The Pros and Cons of Using an EHR Scribe

Lea Chatham April 17th, 2014

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Kareo EHRBy Charles Settles

Electronic health record (EHR) adoption has brought new triumphs and new challenges. Coping with these challenges has caused many changes, few more interesting than the rise of the EHR scribe. While there are a seemingly unlimited number of EHR vendors in the marketplace, it’s no secret that not all of these programs have the clinical efficiency providers require. Because of this, many physicians end up looking for a new solution. For some, switching EHRs still isn’t enough because of their unique workflow needs. As a result, EHR scribes have popped up as a strategy to allow providers to structure their workflow the way they want while maximizing the benefits of the EHR.

What is an EHR Scribe?
An EHR scribe is someone employed by the provider to interact with the EHR program on the physician’s behalf.Tweet this Kareo story

According to Dr. Kathleen Myers, CMO and founder of Essia Health, a scribe training/staffing firm, scribes are typically aspiring nurses, nurse practitioners, or physicians. In a patient encounter, a scribe will input all of the physician’s comments and orders into the EHR, as the doctor dictates. Sometimes called “at-the-elbow” support, a scribe follows the doctor from encounter to encounter, to the point of occasionally needing to be told by physicians like Myers, “I’m going to the bathroom, you don’t have to follow me here.”

Scribe Training
According to Dr. Myers, Essia’s scribes are vetted for academics, typing skill, and medical passion before being admitted into the training program. Independent study of medical jargon, how to create encounter notes, and how to create differential diagnoses is followed with 20 hours of classroom training, where they practice charting in the EHR. Following independent study and classroom time, the new scribes progress to an actual encounter. They’re paired with existing scribes and trainers for an additional 80 hours of observation and instruction before becoming a full-fledged scribe themselves.

Scribe Impact on Clinical Efficiency
While scribing might not seem efficient at first glance, according to Dr. Myers and several studies, scribing can actually help some practices. According to a study published in the Journal of ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research, physicians who used scribes saw an increase of 1.3 patients per hour, and 2 work relative value units (wRVU) per day. There was even a rise in levels of patient and provider satisfaction of 6 and 50 percent, respectively. Perhaps the most (or least) surprising benefit is the rise in patient satisfaction. Having an additional person involved in every patient encounter might seem awkward, but if the physician is spending more time interacting with the patient instead of a screen, it’s not surprising that patients felt better engaged.

Future of Scribing
As data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) shows, nearly half a million providers have begun to use EHR programs since the Meaningful Use incentive program began, and the number continues to rise. A brief Google search turns up hundreds of companies moving into the medical scribe training and placement business to meet an increasing demand. For providers who can’t seem to find the right workflow efficiency with an EHR, this can be a good solution, but there is a cost. According to Myers, most Scribes make $10-$15 per hour. So, consider carefully if hiring a scribe is the best option. Then, look for someone with experience using your EHR to minimize training and onboarding time.

But keep in mind that the long term goal of an EHR should be to simplify medical workflows, not add additional staff.Tweet this Kareo story

So you may want to balance the option of a scribe against the time and cost of additional personalized training for providers who are struggling to adapt to an EHR.

About the Author

charles settleCharles Settles is a content writer at TechnologyAdvice. He frequently covers topics related to Health IT, business intelligence, and other emerging trends.

 

 

 

 

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Use Patient Engagement Technology to Add Loyal Patients, Earn Profits

Lea Chatham April 15th, 2014

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Part B News logo

By Roy Edroso, Part B News

Push patient engagement with electronic health record (EHR) tools not just to meet meaningful use standards but also to keep patients coming back.

Patient engagement features include patient dialogue with providers that goes beyond the office (e.g., secure messaging) and health interventions that require the active participation of patients, such as diet and exercise monitoring.

Practice managers might consider those features low-impact and not worth pursuing beyond regulatory requirements. Yet some measures are actually what patients say they want, according to Lea Chatham, a content manager and patient engagement expert at EHR company Kareo.

The Optum Institute, for example, finds that most patients want an online relationship with their providers, and Aeffect Inc. finds “access to EMR tools appears to be one of many elements that are likely to contribute to higher levels of satisfaction and patient retention.”

“Patients are starting to view health care like other consumer services,” Chatham says. “They begin to expect the same kind of access that they get from retail. They want tech notifications—balance due, service reminders, the ability to use electronic communication.”

