A new and more detailed industry-wide classification system for pathology services and charges will ensure greater financial and activity transparency across the private healthcare sector says Healthcode, the specialists in online billing and clinical coding solutions for hospitals and independent practitioners.
Already deployed to over half of private hospitals, as well as a major health insurer, Healthcode has introduced over 400 pathology codes which reflect more accurately the exact nature of the clinical investigation provided, from haematology to immunology. The company expects its pathology classification to be rolled out across the entire sector and has already begun similar projects for radiology, drug and prosthetic services.
Healthcode’s Managing Director Peter Connor stated: “We are delighted to be leading this initiative which provides an enhanced level of information about services and charges.
“The project demonstrates the private healthcare sector’s increasing willingness to deliver services in a standard and transparent manner and is timely given that the Competition Commission is investigating the private healthcare market, including the limited standardised information available to help patients and GPs compare and measure services. The deployment of an industry-wide classification should also provide huge efficiency benefits to private providers and insurers by ensuring they are talking the same language.
“This exciting initiative has been made possible following Healthcode’s bold step earlier in 2012 of taking the administration of classification and coding in-house. Only by managing the end-to-end process could we ensure the accuracy of the service charges between providers and insurers. It was not a decision we took lightly because the process of mapping different sets of clinical codes is extremely labour-intensive but our 15 years’ experience and specialist knowledge across the sector meant we were ideally qualified for the task.
“It is not enough just to define the standards – codes have to be deployed correctly to be effective and useful to providers and insurers alike, without the need for them to reconfigure their existing in-house systems. Healthcode’s successful development and introduction of pathology service codes represents a major step forward to achieving this objective.”