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From the Consultant’s Corner 5/1/14

May 1, 2014 News No Comments

ICD-10: Now Get it Done Correctly

Since the delay of ICD-10 until October 1, 2015, at the earliest, many healthcare organizations have questioned what the delay means to their existing ICD-10 implementation programs. At the time the delay was announced, most organizations fell into one of three categories in terms of ICD-10 readiness:

  • The Prepared
  • Those Getting Prepared
  • Those Who Remain Out to Lunch

Organizations residing in the first two categories expressed frustration at the delay. They had appropriately taken control of their own fate, identified and managed risk, and prepared or were preparing their organization for this change. The third group, however, either held false hope their EHR/PM vendor would take care of everything, or banked on a delay.

Regardless of which category best describes your organization, the plan forward is simple: Take the newly allotted timeline to get it right.

Many organizations have delayed other important  transformative or IT efforts until after ICD-10, given their limited resources and the work necessary just to achieve ICD-10 compliance. Some organizations took a much broader strategy for their conversion, leveraging this challenge as an opportunity to better enable their physicians and clinical staff to optimize clinical documentation workflows; thus, improving quality reporting and patient outcomes.

With the delay now in place, organizations should absolutely continue implementing their ICD-10 program. They should also use this time to prepare to more effectively compete in the era of expanding, value-based reimbursement models. In addition, organizations should take advantage of this opportunity by re-evaluating project scope.

Identify opportunities to include other initiatives into the ICD-10 conversion program in order to more fully streamline your clinical documentation workflows. Ensure your training program is inclusive of new workflows and EHR functionality, not just coding principles and requirements. Engage payers and intermediaries to ensure your testing program is robust. Expand your use of dual coding and evaluate reimbursement variance to prepare your organization for the downstream financial impacts. Optimize the use of informative, specifically predictive analytics and clinical decision support within the EHR.

ICD-10 poses several risks to a physician practice. Take advantage of the delay to not only ensure compliance, but also to improve your ability to manage your patients’ health.

Brad Boyd is vice president of sales and marketing for Culbert Healthcare Solutions.

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