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Why you should carry on with ICD-10 implementation

April 07, 2014 | Carl Natale, Editor, ICD10Watch


It’s understandable if healthcare providers consider ICD-10 implementation a lost cause. The latest delay shows how easy it is to derail a major healthcare policy initiative. So why bother?

Terrance Govender, a Director in the Navigant Healthcare practice, still sees plenty of value in ICD-10 implementation projects:

ICD-10 is a massive undertaking – getting ahead will save time and money in the long run

Preparing for ICD-10 is analogous to a race between two types of drivers. One who has been driving for a considerable length of time and one who only learnt to drive in the last few days. Both will be able to go around the track, but the driver who has been driving for a while will have better times, skills and will be a better defensive driver than the other because of the difference in experience. In the long run, being prepared early and fine tuning the initiatives from documentation to billing will ultimately save tons of money- money that can be lost due to a decrease in productivity or coders, Physicians and documentations specialist, and denials of claims.

Doctors can receive a more extensive education in understanding how their daily tasks will change

Doctors will need to understand core fundamental documentation concepts to support the ICD-10 code set, and then start practicing them and working them into their daily workflow immediately. This will help them fine tune the process and find their “sweet spot” –which allows for maximizing face to face time with the patient, minimal disruption of workflow, and providing specificity on commonly encountered diagnoses upfront as opposed to retrospectively.

Enhanced preparation will ensure the highest quality patient experience

Face to face time with our patients is slowly but surely decreasing. ICD-10 definitely calls for more documentation time and possible disruption of workflow because of that as well as increased queries for more specificity. Early preparation ensures that time needed to meet the requirements of the ICD code set is not taken away from face to face time with the patient- hence enhancing the patient experience.

Even the American Medical Association (AMA) advises medical practices to assess their medical coding procedures and clinical documentation as ICD-10 preparation. Those steps can help improve revenue while using ICD-9 codes.


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