Artificial Intelligence

Combat employee burnout and staffing shortages with AI automated medical coding

Amit Jayakar
March 7, 2023

Burnout levels are reaching all-time highs for medical professionals; even the Surgeon General’s Advisory highlighted the urgent need to address the health worker burnout crisis across the country. 

While many think strictly of nurses or physicians when they hear about healthcare worker burnout, revenue cycle management staff, including medical coding and billing teams are also struggling. They’re not only struggling with burnout but also with staying fully staffed. 

In fact, MGMA found that 73% of medical group practices reported staffing as the leading challenge for 2022.

In addition to maintaining full staffing, the demand for medical records staff is projected to grow by 9 percent from 2020 to 2030—further exacerbating the problem

We’ve found that medical coding and billing teams can combat these pain points by implementing an AI medical coding solution

Tackle employee burnout head-on 

Pairing increased chart volume, quickly changing medical coding and payer guidelines, and compliance regulations—all currently plaguing the industry—create a recipe for employee burnout. 

When employees feel burnt out, they’re more likely to make mistakes. Even the most minor errors can lead to denied claims, increased days in AR, and lost or delayed revenue—all detrimental to a healthy revenue cycle. 

Medical coding technology that uses AI to automate coding can eliminate a large portion of a coder’s repetitive workload, helping to relieve burnout and putting them in a better headspace to focus on their tasks and thus, reduce inaccuracies. 

Automated coding also allows experienced staff members to dedicate their time and energy to more in-depth, complex tasks instead of routine, monotonous tasks perfectly suited for AI. Giving them the freedom and space to flex their medical coding skills helps lessen any burnout they may feel. 

Eliminate charting backlogs

Another issue adding to employee burnout is charting backlogs. Charting backlogs and bottlenecks can happen for many reasons: increased chart volumes, an insufficient amount of workers, long weekend and vacation cycles, or inefficiencies in other workflows.

Whatever the reason, a large backlog not only leaves staff members feeling defeated and stressed but leads to other negative ramifications throughout the entire revenue cycle like delayed cash flow and lost revenue. 

Quicker, more accurate coding is charting backlogs’ kryptonite. AI automated medical coding not only takes a significant burden off your coding team’s shoulders but can guarantee fast and accurate results. For example, our system delivers, on average, a 97% accuracy rate.

Support and supplement your staff

RCM staffing shortages can leave medical organizations struggling to keep revenue flowing—an essential aspect of any organization.

Whether you’re short-staffed because of workers leaving from burnout, an inability to find qualified workers, staff going on maternity or paternity leave, short-term disability, or vacation, AI can automatically meet your medical coding needs.

Our system can quickly scale up to take on as much work as needed and then scale down just as quickly if a team member returns from their leave or you hire more staff. However, many find that they don’t need to hire additional team members when our AI system results in up to a 70% reduction in coding costs while increasing speed and accuracy. 

Coming full circle, keeping accuracy and quality high also helps reduce burnout because employees won’t face negative feedback from less than optimal RCM metrics.

Use AI to combat your most pressing challenges 

Fathom’s AI automated medical coding solutions can help you tackle employee burnout, eliminate charting backlogs, and supplement your staff. 

Want a free analysis of your coding operations to see where we could step in and help? Let’s schedule a time to talk.

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