The Benefits of Hiring an ICD-10 Consultant
Many healthcare organizations don't realize that they can hire an ICD-10 consultant to assist them with the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 coding. However, a consultant will serve to assist your company in a variety of ways, as they evaluate your situation and needs in a thorough and objective manner. As they have assisted other healthcare organizations with similar issues, they will be well aware of the potential hurdles you will need to tackle. This article will discuss the various benefits of hiring an ICD-10 consultant.
An Overview of the Issues
Quite a few organizations don't realize the complexity of the ICD-9 to ICD-10 transition that will take place in the next few years. Yet, it will even have the ability to impact the financial integrity of an institution. If advance preparation doesn't occur, after the transition takes place, necessary payments may not be received. One of the reasons that this change is so intensive is that there are 15,000 codes in ICD-9, but there are approximately 110,000 codes in ICD-10. Some experts have even compared this transition to Y2K.
For larger healthcare providers, this changeover can cost millions of dollars. For example, Kaiser Permanente has stated that the change will impact over 100 systems that include everything from financial and claims processing to customer reporting systems. There is also a communication issue involved. For example, a doctor may write a surgical note in a certain way, but it may not include the detail necessary for the coder to properly describe the amount of revenue involved. As a result, employees across the board will need to start writing much more detailed assessments.
You may want to set up a team or at the very least a designated individual from your company who will be in charge of providing the consultant with information and also implementing the changes. However, since the scope of the ICD-10 transition impacts many departments, the consultant will need to gather information from everyone from the billing staff to the IT staff.
What Will a Consulting Company Offer Your Organization?
Among the benefits of hiring an ICD-10 consultant is that your organization will be better able to successfully provide medical care for patients. When you don't have to think about anticipating the various intricacies that go into successfully handling the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10, it will free you up to do what you do best, namely, focusing on the treatment of patients.
One recommendation that an ICD-10 consultant is likely to give you is to make sure that you properly test the ICD-10 implementation ahead of time. Depending on the size of your organization, this could potentially be a massive job. There will likely be many changes to the way you do business both before and after the ICD-10 transition, and it is important to give these careful thought and attention far in advance. A consultant will recommend that you keep those individuals closest to the work directly involved with the testing.
Consultants Provide a Wealth of Information
Another one of the benefits of hiring an ICD-10 consultant is that he or she will be well versed on all the latest news that will impact you directly. For example, he will have likely attended the ICD-10 Summit Conference or at least read about the information that was shared at that event. The American Health Information Management Association put on this event and shared vital information that will impact healthcare organizations. This entire event was dedicated to the different types of challenges that the upcoming transition to ICD-10 coding will incur. Throughout the Summit Conference, cutting edge discussions took place involving various leaders in different segments of the healthcare industry.
KForce recently did a case study to reveal the impact of the ICD-10 transition to healthcare organizations. In this assessment, KForce together with HR took a look at the systems and vendor relationships and how they will impact health information management operations. They found that many healthcare institutions simply were not ready for the conversion on terms of the cost and staffing challenges that will be involved.
Consultants will use their software to assess exactly how the ICD-9 codes will translate into ICD-10. This will give you an overall idea of the different facets you need to consider first as well as the prominent risks that are involved. Additionally, a consultant will work closely with your coders to make sure that all processes will run smoothly. Another one of the benefits of hiring an ICD-10 consultant is that you will receive necessary feedback on coding and documentation issues that could occur.
Hiring an ICD-10 Consultant Will Give You a Plan
Your healthcare organization will likely need a very specific plan for how to move forward while reducing downtime and lost revenues as much as possible. A knowledgeable and experienced consultant will assist you to make sure that your transition occurs on time and that as few disruptions occur as possible. They will be on the lookout for potential conflicts and be sure to manage them ahead of time.
You can also hire a consulting company that can assist your organization with knowledgeable coding professionals who can help with your staffing needs to make sure that all aspects of healthcare management run smoothly. Both before and after the ICD-10 transition your organization may need support handling ICD-10 coding.
Kforce offers ICD-10 consulting as well as staffing, training and support for your workforce. Kforce can provide a detailed assessment as well as the training that your health organization will require going forward. Any education provided will be customized to the specific needs of your organization.
No matter what you do, ICD-10 coding will be here before you know it. As a result, it is imperative that you gain the strategic advantage ahead of time. If you are looking to effectively plan and manage this transition, there are many benefits to hiring an ICD-10 consultant.
Have you started your ICD-10 assessment?
Contact a Kforce Healthcare Solutions professional to discuss how Kforce can help you through the planning, remediation and stabilization phases of your ICD-10 implementation. Contact us at 866-893-9547 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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