As the healthcare industry continues to prepare for ICD-10 CM/PCS, organizations are striving to identify how they can increase the speed and efficiency of medical record coding while maintaining accuracy. Due to the immense granularity associated with ICD-10, many predictive measures have been launched to combat the anticipated deceleration of the coding process. If your organization is aiming to identify areas where anticipatory improvements can be made, you will want to consider the following:
- Are you currently using a Computer Assisted Coding (CAC) module? Can charts be dual-coded in ICD-9 and ICD-10?
- How can you improve your Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) program? What impact will this have on your Discharged Not Final Bill (DNFB) rate?
- Have you analyzed your current coding staffing levels? Are there areas lacking efficiency? How can you combat this?
- Is your facility correctly preparing its coders for ICD-10? What training and education styles can you initiate to ready your coders?
Through the use of natural language processing (NLP), computer assisted coding software identifies key words in records, and in turn produces the associated ICD-9/10 code(s). Training your coders to review these codes and correct any mistakes will speed up the process and ensure efficiency. A good way to prepare for the effects of ICD-10 is to practice dual-coding, or to have the charts reviewed in both ICD-9 and ICD-10, to leverage the gap between the current coding structure and its impact on the future structure.
A well-rounded CDI program stresses physician involvement, and hiring Clinical Documentation Specialists (CDSs) who have good communication skills will help to promote that collaboration. Many hospitals across America are also hiring a physician (possibly retired) to lead the CDI team. Actions like this will allow your facility to drop bills quicker, possibly even when the patient is still in-house, and result in a lower DNFB and positive revenue impact.
Analyzing your coding staffing levels may bring to the surface areas lacking efficiency or productivity due to insufficient amounts of staff or processes with room for improvement. To see increases in speed and efficiency, you may want to outsource a portion of your coding to contract coders or reconstruct the workflow of your coding department.
Finally, it is crucial that your facility is educating and training its coders for ICD-10. One idea to accomplish this is to offer overtime, during which classes are taught and hands-on learning can be conducted. Also, this is another area where dual-coding will produce sufficient levels of speed and efficiency in ICD-10.
ICD-10 will be a substantial change for the healthcare industry, but with proper preparations and arrangements, facilities can minimize the negative impacts it could have on operations. To learn more about how our patient chart scanning services have helped other healthcare facilities streamline their revenue cycle management, connect with one of our business process experts below!