Billers & Coders help prepare for ICD-10 transition with Dual Coding

As the October 1, 2014 ICD-10 compliance deadline looms, many providers continue to prepare their coders for ICD-10 coding. With ICD-10 coding practices, there always seems a chance of uncertainty. So to combat this uncertainty, healthcare providers are encouraging their coders to join the dual-coding movement.

Dual coding refers to coding in both ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM/PCS in the same patient health record. Dual coding ensures the physician against the unpredictable nature of ICD-10 coding and makes them ready to welcome the change on October 1, 2014 without any practice.

Industry fact states that 18% of coders are already involved in a dual-coding effort or plan to begin one by the year end

Benefits of Dual Coding

At first it might seem that practicing dual-coding may lead to loss in productivity, but the long-term benefits of a dual-coding movement far outweighs any initial loss. Making dual coding part of the strategy in your healthcare facility provides the information needed to reduce the impact of ICD-10 transition.

Getting prepared for dual coding

The decision to provide dual-coding to the coders can have many implication on the physician. As a physician, you can start by performing an ICD-10 documentation and systems assessment, then analyze the outcomes. This dual-coding strategy can help you in eliminating problems in critical reporting areas.

The next step would be to identify how coders, clinicians, and other impacted staffers within your organization are being educated on ICD-10. Dual coding should be a critical part of your training plan, as it involves the formation of patient's chart in real time. The comprehensive ICD-10 education can help you ensure that your staff is well-versed in all areas impacted by the new coding set.

Once ICD-10 documentation and systems assessment is performed, you can plan to access your mitigation plans and testing systems to ensure that reimbursement will not be impacted. You can also plan with your finance team to develop strategies tailored to your organization. This step will help you align your budget and plan with critical revenue reimbursement impact analysis.

Medical billers and coders help physicians prepare for ICD-10 transition

ICD-10-PCS code is mostly used for coding an inpatient procedure at a hospital, while outpatient procedures require CPT coding. Coders who are well versed with dual-coding can help physicians manage both types of patients, thereby boosting their revenue. Moreover, dual-coding is not just about codes. The anatomy, physiology, terminology and procedures not covered in ICD-10 training is also included.

Coders trained in both ICD-10-PCS codes in addition to the CPT codes can:

Embark on things that allows better information for analytics
Boost productivity levels at your practice during the critical 6 month period following mandatory compliance
Eliminate potential critical situations that might happen while transitioning to new systems and processes
Eliminate the key transitional reporting with inconsistent code sets that span the ICD-10 compliance date by allowing reporting in either ICD-9 or ICD-10
Process revenue reimbursement impact analysis by enabling financial management team to develop strategies tailored to your facility
Provide cost savings on any external coder training programs your faculty chooses to participate in
Help coding directors assess coder’s readiness status and make changes as needed
Help identify problem areas and shortcomings in physician documentation and enable clinical documentation improvement

Beyond the obvious challenges of training the coders, avoiding reimbursement losses, and actually meeting the compliance date, the additional challenge of uncertainty is far more dangerous. As you can see, the benefit of a well-designed dual coding strategy takes significant planning and strategic decision making. But with proper planning, ICD 10 experts can make the task easily surmountable and leave your facility well-positioned for the transition.

By implementing a dual-coding program, your facility will improve education and training for your coders and take necessary steps to optimize financial reimbursement. When it comes to ICD-10, dual-coding will increase coder productivity and improve quality throughout your organization. the largest consortium of medical billers and coders across all 50 US States is constantly updating their coders’ knowledge with ICD-10 transition techniques. Our unique training program on ICD-10 transition offers webinars, forums, and online learning materials, and latest updates – works towards making this transition much simpler and much more beneficial for both practices and the medical billers and coders.

We also help coders get access to the numerous upcoming ICD-10 and other opportunities through our job portal. Additionally MBC provides insightful advice on ICD-10, and provides ICD-training program.

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