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The first step in preparing for hospital-wide training for ICD-10-CM/PCS is the development of a comprehensive hospital-physician-coder management Committee.  The Committee’s purpose is to define its implementation objectives, set time tables to meet objectives, and to serve as the administrative umbrella for all ICD-10-CM/PCS management related issues.  Members of this Committee should include key medical staff, hospital administration, information technology, nursing, quality assessment, HIM, coding, case management, and patient access to name a few.

Contact us today to find out how In Record Time can assist your HIM Department with preparation for ICD-10 CM and PCS!

Healthcare facilities and physician practices are mandated to comply with the adoption of ICD -10-CM for diagnosis coding and ICD-10- PCS for hospital inpatient procedure coding on October 1, 2014.   ICD-10 coding will provide for an overall greater level of specificity with its 7 alphanumeric characters replacing the current ICD-9 code set.  This change in coding convention will result in an increase from approximately 17,000 codes to around 140,000 codes.  Accordingly, HIM medical record coders (and additional hospital staff) will require a more in-depth understanding of anatomy and pathophysiology in conjunction with a solid understanding of the ICD-10 CM and PCS coding rules.

It is estimated that coder productivity may decline by as much as 50%.  In addition, HIM coders must go through extensive training in preparation for ICD-10.  Does your HIM Department have a plan in place in order to stay current with your coding and revenue flow during the ICD-10 transition? 

Partnering with In Record Time will provide you with the peace of mind!  We will customize an ICD-10 remote coding solution to meet your specific needs!

  • Our remote coding and compliance team includes AHIMA Approved ICD-10 CM/PCS Instructors
  • Flexible and cost-effective remote coding services to provide coding coverage while your coding staff attends ICD-10 training sessions.
  • Our remote coding staff will provide dual coding on ICD-9 and ICD-10 during the transition phase to ICD-10 (and thereafter as needed)
  • High quality, accurate remote coding, and no project is too big or small!

Quite simply, your department can not afford lost reimbursements and backlogs – our expert remote coding and compliance team is here to alleviate this stress.  Contact us today for a free quote! 

In Record Time invites you to visit us at booth #633 during the AHIMA 2012 Convention & Exhibit, October 1-3, in Chicago. You'll have the opportunity to learn about all of our HIM Services and to have your questions answered on the spot by our leading experts and executives.

Partner with In Record Time for your facility's coding and cancer registry needs. The In Record Time hallmark is state-of the-art coding and cancer registry efficiency, uncompromising accuracy, our 24-hour response time, proven financial value, and our unique ability to become an integrated member of your staff. Our expert staff is fully credentialed and diversified to meet your needs and includes Registered Health Information Administrators and Technicians (RHIA/RHIT), Certified Coding Specialists (CCS), Certified Professional Coders (CPC), Certified Tumor Registrars (CTR) and a team of AHIMA Certified ICD-10 CM/PCS Trainers with many years of documented experience.

Call us at (800) 788-4960, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information about our remote coding and HIM services.

The American Medical Association continues to exert power to legislative and executive branches to squash the start date of ICD-10-CM. A recent letter was sent by AMA Executive Vice President and CEO, James Madura, MD seeking out the help of Congress and, more specifically, House Leader John Boehner, in this regard.

At this week’s AMA conference in Washington, DC, the Center for Medicare-Medicaid Services (CMS) acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner indicated that CMS has agreed to “re-examine” the implementation date of October 1, 2013. Some critics believe that a postponement is inevitable based on provider concerns. AHIMA, however, addressed their membership to move forward with the implementation date and warned hospitals and health care providers not to suspend their ICD-10 planning efforts.

Physicians have been using the financial burden for holding ICD-10-CM and PCS in check. The major disagreement is the expense of their office implementation of the ICD-10-CM diagnostic system into their daily operations while also implementing electronic transaction 5010, quality initiatives, e-Prescribing, and EMR simultaneously. Implementation costs for a typical 10-doctor practice are estimated at $285,000 to convert to ICD-10-CM according to a recent study. The software cost associated with the transition would be approximately $25,000. Additional costs would come from claims queries, training, reductions in cash flow and, most importantly, documentation time.

