The implementation of ICD-10 comes with many changes that will not only affect documentation, patient outcomes and the delivery of care, but also emergency department (ED) physicians.
Here’s the reality: ICD-10 requires a substantially increased level of specificity, more robust documentation and clinical content. How are you going to prepare your physicians for ICD-10? Are you expecting them to learn thousands of ICD-10 codes, take a series of eight hour training courses or google the code for the presenting complaint? An ED physician sees a vast amount of chief complaints and varying acuities.
ICD-10 is a documentation problem and the burden will be on the physician because coders can only code what’s been documented. So what does that mean for EDs, hospital systems and providers in the unscheduled care setting? ICD-10 will have a huge financial impact if you don’t have a strong documentation tool in place –physician productivity will decrease and unspecified codes will lead to delayed or rejected claims and reduced revenue.
Make sure your ED has a solution that’s ready and ask your vendor the following questions to determine their ICD-10 readiness:
- Documentation specificity: Will your documentation meet ICD-10 specificity requirements? Will the solution guide physicians to document enough specificity? Will it flag incomplete documentation?
- Productivity: Is the implementation of ICD-10 going to demand more time from the clinician?
- Ease-of-use: How easy is the system to use? What will be involved in implementation / training?
- Workflow: Does the system impact existing workflow? Will it cause more coder queries? How can the solution support the physician during documentation?
- Reimbursement: Does your documentation support a complete code to maximized reimbursement for the care provided?