Multiple strategies will be required by medical practices to cope with an anticipated drop in productivity due to ICD-10. Coding, claims processing, case management, decision support and follow-up (electronic medical billing system) are likely to face greatest impact due to the new system. Therefore, it has become important for providers to prepare for any type of productivity loss before 1st October 2014-
- Chances of claim denials will increase due to lack of understanding of new code sets as coders will find it difficult to handle the increased specificity of ICD-10
- Sending staff for training sessions will take them away from work for which, practices will have to do the necessary scheduling and budgeting to cover up the loss of time
- Productivity loss will also be seen in provider documentation. Whenever documentation will lack a certain element required for precise code selection, query for additional information will be given to the provider. The service won’t get billed if the physician is not available immediately to give the necessary information
- Another productivity challenge with documentation will involve super-bills that might become outdated in ICD-10 as some fields will have more code choices. In case the provider won’t understand the requirements for differentiating between new codes, documentation will remain insufficient
Measures to lessen the impact of productivity loss:
Practices will have to conduct training programs for revised coding and clinical documentation requirements. Categorization of new codes will have to be done for coders, nurses, medical staff and allied health providers like occupational and respiratory therapists.
Training sessions for staff currently using ICD-9 platform will have to include physiology and anatomy courses, practice coding experience with real-time feedback, detailed clinical documentation requirements and sessions for general awareness to help them prepare for ICD-10. Providers will have to address the short and long term impact of the changeover and augment resources where necessary.
Enhancing coder productivity a must:
Coder productivity loss will have to be tackled with measurement and projection of productivity based on quantified data. Proper training and education will have to be given to the coders to make them understand the new coding set. They will have to invest approximately 20-40 hours of training time for ICD-10 whereas physicians will have to devote at least 8-16 hours for training.
Considering the amount of time, money and resources that will go in for ICD-10 preparation and the difficulty in balancing documentation, administrative tasks and patient care many providers are seeking assistance from a medical billing company that has a well-trained team of certified ICD-10 coders and billers.
Medicalbillersandcoders.com has the largest consortium of billers and coders, helping practices prepare for ICD-10 transition. Our coders also have the required expertise and experience in handling complexities of ICD-10, reducing your headache of hiring and training coders, timely claim filing, error-free coding, HIPAA compliance, denial management and so on. MBC will handle your revenue cycle, giving you ample time to concentrate on documentation and patient care.