The Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) recognized staff who successfully completed its Medical Coding Training Program. In September 2019, twenty students successfully completed the Medical Coding & Billing Course. Following completion of the course, eight were successful in the American Academy of Professional Coders’ Certified Professional Coder examination. The graduation ceremony for PHA’s medical coders was delayed as a result of Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic.
PHA Acting Managing Director, Mrs. Aubynette Rolle, observed, “The PHA Coding Unit represents a significant strategic success for the Authority. In 2018, the PHA engaged with Healthcare Associates to increase the number of medical coders in its system through a new training initiative. Due to the dire shortage, the PHA has struggled to obtain data and bill for services rendered.”
She further noted that back in 2018 only fifty (50) professional Coders were working in the entire Bahamas; and a handful of that fifty (50) were employed in the public sector. The lack of coders hindered the Authority’s ability to effectively document and bill for care and services provided, stagnated efforts to recoup revenues from insurance providers and limited the data PHA institutions were collecting to direct future decisions and policies.
In his charge to the graduates, PHA Chairman Andrew Edward spoke to their dedication and hard work in successfully completing the training program. “When we look around and evaluate our facilities, our staffing capacity, and our policies and processes, it is evident that we must shift the narrative, we must redirect our focus and we must redefine our standard of care to all we serve. This imperative to improve begins with each individual, it begins with our determination to enhance our performance in the execution of our duties.”
The Chairman continued, “Thank you to the Medical Coding Unit under the leadership of Mrs. Prenette Cash for taking this critical step in our efforts in transforming healthcare through excellence and perseverance. The work of the Medical Coding Unit will allow for increased revenue for the Authority’s institutions and facilities, faster processing of medical records, faster reimbursement from third-party payers, enhanced patient safety, and increased customer satisfaction.”
The Medical Coding Unit is vital to the implementation and success of the newly established Revenue Enhancement Unit. Together, these two units will equip the PHA with the strategies and necessary measures to enhance revenue collection processes, guide implemented fee structures, and strengthen availability of funding to improve salary scales, upgrade facilities and invest in new equipment and other essential resources.
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