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ICD-10 Training Games and Lookup

Posted on August 12, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

NueMD has recently launched what they’re calling their ICD-10 Training Lab. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect when they sent it over to me. They told me it was a free ICD-10 training lab. With ICD-10 breathing down our necks, I was interested to see what they’d put together.

If you’re looking for a full scale ICD-10 training course, then this isn’t it. I asked my HIM Manager friend, Erin Head, on Twitter about the training and she replied that “It’s very basic level but a good start. Still need to know how to code. Nice mobile view.”

Erin brings up a fine point. The ICD-10 training lab is not going to teach you to code. I don’t think that was NueMD’s intent. I think their intent was to provide a tool for those who already understand coding to be able to learn some of the new ICD-10 codes. In fact, since they’ve broken it out into specialties, my guess is that they really hope this ICD-10 training lab will help doctors to get up to speed on the most common new ICD-10 codes for their specialty.

My favorite part of the ICD-10 training lab is the ICD-10 Training games:
ICD-10 Training Games
What’s better than a game to learn something? Plus, when you’re trying to memorize something, repetition is a real key to learning. Games are great at providing a fun way to get in your repetitions.

The ICD-10 training lab also includes an ICD-10 code lookup. You can tell they’ve put in quite a bit of effort to make their ICD-10 code search work quite well. Although, it’s still just an ICD-10 code search. Something that should be incorporated in most EHR systems.

ICD-10 Survey Results: ICD-10 Business Areas of Concern

Posted on June 4, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Pretty regularly, NueMD does a survey of medical practices that produces some great insights into the small practice world. This year they decided to survey medical practices about ICD-10. They’ve posted the ICD-10 survey results for those interested in really diving into the detailed survey results. They had a total of 1000 responses from primarily small and medium-sized medical practices. That sample size always gives me a little more trust in the survey.

As I looked through their ICD-10 survey results, this is the chart that really stood out to me:
ICD-10 Business Areas of Concern
The thing that attracted me to this chart first is that it highlights a number of areas where a medical practice might be concerned when it comes to ICD-10 readiness. Are you doing the right ICD-10 training and education? Have you done payer testing? Have you budgeted in any software upgrade costs that may be required to meet ICD-10? How about claims processing? Are you ready? Will you be ready by the ICD-10 deadline? These are all good questions that every organization should be asking themselves as we move towards Oct 1 (ICD-10 implementation date for those following along at home).

The second reason I love this chart is that it shows you where organizations are most concerned. I was not surprised to see that many are really afraid of how claims processing is going to go during the transition to ICD-10. What are you and your organization doing to prepare for this? It’s going to be a really big deal for many organizations and could cause them massive cash flow issues if things go bad.

The second highest was Training and Education. This is an extremely challenging one for small practices in particular. Plus, the timing is hard as well. If you train them too early, they’ll forget it come Oct 1st. If you wait to long to do the ICD-10 training, then you might not have time to train everyone that needs to be ready. I’ve seen most organizations training earlier and then doing short refresher courses or content as they get closer.

I’m planning to do another ICD-10 post soon to talk about predictions on whether ICD-10 will go forward or not. So, watch for that in the future. However, I think organizations that aren’t acting as if it’s going forward are playing a game of Russian roulette. They’re certainly braver than I’d be if I were running a healthcare organization.

Survey: ICD-10 Business Areas of Concern

Posted on April 30, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Each year, NueMD does a survey of providers around ICD-10. 2015 was no exception. You can see the full results of their ICD-10 survey here. They had over 1000 respondents to the survey with the majority of them coming from small practices and 43% of them coming from patient care (DO, MD, DC, NP, RN, etc).

You should take a minute to check out the full results, but this chart from the survey results really caught my eye:

ICD-10 Business Areas of Concern for Doctors

Regardless of whether you’re interested in the results or not, the list of possible areas of concern is worth considering for your organization: Training/Education, Payer Testing, Software Upgrade Cost, Claims Processing, and Compliance Timelines/Deadlines. Are any of these areas a cause for concern with your practice when it comes to ICD-10? My guess is that it has many of you concerned about the switch to ICD-10.

