HIMagine That! Practice Coding in ICD-10

Sue: Donna – just think in nine months the I-10 baby is gonna be born!

Donna: Well, at least we won’t have to decide on a name.

Sue: Right! But, you know how first-time parents go to classes to practice before the baby comes?

Donna: Yes… What are you getting at?

Sue: I’m saying that hospitals should be developing plans to have their coding professionals practice coding their medical records well before this baby’s due date.

Donna: I totally agree! There are so many benefits to practicing.

Sue: Yes – practice makes perfect. What benefits are you thinking about?

Donna: Well, first it will allow the coders to practice what they have learned in their training. Managers can better identify any gaps so coders can accomplish additional training as soon as possible.

Sue: Agreed! I think that practicing will also help surface documentation weaknesses that they can start remediating.

Donna: Yes, and to add to that, hospitals should also have their Clinical Documentation Improvement staff practice performing ICD-10 CDI reviews and querying physicians accordingly. That way, they can start getting the physicians prepared for the transition. It will allow the coding professional and the CDI staff to work together evaluating whether the documentation needed to support ICD-10 code specificity is in place.

Sue: Good points, Donna! Another benefit of practicing is that hospitals can capture the I-10 coded data and begin doing some data comparisons or maybe payer testing . . .

Donna: Yes – all helpful. From an HIM perspective, I think practicing also helps identify whether they need to tweak their current coding policies and procedures . . . but let’s talk about that next month!

Sue: Works for me. This expectant parent is worn out right now and needs a rest!

Donna Smith is a Project Manager with the Consulting Services business of 3M Health Information Systems.

Sue Belley is a Project Manager with the Consulting Services business of 3M Health Information Systems.

Looking for ways to practice? Join blogger Sue Belley for a free webinar: Do you still have time for comprehensive ICD-10 training?

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