ACE Alert: Computer-Assisted Coding – Wave of the Future?

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Computer-Assisted Coding – Wave of the Future?

What exactly is computer-assisted coding (CAC)? It is the use of software that auto generates a set of medical codes for review and validation based on clinical documentation provided by healthcare practitioners.

Some administrators may think that it will eliminate a coder’s position, however, coding is extremely complex, and a coder’s role may in fact change when using a CAC system. The reality is that while CAC is excellent at analyzing keywords and suggested codes, human intervention is still a necessity. By implementing a CAC a coder’s role may be reassigned to ensure the suggested codes from the CAC are valid and appropriate for the encounter. 

Coders understand the general guidelines of code assignment and also have the knowledge to make sure the documentation is supported for the final code assignment. The CAC is really a tool to help coders perform their job better. This can be a useful tool in teaching coders with the suggested codes provided by the CAC. The tool can also be used to ensure there are no missed or overlooked procedures.  An AHIMA study indicated that coders that used a computer-assisted coding system (CACS) spent 22% less time on code assignment than coders who didn’t use a CACS. 

As always any successful implementation comes down to three things: people, process, and technology.

Human coders will still be needed to analyze, decipher and use their expertise to make the correct code decisions.

Susan West, RHIT


Q2 Code & Chat Announced for June 24, 2022

Get your questions answered through a free Code & Chat session with our experts!

Within the anesthesia industry, there are so many moving parts and ongoing changes. This quarter we wanted to give you all the chance to get your questions answered by our team of experts!  We will use this hour to focus on answering your pre-submitted questions and have some time for a Q&A session. Space is limited and free for those who attend, so don’t delay registering as we expect to fill up!

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Have you added to your team recently and looking for onboarding training? Check out our Anesthesia Coding & Billing Basics (Anesthesia 101) training. Even better you can get two CEUs too! Purchase it today.

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