Last week, the Senate voted to pass the SGR Repeal Bill. With no indication of delaying ICD-10, the transition is closer than ever before. For those of you that stayed the course and completed your testing, education, etc. – Congratulations! To the rest (the majority of us) – It’s time to get busy! Dust off your implementation plans from five years ago and get your teams back together. Many faces may have changed in your organization so make sure you have the right players on your team.
What to do next:
1. People - Check your staffing. Do you have vacancies or backlogs? Are you prepared for a decrease in productivity? Do you have coverage for your coders while they complete ICD-10 training courses? Now is the time to recruit coders and CDI specialists or to find a strategic partner that can support your processes and maintain your AR during this implementation.
2. Training – There are many ICD-10 training programs in the marketplace. Choose one that best suits your organization’s needs and budget constraints. Make sure your team completes their training by the end of summer. This will require dedicated time each week for your Coders and CDI staff. You don’t want to worrry about completing training modules in the fall during the final stages of system testing so this should be a priority now.
3. Systems – Identify your software systems that are still at risk. Work with your IT department to develop a plan for each of these systems.
4. Vendors – Talk to your vendors about their ICD-10 plan and how this will impact your organization. Partnerships with your vendors are more important than ever to ensure you have adequate supply of qualified coders before it is too late.
5. Physicians – Check with your physicians to see if they need assistance with their superbills. Don’t forget to include this important group when you schedule training sessions. Your CDI Specialists should focus on documentation opportunity improvements now so the improvements will be in place in time for the more detailed code set.
6. Dual Coding – While this is expensive and time consuming it will be great practice for your coding team and will help to identify any system issues and documentation opportunities for your facility.
7. Communication Plan – Create a communication team and plan for addressing issues that arise on October 1st. Identify those key stakeholders who will be in your command center along with their roles and responsibilities.
8. Compliance Team – Involve your audit and compliance teams in an assessment process now to identify key areas of opportunity and education for your organization.
The transition to ICD-10, while it isn’t easy, is necessary to move our healthcare system into the future. The limited codes available today do not have the capacity to capture the complications that we are currently facing, nor can they grow any further. ICD-10 code sets will enable improved data capture that will support better outcomes.