Help for physicians in planning for the ICD-10 transition

Physicians will be a key part of making the ICD-10 transition successful. This post focuses on helping doctors become more comfortable with the new code sets.

HealthStream outlined these steps in the white paper "Preparing a Successful ICD-10 Transition : Helping Physicians Succeed in an ICD-10 World."

Physicians need to look at the ICD-10 transition as more than an administrative burden because ICD-10 implementation will be part of more than just medical claim reimbursements:

  • The ICD-10 data will be used in heathcare reform initiatives.
  • More expensive treatments and diagnoses will require more documentation.
  • Physicians will be judged on documentation.

Learning ICD-10 coding will be a huge task but physicians won't need to learn the whole code set. Thus ICD-10 training programs need to emphasize coding strategies not codes:

  • Focus on documentation principles that can apply to any disease

- Site
- Laterality
- Timing
- Manifestations
- Stage
- Status
- Drug, alcohol or tobacco dependency

  • Focus on areas that need improvement
  • Do not focus on principal diagnosis

- Learn how to code underlying conditions

  • Prepare EHRs

- Incorporate ICD-10 into templates and prompts

> Code and code descriptions
> Documentation requirements

Remember there are many ways to teach people:

  • Online lessons and webinars
  • Peer led workshops and classes
  • Mobile apps and resources
  • CDI specialists
  • Simulations
  • Printed resources
  • Video games
  • One-on-one coaching

It's OK to use different learning tools to reach different physicians.

Physician training steps

  • Identify physicians and staff members who need training
  • Assess physician documentation strengths and weaknesses
  • Develop lessons based upon specialties and documentation gaps
  • Develop training timeline

- Estimate time needed
- Schedule start and finish dates
- Allow for practice and follow up assessments