I was glad to see that claims processing was the biggest concern. It should be a concern for doctors and you better prepare for it to be an issue. If you don’t, it’s very likely that you could run into a cash flow issue for your practice.

All signs seem to be pointing towards no more ICD-10 delays. Although, I did hear someone tell me that Congress had 15 (at least somewhere in that range) more opportunities to slip in language to delay ICD-10 again. That’s not likely comforting for healthcare organizations out there. However, I think at this point, organizations need to assume that it’s coming and prepare accordingly. Not doing so could have some dire circumstances come October.

Sorry Coders, It’s Not All About You – 7 Takeaways from #AHIMACon13

Posted on November 1, 2013 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

I am finally decompressing from the AHIMA conference held earlier this week in my hometown of Atlanta. Conferences that last more than a day tend to leave me with great insight into the inner workings of healthcare and inspiration for several blog posts. An unfortunate side effect is the mountain of email and suggested industry reading that piles up. Another is feeling pulled in two different directions. As I lamented to several other attendees, it’s hard to dedicate yourself to early sessions and late networking events when you know the family is waiting for you at home.

Despite my inability to catch the early riser sessions, I spent a solid three days at AHIMA attending sessions, walking the show floor and catching up with colleagues in the press room. I came away with a greater understanding of the challenges providers (and vendors) are facing in the transition to ICD-10, as well as insight into how HIM professionals as a whole feel about embracing digital/mobile/connected health in a time (present and future) of heightened patient engagement.

My Takeaways:

1. Not only do coders need to know how to code in ICD-10, but they should also have more contextual knowledge of anatomy and procedures than ever before. Coding veteran Gerri Walk, Senior Coding Manager and AHIMA-Approved ICD-10 trainer at HRS, tells me that to be truly successful in ICD-10, coders can’t just memorize a book. They also must have extensive knowledge of anatomy and be really good at turning what a physician says into the correct code.

2. Coders are so overwhelmed with studying and training for the ICD-10 switch that they don’t have time to think about the bigger financial picture and coding-related consequences. Codes obviously affect reimbursement. The wrong code can lead to audits, appeals and lots of red tape that physicians – particularly those in smaller practices or smaller hospitals – can’t afford. I did not get the feeling that these kinds of consequences are being conveyed at ICD-10 bootcamps and training sessions, which is a pity. This is an assumption on my part, but it seems to me that coders might be more diligent in their coding if they had a real sense of the financial impact their codes have on their organization.

3. Experienced coders only, please. If you’re a recent graduate, you’re likely out of luck. Providers, like the women I spoke with at the Carilion Clinic, want coders with a lot of experience. They may ultimately shoot themselves in the foot, however, by not taking on newer coding professionals. Experienced coders will soon be harder to come by (some are retiring to avoid the ICD-10 transition). Providers might want to seriously consider hiring new grads and turning them into homegrown coding talent. Kayce Dover of recruitment firm HIM Connections tells me she is starting to see more and more of this.

4. Sorry coders, it’s not ALL about you. Physicians’ workflows will take a big hit when ICD-10 kicks into gear thanks to extra interruptions (er, communication) from coding staff. As Kerry Martin, CEO of VitalWare told me, coders will have to distinguish between what a physician says or writes about a procedure, and what a physician actually does during that procedure. (I get the feeling that coders may not be thrilled about having to second-guess physicians.)

5. Many coders are worried their jobs will be replaced by artificial intelligence and other technologies not even off the drawing board yet. Their worries are unfounded, according to Shiny George, Senior Director of HIM at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals. She noted in her presentation on HIM in 2020 that their skill sets will still be needed, but will likely be used in different ways with new tools.

