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It's now just about 4 1/2 months until the new scheduled implementation of ICD-10 for billing barring interference by the Congress of the US. The Congress repealed the Sustained Growth Act and did not put a hold on implementation of ICD-10 as they did last year, so it looks quite promising. And the movement toward payments predicated on Value Based Purchasing, both by Federal and nonfederal payers, has not been delayed. Some facilities, both hospitals and physician groups, are procrastinating regarding the timing for education to the physicians and midlevel providers. Some with CDI programs are not getting the bang for the buck needed for identification as an excellent, safe hospital or medical staff. And this is hurting the overall goal of getting to the future of the business of medicine.

Our educational programs are physician taught and medical staff led. If your doctors, nurse practitioners and physician's assistants are providing all of the diagnostic information needed for accurate inpatient coding, all Value determinations are there for Medicare or the private insurance companies to see. And physician billing in this new era of severity and complexity becomes so much easier for them.

Regardless of the time for implementation ICD-10, the information that can be provided to a patient's medical record with the augmentation provided by our version of ICD-10 is of massive importance to patient care, whether we stay with I-9 or not. The processes that the major vendors of Electronic Health Records provide, in some way or other, is inadequate in helping the physician provide this specificity.

Now is the time to charge forward rather than turning back. To be able to get physicians familiar with terminology and specificity they will hear about for the rest of their professional careers, the earlier without pressure, the better.

Let us analyze your program, if you have one, and help identify how you can meet the needs of the future. Let us work with your medical staff and help them recognize the leadership role they need to succeed in a private practice or as a member of a group practice.

This additional time we have now will enable hospitals to get existing CDI staff trained to use ICD-10, specialty by specialty, disease by disease. This will permit them to learn, assimilate, become familiar and work with this system painlessly with the medical staff and with live charts. It’s no longer for the hospital alone – it’s no longer for the Medicare patient alone. It’s all docs, all patients, all payers, all arenas of medical practice. And the new words are still billable! The worst thing with starting this all now is that you’ll have better information in the charts regarding the patients. And, in my mind, that’s “meaningful use.”

We at DCBA can help the seasoned or new CDI teams and, especially, can engage the members of your Medical Staff of all specialties in the importance of being cognizant about any version of ICD diagnosis codes and words for the medical records that can lead to proper code assignment. You have time now. Take advantage of that time.

Give us a call. Let’s talk about it.
(770) 216-9691

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