October 22, 2013

Less than a year away and the clock is ticking…

Less than a year away and the clock is ticking….your checklists should be at 95% checked off and you are now in the stages of intense coder education and training……

As coding is integral to the revenue cycle, you must invest in staff preparedness to minimize the impact of your DNFB and accounts receivables. Many healthcare organizations are preparing for impending coding backlogs and the impact on medical record completion due to incomplete clinical documentation necessary to submit accurate and complete codes.

If you are in the stages of upgrading to a new EHR system, or modifying your existing documentation templates, be sure to apply the impact of ICD-10 code structure and documentation requirements. Forms and query templates must include verbiage to identify ICD-10 specificity requirements in order to capture the most specific ICD-10 codes.

If you have not yet dedicated or found the resources for a comprehensive ICD-10 education program, know that it is important to assess your current state to identify areas, specialties, and target audience to focus on specifics. While the official coding guidelines and DRGs will not change significantly, ICD-10 new coding sets and structure will bring new changes to coding rules. Coders who have been used to ICD-9 for 30 years will need to learn these coding nuances. Your ICD-10 assessment should include identifying what specialties need more attention; this includes physician specialties where clinical documentation gaps can be identified. Coders, clinical documentation specialists, physicians and other clinicians can benefit in the education of results from documentation gap assessments.