One way or another, administrative staff are involved in nearly every process within a physician practice. That makes administrative insight invaluable to your preparations for ICD-10. In particular, there are five aspects to the ICD-10 transition that can benefit greatly from administrative expertise:
1) Code discovery. One of the first steps any practice has to go through to get ready for ICD-10 is to assess where ICD-9/ICD-10 codes are used. It may be obvious that diagnosis codes are used as part of the claim submission process, for instance, but less obvious that they play a role in your referral, compliance management and physician referral workflows. Administrative staff are in a great position to look at each functional area within a practice to identify: where diagnosis codes are used; who uses them; and how they are used.
2) Gap analysis. Once you’ve determined where and how diagnosis codes are used, that information needs to be consolidated into a single document that can help drive your transition efforts. Pull together a gap analysis document that includes details such as: the specific places where diagnosis codes are found; who supplies the codes; where the codes come from; and where they go. In essence, it’s a diagnosis code flow sheet for your practice. Taking advantage of administrative insight is one way to ensure you don’t miss anything.
3) Technology updates. Who knows better than administrative staff how your technology is working “in the real world”? Now is the time to pinpoint—with their help—where your technology is strong and where it’s weak. You’ll want to improve those weak spots before ICD-10 stresses them even more.
4) Support and education. Design ICD-10 training sessions that respect your administrative staff members’ busy schedules. Conduct introductory training about a year before the Oct. 1, 2014, implementation deadline to provide enough time to get familiar with the code set. Don’t take a deep dive, though, until about six months prior—just before they have to use the codes.
5) Testing/monitoring. Administrative staff can also prove a helpful resource for designing tests to effectively measure how well new processes and IT systems really work after ICD-10 go-live. Once again, it’s their “real world” knowledge of technology and processes that’s so important.
Administrative staff can bring a wealth of practical, hands-on knowledge to your ICD-10 transition. Make sure you don’t overlook it! For more information, download this white paper A Practice Administrator’s Guide to ICD-10.