ICD 10 Provider Documentation: Key to Conversion Success
“Chief Strategy Officer”, an interesting title. And in these unsure times, may be just what healthcare practices need. Everyone is under the pressure of what will happen next…..how do we capitalize our strengths…minimize our weaknesses, deal with the healthcare exchanges, satisfy patients, make more money for providers and convert to ICD 10….all while increasing our dependence on technology…expensive technology.
And now the government shut down over the ACA, on the very day the insurance exchange program opens. As predicted, October the first has come and gone without much impact to healthcare. Healthcare.gov site has simple question and answer driven format to get you around the site. At each page, there is a survey on how well the site performed. The biggest question is will the right number of young healthy people apply for and be enrolled in insurance plans that have never had insurance before. The answer will only come over time.
What should your healthcare practice be focused on today? What should your practice be preparing for in the future? What strategies are important for your practice to remain successful?
Healthcare is complex. But despite the complexity, the simple function of healthcare practices is the delivery of care to patients. Prevention and treatment of disease and conditions arising from accidents or life-style or genetics is of course the first priority of healthcare practices.
The details of how to serve your patients best while keeping the practice growing and successful provides the complexity issues that keep practice managers up at night.
The issue consuming most of the angst of practices today is EHR implementation and use. Cash flow causes many practices to look for alternative solutions. Surprisingly, most healthcare practices do not consider ICD 10 conversion a reason to re-think strategy or the object of current focus. Providers need to begin documentation changes ASAP. This requires practices to educate providers now on the component changes to documentation to support ICD 10 coding. Current Provider documentation is based on multiple factors: training, specialty, habit, experience. Changing documentation protocols will need to be adapted to over time. Ongoing audits on provider documentation as gaps in that documentation are identified and communicated is a critical step of changing documentation habits of most providers. This takes time and effort. Providers will not suddenly change their documentation of visits and procedures on October 14, 2014.
Starting now is critical! ICD 10 conversion success depends on many factors; not the least of which is provider documentation.