ICD-10 delay: How docs can capitalize – FierceHealthIT

Healthcare providers–and practice managers, in particular–would be wise to take advantage of the most recent ICD-10 delay, not by shifting their focus to other projects, but instead shoring up potential areas of weakness, according to family physician Stephen Spain.

“Those who have turned off the engine altogether will likely regret that decision as new deadlines approach,” says Spain in a recent post to ICD10monitor.com.

To that end, Spain suggests several recommendations to maintain momentum. Here are three:

  1. Ensure your vendor’s readiness: Despite the fact that the deadline has been changed multiple times, there remain some vendors that still are not ready, Spain says. Now, he says, is the time to talk with your vendor about testing and implementation plans, not this time next year. “Be sure … to hold their feet to the fire to meet deadlines,” he says.
  2. ID top codes ahead of time: Developing a “cheat sheet” of frequently used codes will help save massive amounts of time in the long run, Spain says. To do so, figure out which codes you use most in ICD-9, then do some digging to figure out how they’ll translate to ICD-10. “The staffer that … spearheads and implements the cheat sheet … will be the rock star of the organization after October 2015,” Spain says.
  3. Understand provider workflow: To ensure a smooth transition–or at least understand provider complaints about different changes–practice managers first must understand their providers’ workflow. Many electronic health record systems boast test environments, Spain says, and practice managers shouldn’t be shy about using them.

John Dugan, a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ health industries practice, told FierceHealthcare in April that those in charge of ICD-10 at hospitals and practices should put together a “comprehensive training strategy,” if they haven’t already done so.

Meanwhile, Mary Beth Haugen, president of Haugen Consulting, said that healthcare organizations should seek out payers willing to do claims testing in an article published in the Journal of the American Health Information Management Association.

To learn more:
- here’s the ICD10monitor.com post

Related Articles:
Obama signs doc fix, ICD-10 delay into law
Continue training, testing to maintain ICD-10 momentum
3 ways providers can take advantage of the ICD-10 delay

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Survey Reveals ICD-10 Readiness, But Concerns Remain

While the majority of organizations are ready to begin testing for ICD-10, 45 percent of respondents don’t have a good sense of their partners’ readiness, according to a new survey conducted by eHealth Initiative (eHI) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

The survey, which was sponsored by Edifecs, a Bellevue, Wash.-based global health information technology solutions company, revealed that a majority of healthcare organizations impacted by the mandate are using time afforded by an extended compliance deadline to invest in clinical documentation improvements, workforce training and partner testing, yet concerns over readiness and financial impact remain. Despite the challenges in the short term, most expect the more specific code set to return value in the long run.

Key preliminary findings from the survey include:

• Most organizations are prepared to begin testing in the near future. Forty percent of respondents reported they would begin end-to-end testing by the end of 2014, and 25 percent reported plans to begin by the end of 2015. Of those who stated they had no plans for end-to-end testing, however, 41 percent stated they had no knowledge of how to perform testing.

• Widespread concern about the impact of ICD-10 on workflow, productivity and revenue. Thirty-eight percent of respondents reported they believe revenue will decrease, while 14 percent believe revenue will remain neutral. Only six percent believe revenue will increase.

• Optimism that increased specificity can improve research, population health management and quality/performance measurement and improvement. Respondents answered that common activities such as coding patient encounters, adjudicating reimbursement claims and negotiating contracts between health plans and providers are expected to be more difficult in the short term. Although the long-term impact of the ICD-10 transition is expected to improve care in areas such as accuracy of claims, quality of care and patient safety, not all organizations have a clear plan to derive value from the expanded code set.

• Extensions represent an opportunity for additional training. In order to mitigate productivity loss, 68 percent of respondents stated they plan to conduct additional training and practice, and 31 percent plan to hire more coders to assist with the transition. More organizations are also taking advantage of the compliance transition by training more staff for ICD-10 and improving clinical documentation integrity.

• Clinical documentation integrity is expected to be more difficult. Respondents indicated the task that is expected to be the most difficult post ICD-10 transition is clinical documentation improvement, particularly documenting and coding patient encounters. About 61 percent of respondents report planning to utilize the extension to improve clinical documentation integrity.

• Organizations expect to leverage increased code specificity for claims processing and billing, performance measurement and quality improvement. Respondents stated they plan to leverage the more specific code set for claims processing and billing (65 percent), quality improvement (62 percent) and performance measurement (51 percent).

Survey respondents included vendors, payers, clinic and physician practices, acute care hospital representatives, consulting firm representatives among others. The survey, to date, was distributed to a variety of stakeholders in May/ June 2014 and returned 349 responses.

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WEDI Proposes Aggressive ICD-10 Transition Roadmap – HITECH …






WEDI’s ICD-10 Survey to measure progress towards 2014 compliance dateWEDI Submits Letter to HHS

The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), the nation’s leading nonprofit authority on the use of health IT to create efficiencies in healthcare information exchange, submitted a letter to the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) outlining a high-level ICD-10 transition roadmap. The letter, written in response to the recent one year ICD-10 delay mandated by the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, details the impact of the postponement on healthcare stakeholders and defines recommended action steps to minimize continued disruption to the healthcare industry.

In the letter, several action steps are detailed including:

  • Ensure Medicare and Medicaid readiness transparency
  • Expedite, supporting and expanding industry testing
  • Expand provider education and support
  • Target outreach to non-covered entities
  • Conduct or support limited pilots
  • Establish clear milestones and track readiness

“WEDI and our industry partners believe that these recommendations provide a framework that we can work towards in order to ensure the successful ICD-10 transition,” said Devin Jopp, Ed.D., WEDI president and CEO. “It is critical that HHS work with private industry to establish credibility in a new compliance date by focusing on critical issues such as readiness transparency, comprehensive testing, and augmented education. Absent these actions, we are concerned that implementation of the code sets will continue to be protracted, adding needless administrative burden and cost to the industry.”

In development of the ICD-10 Transition Roadmap, WEDI convened an industry ICD-10 Summit on April 30, 2014 in Reston, Va, that featured participation of more than two hundred industry stakeholders. The Summit was a collaborative event co-sponsored by the Professional Association of Healthcare Office Management (PAHCOM), Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

Read the full letter and learn about the developments from WEDI’s ICD-10 Summit which influenced this communication to HHS.

About WEDI
The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) is the leading authority on the use of health IT to improve healthcare information exchange in order to enhance the quality of care, improve efficiency, and reduce costs of our nation’s healthcare system. WEDI was formed in 1991 by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and was designated in the 1996 HIPAA legislation as an advisor to HHS. WEDI’s membership includes a broad coalition of organizations, including: hospitals, providers, health plans, vendors, government agencies, consumers, not-for-profit organizations, and standards development organizations. To learn more, visit http://www.wedi.org and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.




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