Physical Therapist, Nitin Chhoda, Stresses the Importance of Hiring the Right Medical Coder for Physical Therapy Practice

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Nitin Chhoda, a licensed physical therapist and international private practice marketing expert says that a medical coder who gossips and share patient information with anyone else is not only putting themselves at risk, but the entire practice along with it. In his latest article, Chhoda stresses the importance of hiring the right medical staff in a private practice setting.

medical biller or coder

Personal identifiable information and HIPAA standards are taken very seriously, which makes it even more important to choose the right person for a medical coder position.

Any person working in the health care industry knows about common practices required by law when it comes to personal identifiable information. When choosing a medical coder, just looking at their resume may not always be enough. The person who employs must know how important it is to keep private information private because it can make or break a business, especially when it comes to earning a patient’s trust.

Penalties can follow this type of gossip and information sharing, which include penalties through civil, state or federal agencies. Hiring the right person is crucial to the growth of the physical therapy practice as well as maintaining integrity in physical therapy management.

Chhoda says that there are four classifications that a practice and medical coders must operate on. They are common, statutory, administrative and case law. Although practices tend to usually fall under common law, he says that even just having loose lips and gossiping can have severe penalties.

According to Chhoda, the court can award monetary amounts to affected clients for medical expenses, lost wages and distress. For the most part, practices and practitioners will simply admit to guilt to skip the jury process in order to settle with the patient.

In some cases, the medical coder could face criminal charges and fines ranging from $50,000 to over $4 million. Personal identifiable information and HIPAA standards are taken very seriously, which makes it even more important to choose the right person for a medical coder position. Chhoda says that medical coders have to treat each client’s data as highly confidential even if any of it seems like it is common knowledge.

When a patient is first accepted, they will sign paperwork giving the clinic permission and knowledge as to whom they would like any personal information shared with. Failure to follow HIPAA regulations can mean not only jail time but heavy fines. Therefore, when looking for a medical coder for the physical therapy office, think about whether they share the integrity of the business has. If not, it does not matter how great they are at data entry; this person is simply not ready to handle the responsibility of protected information.

Chhoda’s office can be reached by phone at 201-535-4475. For more information, visit the website at

Nitin Chhoda PT, DPT is a licensed physical therapist, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and an entrepreneur. He is the author of "Physical Therapy Marketing For The New Economy" and “Marketing for Physical Therapy Clinics” and is a prolific speaker, writer and creator of products and systems to streamline medical billing and coding, electronic medical records, health care practice management and marketing to increase referrals. He has been featured in numerous industry magazines, major radio and broadcast media, and is the founder of Referral Ignition training systems and the annual Private Practice Summit. Chhoda speaks extensively throughout the U.S., Canada and Asia. He is also the creator of the Therapy Newsletter and Clinical Contact, both web-based services to help private practices improve communication with patients, delivery better quality of care and boost patient retention.

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