Billing and Coding: Benefits and Challenges of a Remote Workforce

--July 21, 2022--

The surge in remote work was originally driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, but as the public health risk wanes, many companies are allowing employees to continue working remotely — because of the benefits experienced by both the company and its workforce. This is true for many industries, including healthcare revenue cycle management (RCM), but managing remote workers comes with its own set of challenges.

The move to remote work

Pandemic shutdowns forced most billing personnel to work remotely, and they grew accustomed to the convenience. Many are reluctant to return to on-site jobs. Hospitals are currently confronting serious staff shortages, and that includes coders and billers. Facilities are increasing wages, offering large hiring bonuses, and providing incentives to fill the gaps. One of the most popular incentives is the ability to work remotely.

Benefits of using remote coders

It’s not just billing and coding personnel reaping the benefits of remote work. Many hospitals and healthcare organizations are reducing RCM costs by allowing their employees to work from home. Employing remote RCM staff lowers overhead and encourages employee retention, which saves facilities the costs associated with hiring and training new coders and billers. If you have positions to fill, offering remote work options broadens your potential talent pool. The option to work from home also boosts worker morale, and a more positive employee experience enhances both motivation and productivity.

Managing the challenges of remote work

Before setting up a remote work program, it’s essential to develop a set of policies and guidelines for remote employees and their managers. Set quality and productivity standards for staff working with limited direct supervision. Remote employees should sign an agreement that defines expectations and responsibilities for both staff and managers.

Employees who work from home should have a separate area free from distractions and designated for work. To ensure security and confidentiality, employees’ work-related technology must be inaccessible when they’re not working, and they should log out of work applications when not in use.

Security is a critical consideration for off-site staff. They must take the necessary security measures to protect their equipment, software applications, and work, and their employer must provide them with the technology necessary to do so. Remote staff must agree to make periodic visits to your facility for meetings, reviews, and training sessions.

With clear rules and expectations in place for your remote billing and coding staff, both employees and management will be better equipped to ensure remote work success. When implemented correctly from the start, your remote RCM program can boost employee satisfaction, ensure HIPAA compliance, and increase productivity and revenue.

To learn more about options for remote RCM, contact TruBridge.

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