Succeeding in an ICD-10 World

06/01/2017
In the ICD-9 era, there were universally accepted benchmarks to measure coding professionals’ productivity. Now, more than 18 months after the ICD-10 implementation date, the challenge is to do the same for the new coding system.
The article, “Coding Checkup,” in the June issue of the Journal of AHIMA, addresses this issue and provides direct feedback from on the transition from experts at places such as the Cleveland Clinic and Bon Secours Health System in Virginia.
This summer, the AHIMA Foundation will study the state of ICD-10 productivity. The research, expected to be published in early 2018, will help identify strengths and weaknesses in the transition to date.
“This is an ideal time to establish benchmarks for ICD-10 coding,” said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, CAE, FACHE, FAHIMA. “The insights from this research will give providers and coding directors a clear sense if their workforce is performing optimally.”
Earlier in 2017, the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Health Information Management, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and Ciox Health conducted a study on ICD-10 inpatient productivity and accuracy that found consistent improvement in ICD-10 productivity over time. For example, when ICD-10 first went live the average coding time in minutes per record was 43.68. Nine months later that had decreased to 37.45 minutes per record.
“What was remarkable is how quickly (coding in ICD-10) returned into an ICD-9 baseline,” said Scot Nemchik, CCS, in the article. Nemchik is vice president of coding education at Ciox Health and one of the study’s investigators.
Anecdotally, the news is also positive. For example, the Cleveland Clinic and Bon Secours Health System both achieved their goal of returning to a 95-percent coding productivity rate within the first year of the transition.
“I think there’s also opportunity now that the dust has settled,” said Indra Osi, RHIA, CHP, enterprise director, hospital coding and reimbursement at Cleveland Clinic. “We’re starting to understand how important specificity is, in terms of ‘painting a complete clinical picture.’”
Also in this issue:
In a strategic effort to outline how HIM professionals can continue to thrive in a fast-moving healthcare landscape, AHIMA recently published the white paper HIM Reimagined: Transformation Starts with You. The article, “HIM Reimagined Outlines Bold New Future for HIM Profession,” gives the background on how this document was prepared and evolved to meet future challenges.
Read these articles and more in the June issue of the Journal of AHIMA or online at journal.ahima.org.