Although there is significant financial overlay for this new system, the bigger issue, in my opinion, is the additional time physicians must absorb in clinical documentation initiatives not yet seen under ICD-9-CM and demonstrated by increasing the actual diagnostic and procedural codes and their descriptions from 13,000 codes to 68,000 codes. These additional codes will require more physician specificity as the system is designed to capture more granular data to be shared with world health organizations while meeting MS-DRG reimbursement demands for hospital inpatients.

As early as 2008, the AMA, their collective subspecialties, and the state Medical Societies all signed a letter to the Secretary of HHS asking for a 60 month hiatus (5 years) from 5010 electronic transaction implementation to the ICD-10-CM implementation. The letter was clear that the provider community could not financially meet the timelines of all government expectations within a very condensed period of time.

As expected, on Wednesday evening, 2/15/12, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius indicated that there would likely be a postponement of ICD-10. With all the dollars already invested by hospitals and other healthcare institutions anticipating an October 1, 2013 start, what impact will this delay have the future of healthcare data?

Only Time will tell.

References:

AHIMA E-Alert, February 9, 2012, pg 1

AHIMA E-Alert, February 16, 2012, pg 1; ASC Review, January 27, 2012, pg 1

Recruiting highly experienced certified coders has been an ongoing challenge for hospitals located in sparsely populated rural settings. Since many credentialed coders aspire to eventually code from home, recruiting and retaining onsite professional coding talent will continue to challenge the HIM industry for a long time. The market shift toward remote, or home-based coding, has left rural hospitals in a recruitment bind.

Fortunately, there are effective solutions to combat this challenge. Clearly, the ultimate goal is to recruit and retain a group of credentialed, highly qualified coders. This can be accomplished by implementing remote coding technology. Whether your facility is paper-based, hybrid or has an electronic health record (EHR), there are practical in-house and outside solutions readily available. With recurring coder recruitment and retention difficulties, HIM administrators should be proactive in their search for coding talent and might consider implementing a remote coding program.

Unless a particular remote facility has already been successful in recruiting and retaining a group of credentialed coders who wish to remain in the hospital setting, HIM administrators may continue to spend valuable time, money and other valuable resources on recruiting credentialed coders who might eventually leave the hospital setting to work from home. This situation is especially problematic for hospitals located in sparsely populated rural settings due to obvious geographic restrictions.

A simple cost-benefit analysis might guide an administrator in making his or her initial decision to implement a remote coding program, as it may be more cost prohibitive to recruit new coding talent on a continuous basis compared to the requisite initial investment to launch a remote coding program. Remote coding technology provides its users with the luxury of year round, continuous access to highly experienced and credentialed coders. Simply put, remote coding is the most effective and efficient means of reaching the most talented coders.

Remote coding can be successfully implemented and managed by even the smallest of facilities. Prior to implementing a remote coding program, it is imperative that HIM administrators fully discuss remote coding solutions with various departments. For example, the IT department will need to be heavily involved in implementing and managing the technology (software and scanning) that will be utilized to securely transfer the medical records. Along these lines, facilities that still utilize a paper chart will need to devise a scanning program. Whether the decision is made to implement an in-house remote coding program or to outsource this function, the individual(s) or company must be very familiar with HIPAA (and state-specific) privacy and security regulations, as well as all aspects of IT that tie into an efficient remote coding operation. Now more than ever, with the recent HITECH Act and renewed focus on privacy and security of protected health information (PHI), facilities must be cognizant of how their PHI is being handled. If utilizing an outside vendor, be sure to inquire about the privacy and security controls that are in place.

While remote coding may be a viable alternative to traditional onsite coding, as with any other solution, the advantages and disadvantages should be thoroughly assessed on a department-wide basis. The continued quest for in-house credentialed coding staff should not be abandoned and HIM administrators should always strive to recruit a team of superb coding talent. If, however, coder recruitment and retention have plagued your department for quite some time, considering a remote coding program will at the very least provide an alternate and effective means of enlisting national coding talent.

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