Updated on: March 16, 2016

ICD-10 Training Starts Now with ICD-9 Training

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Original story posted on: March 29, 2012

While some providers in the healthcare industry breathe a sigh of relief in the wake of the news that ICD-10 implementation likely will be delayed beyond the original launch date of Oct. 1, 2013, others view the sudden lull as a golden opportunity to sprint ahead of the field in terms of preparedness.

There are plenty of ways to do just that, and the time to begin is now, according to Jean Ann Hartzell Minzey, RHIA, CPC, CHA. Hartzell Minzey, a certified ICD-10 trainer and CEO and chair of the board of Healthcare Education Strategies Inc., a national consulting firm headquartered in Prairieville, La., recently shared some of her thoughts exclusively with ICD10monitor.com.

Those thoughts hinged on how education and training are two concepts that will be of paramount importance to individual providers’ abilities to chart a course through the implementation process. With 35 years of experience in compliance, health information management, documentation, education, analysis, reimbursement methodologies and coding, according to her online bio, Hartzell Minzey – who has been labeled a “pioneer” in health information and reimbursement, with her resume including executive stints as director of health information management at hospitals of all sizes across the United States – called ICD-10 one of the most critical challenges facing healthcare providers in the modern era of medicine.

For one thing, Hartzell Minzey said, the industry needs to be cognizant of what types of providers should receive ICD-10 training – a list she says includes acute-care hospitals (both inpatient and outpatient), critical-access hospitals (both inpatient and outpatient), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and long-term acute-care hospitals.

At each of those types of facilities, staff who should receive education or training include billers, auditors, coders and all personnel involved in quality improvement, registration and front-desk operations. There are four levels of code use preparedness among organization staff, according to Hartzell Minzey, and it’s imperative that administrators become aware of where their employees fall on that spectrum.

“By now you should have completed and (should be) maintaining your coder inventory,” Hartzell Minzey wrote recently. “(This) should include an indication of the coders’ function rated in some form of high, medium or low.”

A comprehensive inventory of coders should include credentials, education level and other information for each, she added. This information can be used to answer pressing ICD-10 questions – such as “who will be assigned to assist with the ‘hard stuff’ once implementation occurs?”

Hartzell Minzey touched on cautions to take during the course of providing education about specialized training techniques and problematic coding areas. It’s important, she said, to avoid intimidating staff – because ICD-10 is intimidating enough.

EDITOR NOTE:

Hartzell Minzey will be conducting a webcast on the subject of ICD-9 training in preparation for implementing ICD-10 on Wednesday, April 4 at 1:30 p.m. EDT. To register click here: ICD-9 to ICD-10 Training: Whom Are You Training?

Mark Spivey

Mark Spivey is a national correspondent for ICDmonitor.com who has been writing on numerous topics facing the nation’s healthcare system (and federal oversight of it) for five years.