Top Ten ICD-10 New Year’s Resolutions

By Laurie M. Johnson, MS, RHIA, CPC-H, FAHIMA, AHIMA-Approved ICD-10 Trainer
Original story posted on: January 10, 2014

Editor’s Note: Laurie M. Johnson of Peak Health Solutions presented a segment outlining 10 ICD-10 New Year’s resolutions during the Jan. 7 edition of Talk-Ten-Tuesday, the weekly Internet broadcast on www.ICD10monitor.com. The following is a rough transcript of that presentation.

January is a month where we all make New Year’s resolutions. But this year should be a year of “doing” and not just “planning.” In that spirit, here are 10 New Year’s resolutions regarding ICD-10.

Finance: 

1) Obtain a line of credit to ensure that no cash flow disruption occurs during the transition period should your organization hit a snag.

2) Complete a reimbursement review to analyze MS-DRG shifts and other reimbursement impacts. The review results may impact your finance strategy for other organizational activities (physician recruitment, placement of additional outpatient services, etc.).

Information Technology:

3) Complete testing with business partners (at least one) to ensure that your claims can be submitted successfully. When claims can be submitted successfully, you are one step closer to getting paid!

4) Review hardware requirements and any and all software changes to ensure that the hardware will accommodate necessary adjustments. It would be disastrous to reach Oct.1, 2014 only to find that your hardware is insufficient for your software.

5) Review all vendor plans for ICD-10-compliant software deployment. The timing of this deployment will impact your testing strategy.

Health Information Management:

6) Develop an alternate staffing strategy for the transition period to relieve pressure on coders. The number of available coders is limited, so the sooner your strategy is determined and contracted, the better.

7) Complete ICD-10 code set training for coders, physicians, clinical documentation improvement specialists, etc. This task is huge!  Training content and approach will be different for all three groups. Don’t forget to train patient access/registration/scheduling, case management, information technology, patient financial representatives, and others groups. Most revenue-producing areas will need at least an overview of ICD-10.

8)  Complete a clinical documentation review so physicians can be coached. Changing documentation practices can be compared to changing the direction of a cruise ship. The steering wheel must be turned well in advance in order to achieve the right results. Focus on areas where you will receive the most benefit from this training.

ICD-10 Steering Committee:

9)  Organize "command central" (or a "war room") for the first few days of the ICD-10 implementation. This area should be set up for the go-live date and should assist in addressing any issue that arises during the transition period. Determine who will staff this area, as well as who is responsible for different activities.

10) Develop contingency plans for all business processes. Remember that the goal is to be able to submit claims and keep the revenue cycle going.

And above all, communicate! ICD-10 implementation is a team event.  

About the Author

Laurine Johnson, MS, RHIA, CPC-H, FAHIMA, is Senior ICD-10 Consultant and Educator for Peak Health Solutions. She is responsible for overseeing coding and documentation review, client assessment, custom design of educational materials, and end user and stakeholder education associated with coding, data integrity and mapping. Prior to joining Peak, Laurine was the Director of ICD-10 Content Development Team at Optum.

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Disclaimer: Every reasonable effort was made to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time it was published. However, due to the nature of industry changes over time we cannot guarantee its validity after the year it was published.