Donna: Hey Sue, did you see the results of that recent ICD-10 survey?
Sue: No, I didn’t! What did it say?
Donna: Well, it looks like the biggest concern the participants had regarding I-10 preparedness was physician education.
Sue: I can understand that! Physicians need to know about ICD-10 documentation requirements in order for everything else to fall into place.
Donna: That’s right. What do you think organizations should be doing now to get their physicians prepared?
Sue: Well, they should either be developing an internal education program or looking to purchase a program that can provide targeted, specialty-based ICD-10 education to their service lines. And once they decide how they’re going to go about doing I-10 education, they need to develop an implementation plan for it.
Donna: I agree, but if they are just starting to work on this now, there’s no time to waste! We’re already into 2013—just a year to go until the deadline.
Sue: Well, I think there are educational activities that organizations can implement in the meantime while they work out their implementation plan.
Donna: What are you thinking of?
Sue: If they have a CDI program, they can start by adding ICD-10 specific queries right now. For example, if they have a patient with a cerebral infarction and the artery that infarcted is not specified, they can ask the physician to clarify the affected artery in the medical record. This will help educate the physician on an I-10 documentation requirement and help change documentation behavior before October 2014. The CDI staff can continue to add ICD-10-specific queries over the coming months.
Donna: Great idea! I was thinking that coding and CDI managers can meet with physicians and surgeons to exchange information about disease processes and procedures as well as the coding requirements for them in ICD-10. Let’s say they meet with a colorectal surgeon and talk about the importance of specifying what the surgeon is removing from the patient – whether it is the entire descending colon or a part of it. They can review actual operative reports and identify whether the existing documentation is codeable or not and point out what is needed while the surgeon provides education on removal of the intestine, types of anastomoses, etc.
Sue: That’s a great idea – both the physician and coding/CDI staff will benefit with that one.
Donna: Exactly. Win-win for everyone!
Sue Belley is a Project Manager with the Consulting Services Business of 3M Health Information Systems.
Donna Smith is a Project Manager and Senior Consultant with the Consulting Services business of 3M Health Information Systems.