The deadline is fast approaching for implementing the new ICD-10 coding changes into your practice; if you haven’t already begun your staff’s ICD-training, here are some CMS-recommended steps for small to medium practices to follow to make the transition and training process go more smoothly. Developing a plan for the changeover to ICD-10 coding training can be done only after assessment, when you have a clear idea of what your staff’s needs are and have measured competencies and identified gaps in skills, to be able to focus on areas needing attention as well as which training approaches to use.
According to information from the CMS website, successful implementation includes:
- Understanding which implementation resources are available and where to best use them.
- Assessing staff training needs, including physicians, technicians, and nursing staff, as well as the billing and clerical departments. Part of this will include developing a budget for training, transitional assistance, and other resources.
- Developing a plan for training the parties affected.
- Managing staff productivity during the training and transitioning processes.
The CMS site offers several self- assessment questions that can help pinpoint areas of attention:
- First, who will receive the training, and what will it cover?
If this is a small practice, it’s especially important that all administrative and clinical staff receive training.
Coders and physicians will require more in-depth coding training for the new codes than a simple overview for administrative (receptionists or schedulers). Other clinical staff (such as nurses or physician assistants) should receive training on clinical details to improve documentation.
Documenting and updating patient charts, learning the new correct coding of administrative and medical records, updates in health information technologies, and health plans and contracts are some of the areas that will need to be addressed in future training.
What are your staff’s current levels of competency in coding for medical procedures as well as anatomy?
By offering your coding and billing staff the chance to obtain certification in ICD-10 coding, you can help your staff reduce inaccuracies that may impede clean claims billing as well as increasing understanding of correct coding throughout the practice.
What is the time frame needed for Implementation, including training?
Will you need to train your staff individually or as a group? Will there need to be any ‘downtime’ for staff built into training schedules? If so, how will you maintain an acceptable level of operation during training, and will this affect training schedules?
What kind of training might work best for your practice and staff?
You might offer classroom training through an outside organization, or staff may prefer to use online training or other forms of self-study. Your transition team, under the guidance of your coordination manager, can advise you on what will work best for your practice.
What will be the cost of the training?
This will be directly influenced by whether you choose to use classroom, online or self-study. Will your staff need to use any outside coding assistance to help cover daily administrative operations during the transition period once training is completed? If so, where will you obtain help and what will this cost?
Once your staff’s ICD training is completed, what resources are available (manuals, online help or prompts, personal consultation, and so on) for resolving problems and questions as they arise in the course of transition?
We are a national leader in medical billing for practices and clinics around the country. Their industry expertise can help your practice meet the ICD-10 coding requirements before, during and after implementation.
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