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Autonomous Coding: How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Healthcare

By AGS Health

August 24, 2023

Artificial intelligence (AI) is making significant strides in revolutionizing various aspects of the healthcare industry. One area where AI is making a profound impact is medical coding. Medical coding is a critical process that ensures accurate and efficient billing, reimbursement, and patient care. Healthcare organizations are automating medical coding with the help of AI technologies, such as natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML). Autonomous coding supports healthcare organization goals - improving accuracy, efficiency, and the patient financial experience thanks to faster claims processing.

AI Technologies in Medical Coding

Medical coding has traditionally been the responsibility of trained professionals. Due to the many human touchpoints involved in medical code updates, the margin of error is significant. However, AI is automating this process, reducing the burden on human coders, and streamlining the coding process.

Autonomous coding software uses advanced algorithms to analyze large amounts of medical data, including:

  • Patient records
  • Physician notes
  • Lab reports
  • Diagnostic information

By interpreting and classifying this data, the software can assign the appropriate medical codes and do it more accurately and efficiently than humans. Advanced algorithms allow large volumes of patient records to be analyzed quickly, making autonomous coding an ideal solution for healthcare organizations constrained by labor shortages or those looking to reassign valuable team members toward more value-added tasks or functions.

Key technologies featured within autonomous coding software include:

Natural Language Processing (NLP): NLP enables computers to understand and analyze human language. In medical coding, NLP is vital in extracting relevant information from physician notes, patient records, and unstructured textual data. By employing information extraction and entity recognition techniques, NLP algorithms can identify and capture vital medical concepts, procedures, and diagnoses, facilitating faster and more accurate coding.

Machine Learning (ML): ML algorithms enable computers to learn and improve performance over time without explicit programming. ML models are trained in medical coding on vast datasets containing labeled medical records and corresponding codes. These models can then predict the appropriate codes for new, unseen records based on patterns and associations learned during training. ML helps identify relationships between:

  • Medical concepts
  • Diagnoses
  • Procedures

Benefits of Autonomous Coding

There are numerous benefits to using autonomous coding including:

  • Reduced denial rates: AI systems bring unprecedented accuracy to medical coding. By leveraging vast amounts of data, these systems can make proper code assignments, reducing the likelihood of errors or omissions. Accurate coding ensures appropriate reimbursement and mitigates denials.
  • Increased efficiency: Automation through AI significantly reduces the time and effort required for medical coding. With the ability to process vast volumes of data in a fraction of the time, AI-driven coding systems accelerate the workflow, allowing healthcare organizations to streamline operations and improve overall efficiency. Freeing up time in this way enables coders to focus on complex cases, exceptions, and quality assurance tasks.
  • Improved compliance: Autonomous coding can help to improve compliance with coding regulations by ensuring codes are assigned correctly, which can help to protect healthcare organizations from fines and penalties.

Autonomous coding is revolutionizing medical coding, transforming a labor-intensive and error-prone process into new opportunities for revenue growth. The future holds even greater potential for AI-based medical coding as AI advances, with improved NLP capabilities, real-time assistance, and enhanced coding guidelines. With the integration of AI into healthcare workflows, the industry can pave the way for a better patient experience, streamlined operations, and improved financial outcomes.

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AGS Health


AGS Health is more than a revenue cycle management company–we’re a strategic partner for growth. By blending technologies, services, and expert support, AGS Health partners with leading healthcare organizations across the US to deliver tailored solutions that solve the unique needs and challenges of each provider’s revenue cycle operations. The company leverages the latest advancements in automation, process excellence, security, and problem-solving through the use of technology and analytics–all made possible with college-educated, trained RCM experts. AGS Health employs more than 10,000 team members globally and partners with more than 100 clients across a variety of care settings, specialties, and billing systems.

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