What is the first concern that comes to coder’s mind when they think about ICD-10 implementation? It is productivity. After welling in the relative comforts of ICD-9 for years, coders are experiencing a slump in productivity in the new era of double digit disease classification. Needless to say, once they get more familiar with ICD-10, productivity will pick up, but waiting for that to happen may prove to be costly for the health care providers. In this blog we talk about some ways by which providers can arrest the slump:

Comprehensive Training

Can you withstand the rigors of a triathlon event or a 10k marathon without appropriate training? No isn’t it. The same is true with coders. In order to successfully tackle the various complications of ICD-10 implementation and be productive, they need to be intelligently and efficiently trained. And this does not simply mean standard weekend training; it should involve continuous, ongoing training in utilization of ICD-10 codes on actual patient health records.

Watch Who You Hire

Many practices are reluctant to hire rookies to carry out their coding tasks due to the fear that they lack the prerequisites to be successful in this field. However the contrary is true, as these individuals generally tend to possess better knowledge and understanding about the current coding practices than those who have been associated with the industry for more years. Also they do not carry the baggage of being stuck with the old nuances and practices, which is an added plus.

Consider Computer-Assisted Coding (CAC)

Yes, computer-assisted coding wouldn’t essentially code for you, but it will in all probability give breathing space for your coders and save a lot of time by assigning codes up front based on the documentation. From there, the coder can take over and verify the correctness of the codes.

Clean Up the Backlog

It can be pretty hard for your coders to stay productive, when they still have the baggage of having to manage the old ICD-9 backlogs. In order to get past this impediment, you may have to hire extra help, or ask your coders to put in some extra hours. Yes, this is not something that they are willing to do, but make sure that you insist on it, as it is something that is essential to stay productive post ICD-10 implementation.

Concentrate on Individual Strengths

One of the best ways to maximize your coders’ efficiency is to capitalize on your coders strengths. Hence make it a point that you invest enough time and effort to understand the strengths of each individual and assign certain specialties to coders who have shown strengths in that area.

These are some of the best ways to create actionable and positive change to your practice. In case you want additional help to drive coder productivity, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will provide you with the in-house training that is necessary to cope up with the various rigors of ICD-10 transition. Not just that! We will also equip you with state-of-the-art coding solutions and services to drive coder productivity and introduce greater coding efficiency.


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