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Healthcare providers are investing more heavily in big data technology, as they strive to deal with growing challenges such as declining operating margins and an increasingly complex regulatory environment. However, many healthcare providers lack the technology or knowledge to use data prudently. One study found that 56% of hospitals do not have any data analytics or governance strategies.
Hospitals that want to develop data strategies need to improve decision-making need to use the right technology. One technology data-driven hospitals should invest in is RN coders.
RN Coders Are Key to Data Strategies in Healthcare
While RN coders play a vital role in the American healthcare landscape, many people are unaware of their duties and the specific role that they play in the healthcare system. As a result not many people pursue the role and the role is largely uncelebrated.
Understanding more about these skilled professionals and what they do is vital for gaining a better perspective on American healthcare and the processes that allow it to function smoothly.
Here is the role of RN coders for data-driven healthcare companies.
An Overview of the RN Coder Role
Before diving into specific duties, it can be helpful to get a rough idea of what the role of an RN coder is.
To understand RN coders, it’s important to understand some key healthcare processes. In healthcare, there are specific codes that are used to signify different types of care and treatment. In reports, these codes are used to streamline processes like billing and processing health insurance claims.
When doctors and other healthcare professionals provide care and treatment to patients, they write reports to indicate the type of services they provide. However, they don’t use the specific codes that are needed to streamline the filing and billing processes, instead writing out the specific procedures and treatments that they perform.
This is where RN coders come in. Essentially, RN coders are professionals who are experts in the specific types of codes that healthcare organizations are required to use.
Using their specialized knowledge, RN coders take the reports crafted by doctors and other healthcare professionals and translate the services and treatments provided into their corresponding codes.
After this has been done, these translated reports can be sent to medical insurance providers who can provide the necessary funds to the necessary parties.
While it may seem like an easy task, converting notes into RN codes can be difficult and labor-intensive. In fact, this role requires that RN coders are simultaneously researching and fact-chacking while they are doing their translations. This is to ensure they aren’t making any mistakes and inadvertently reporting the wrong codes.
Educating Others and Auditing Claims
In addition to engaging in RN coding tasks themselves, many RN coders are also tasked with educating others on their work. Typically, this involves explaining specific codes and requirements to others in the healthcare industry.
Beyond these tasks, RN coders must audit various medical billing claims that are denied or rejected. Essentially, RN coders must determine if these rulings should be overturned or if they’re correct.
How Technology Is Improving the RN Coder Role
As one can imagine, before computers were being used in all healthcare organizations, RN coding was a completely analog process. Today, however, there are nursing technology resources that can help RN coders perform their roles with ease.
Specifically, RN coders now use software that can help streamline some of their coding tasks. As a result, RN coding is a role that is evolving along other aspects of the healthcare landscape.
The Path to Becoming an RN Coder
For those who are toying with the idea of becoming an RN coder, it can be helpful to have an idea of what that process looks like.
Typically, the path to becoming an RN coder begins with being a nurse. As such, a great place for aspiring RN coders to start is in a nursing program that helps one become a qualified registered nurse.
After gaining some experience as a registered nurse, one has the ability to be certified as an RN coder and begin this new chapter of one’s career.
One of the biggest draws of the RN coder position is that there are a variety of remote options available to these professionals. This increased flexibility and ability to work from home is causing many nurses to explore this exciting profession and branch out into a new role.
RN Coders Play a Pivotal Role in Healthcare Data Management
Healthcare providers need to take advantage of the right technology to use data strategically. RN coders can be very helpful in this regard.
Though they may not be the most celebrated healthcare professionals, RN coders play an important role in healthcare processes. From translating doctor reports to auditing insurance claims, these professionals use their skilled expertise to keep healthcare organizations functioning smoothly. For nurses looking for a way to branch out and explore a new career option, becoming an RN coder is an amazing and exciting path.