6. And speaking of new tools … the HIM profession seems ready and willing to embrace digital / connected health tools, as evidenced by their official endorsement of the Blue Button initiative. Consumer health and wellness apps were mentioned in nearly every session I attended. Patient and consumer engagement in healthcare via mobile devices is definitely on their radar, and they are well aware of the implications it will have on their profession. As George mentioned, HIM should not shy away from this trend, but should seek to embrace it, capturing and interpreting patient data in order to improve quality outcomes.

7. Gender equality is definitely a priority for female HIM professionals when it comes to achieving leadership positions. I attended several sessions on this topic, and will offer insight specific to this takeaway in next week’s post.

HIPAA and ICD-10 Courses

Posted on October 11, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

One of the real telling things I learned this week as I traveled to the MGMA Annual Conference and then the CHIME Fall Forum was how unprepared organizations are for ICD-10 and HIPAA Omnibus. It was amazing the stories I heard and I’m sure these will be topics I write about much more in the future.

One of the stories I heard was a medical practice who was asked if they were ready for ICD-10. The practice said that they were ready. Then, they were asked what they’d done to prepare for ICD-10. Their response was that their vendor said that they were ready for ICD-10.

We could really dig in to reasons why that practice might want to verify that their EHR vendor is really ready, but we’ll save that for future posts. What was amazing to me was that this practice thought they didn’t need to do anything to train their doctors and coders on ICD-10 to be ready for the change. They’re in for a rude awakening.

At a minimum, these organizations should look at a course like the Certificate of ICD-10-CM Coding Proficiency (20% discount if you use that link and discount code). The course looks at the key changes in coding with the implementation of ICD-10. Plus, it’s a course that looks to bridge your ICD-9 knowledge to ICD-10. Once you start digging into this content, you realize why your organization better have some ICD-10 training or you’re organization will suffer.

The same applies to HIPAA. So many people don’t realize (or remember) that as part of HIPAA compliance you need to have regular HIPAA training for your staff. This is particularly true with all of the changes that came with HIPAA omnibus. How many in your organization know the details of the changes under HIPAA omnibus?

An online courses like the Certified HIPAA Security Professional are such a great option since you can work on them when you have time and come back to them later while helping to protect you against a HIPAA audit. Plus, the course linked above includes a HIPAA “Business Associate Agreement” downloadable template which I’m quite sure many organizations still need. I recently asked a doctor’s office I was working with for their EHR business associate agreement. They told me they didn’t have one (more on that in future posts). Really? Wow!

Certainly each of these courses and training take some commitment to complete. Although, when your colleagues ICD-10 reimbursement becomes an issue or the HIPAA auditor knocks on your door, you’ll sleep much better knowing you’ve made the investment. Those who don’t will likely pay for it later.

Coder Academy Teaches ICD-10 – Is Your Org Ready?

Posted on July 8, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

We’ve been writing about the coming ICD-10 deadline for a while including when the ICD-10 deadline was delayed another year. Every sign I’ve seen says that ICD-10 won’t be delayed anymore. The rumblings are starting to come out that many healthcare organizations aren’t ready for ICD-10.

In response, to this, I found it interesting that the TrustHCS Academy has put together a program to train coding professionals on ICD-10. I expect many medical coding professionals will be interested in this type of class. ICD-10 is one thing that could really benefit from a training class like this.

I recently was part of a discussion where an Epic EHR consultant was saying that EHR had been mandated and everyone should get on board or else suffer the consequences. I quickly corrected him that there is no EHR mandate. In a rare moment, he apologized for his mistake and agreed there was no EHR mandate. Then, he asked an interesting question, “Is ICD-10 a mandate?”

I guess in its purest form, ICD-10 is not a mandate. If you’re ok practicing medicine with only cash pay payments, then I guess you could choose not to use ICD-10. However, if you want to get reimbursed, then ICD-10 has been mandated.

I thought it would be interesting to see if your organizations will be ready for ICD-10 by the deadline. Vote in the poll below, or click Yes or No to share your organization’s ICD-10 readiness.