcome long term industry challenges. Improving financial processes requires a strategic mind and willingness to look beyond a neighborhood resource which may or may not have the required technical expertise.
Centers in the US are in dire need of experienced and trained medical billers and coders. There is a national shortage of medical coders, says Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-11, published by the United States Department of Labor. Another report published in June 2011 by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) states that 40 percent of respondents have said shortages are the result of a lack of qualified coders. The February 2013 issue of For The Record magazine in its Vol. 25 No. 3 P.6 writes:
‘HIM departments are not exempt from this reality. For years they have labored under an ever-worsening shortage of qualified coders, a situation that will be compounded by numerous changes looming on the horizon. And while no one can accurately predict how extensive the deficit will be, some estimates point to nationwide coder shortages as high as 30% to 50% as soon as late this year.’