Medical billing in the U.S. is about to become even more complicated.
In a quest for more accurate medical and insurance diagnoses, the U.S. is in the process of expanding its number of medical billing codes from 18,000 to 140,000.
(Read about some of the hilarious new codes here, including “bitten by squirrel, initial encounter,” “burn due to water skis on fire, subsequent encounter,” and “bizarre personal appearance.”)
Of course the code change is well intended—it is meant to drive improved public health research—but the execution will surely be a nightmare, as any service and support executive knows.
In fact, the headache (not to mention increased cost due to additional administrative headcount) that the medical community will soon face is well known to service and support executives. Challenges with “call categorization” (i.e., asking frontline staff to document the reason code for a customer conversation) have plagued the function for years.
Despite numerous efforts, service and support organizations simply have found that accurate reason codes are hard to come by—staff simply are unwilling to sift through pages of codes to find the perfect match to the customer issue.
Indeed, call categorization data accuracy has become so poor, that many organizations have drastically reduced the number of reason codes, favoring high level accuracy. What these organizations have realized is that having a code for every possible call type does not really drive value for the business. Instead, focusing on accuracy of tracking broader issues and trends is much more effective and actionable.
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