Many healthcare entities as well as medical coding & billing companies are conce

Posted by Ecareindia on September 1st, 2011

Many healthcare entities as well as medical coding & billing companies are concerned about ICD-10 transition. What’s stopping medical billing companies? Apart from the initial hurdles and cost factor, the main troubling parameter is productivity drop during ICD 10 transition. It is estimated that there will be a drop in productivity by 20-50% during ICD-10 implementation, varying for different medical claims billing entities. 

It is common that there will be stagnancy in work during implementation of any new process. But ICD-10 has turned out to be a big challenge to the medical claims billing industry, affecting the daily operations. To balance this, it is essential to follow a streamlined productivity improvement plan that will efficiently solve the productivity issues.

Estimate the potential of your coding team:

Monitor the current productivity of your medical coding team for a month and calculate their daily productivity in numbers to know the actual potential. This report will be the baseline for your ‘productivity improvement plan’.

Divide your coding team in to 3 vital groups:

Once you start with ICD-10, you have to organize your coding team in-to 3 groups based on the skill set, experience and interest of the coders. By doing this, focus on productivity will not be lost and teams will be able to perform better.

1. Backlogs:  Have a team handle any backlogs since completing this is essential to get a smooth start to ICD-10. You can use your coders with average experience on this.

2. Day-day work: Similarly you can assign newly joined coders who have little experience to handle the day-to-day work.

3. ICD 10 transition: Once this assignment is made the experienced coders with analytical skills can work on the ICD-10 transition.

Arrange for regular meetings:

Meetings are a must when implementing a plan. So, arrange for regular meetings and discuss with the 3 teams separately about their progress and check if they face any issues in their current scope of work. Help them out and encourage them to do well. Discuss on parameters like productivity, controlling errors & time management. Track productivity of the groups – only numbers can speak when productivity is concerned. Provide extra support to your ICD team to face the new challenges.

Provide periodical training sessions:

Based on the scope of work, provide quality training sessions to coders to handle their task more efficiently. Better the training, you will get better results.

Use technology to boost productivity:

Technology can transform processes and reduce complexity of a work. Analyze and find out tools that can help you in completing your task faster, thereby reducing the ‘turnaround time’ and increasing productivity. Errors and rework can affect productivity. So, go for system that can do better check on errors by providing alerts.  Have a system in place to track your productivity.

Monitor & review the results: Finally, you have to measure the results of your productivity plan. Make quarterly reviews to know the outcome of the change.  Once the ICD 10 initial setup is over, you can arrange for planned knowledge transfer sessions for other two groups and cross train them.

 These guidelines can help you in managing the productivity drop in medical coding & billing operations during ICD-10 transition in a better way and deliver enhanced results.

About the Author:

Tanya Gill is the Public Relations Manager for ecare India based in Chennai, India. She has wide knowledge and experience in the medical industry. ecare India is a leading medical billing company offering end-end medical billing services and is backed by extensive domain expertise, latest technology and dynamic compliance norms. ecare is HIPAA compliant and is the first Indian medical billing company to get ISO 27001: 2005 certified for information security management. ecare is also ISO 9001:2008 certified for quality management. By providing outsourced medical billing services, ecare makes it feasible.

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Joined: June 20th, 2011
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