Along with giving patients what they want, the EHR tools can help your practice meet stage 2 meaningful use measure 7 (portal access to health records) and measure 17 (secure messaging with patients) (PBN 1/13/14).

Use tech to improve your image
Patients’ perceptions of tech-savvy practices also have changed, says Robert Tennant, senior policy adviser for the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) in Washington, D.C.

“I think it used to be that Medicare patients were tech-averse, but now they’re coming in with smartphones themselves,” says Tennant. “For a practice to be seen using tech like this is to be seen as cutting-edge in clinical standards too—and an older, paper-based office may not seem up to the latest clinical standards. Look at Kaiser Permanente’s ads: They’re about patient engagement and technology now—they position themselves as tech leaders, therefore health care leaders.”

The further you go with patient communications, the more tightly you bind them to your practice, suggests Todd Searls, director of Wide River LLC in Lincoln, Neb.

“If the patient communication tool is one way only—like an email stating that a lab result is in—then not much is changing from how we do things today,” says Searls. “However, if the email leads the patient to a portal where they can schedule appointments, review educational resources, upload their own medical history then you are starting to really build a portal for patient engagement that can transform patients from ‘audience’ status to ‘participant’ status.”

How simplification saves money
As these technologies develop and patients get used to using them, their financial advantages will become easier to see, says Tennant. He anticipates your skepticism: In the meaningful-use era, physicians who’ve been spending bundles to come up to standards may find that hard to believe anymore.

But Tennant expects the next tech wave will show savings through administrative simplification. For example: “A pretty significant number of medical claims are rejected on transcription error,” says Tennant. Practices lose more than $3 per claim that they have to rework, according to a 2013 AMA report (PBN 7/1/13). “That would be reduced by a smart health card.” Also, he says think of the phone calls and unnecessary office visits that will be headed off by a more robust online communication link between providers and patients.

3 tech tips to do now
The smart cards are a ways off, but take advantage of technological advances that are now available:

  • Use text messaging with proper HIPAA security standards. Studies show that many doctors already are using text messaging to communicate with patients. Several companies have developed texting systems that they say meet HIPAA standards to protect patient’s information (PBN 6/24/13).
  • Find apps that work specifically for your practice. “There are tens of thousands of health-care-related apps out there — and most of them are useless,” says Tennant. But some are effective, especially for patients with chronic diseases like diabetes, he says. “We’re looking forward to practices leveraging that type of tech, and maybe even having their own apps,” says Tennant. “An endocrine practice with a lot of diabetics could get an info feed from their patients, for example, that goes directly into the EHR system. And they can use the same tech to push out information—on healthy living, things to avoid, things to do, news … there are a lot of opportunities.”
  • Handle over-communicators. As your online patient communications improve, some patients will expect an immediate response, even when they only have a sore elbow, Tennant notes. “Typically Medicare will not reimburse for that service, so you have to be cautious opening that up,” he says. “Also, you don’t want to diagnose via text”—even if the patient sends a picture. The model is for the patient to make an off-hours call to your phone service; generally the answer will be to have the patient go to an emergency room or come to the office in the morning.

This article was reprinted with permission from Part B News. To subscribe to Part B News, click here.

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Successfully Implement Patient Portal for Meaningful Use

Lea Chatham April 10th, 2014

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Register NowPatient Portal: Meaningful Use, Engaged Patients & More
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
10:00 AM PT, 1:00 PM ET

Practices that have invested time and money in choosing, implementing, and converting to electronic health records are ready to reap the benefits—and patients portals are an important key to success. A well-implemented patient portal will help you achieve Meaningful Use incentives AND improve patient engagement and compliance while also simplifying time-consuming office tasks like reporting lab results and medical records requests. In addition to the financial and workflow benefits, patients are actually eager to connect with their physicians electronically. You just need to know how to make it all happen

In this webinar, Laurie Morgan will share strategies to help you:

• Successfully implement your patient portal
• Improve patient engagement, compliance, and outcomes
• Meet some requirements to attest for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use

You’ll leave this webinar able to realize more of the benefits of your EHR and patient portal!

Who should attend? Practice managers, healthcare providers, and anyone else who is interested in using and make the most of a patient portal

Register now to learn how to make the most of your patient portal

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Great Meaningful Use Updates in Kareo April Newsletter

Lea Chatham April 9th, 2014

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The April edition of the Kareo Getting Paid Newsletter is packed with Meaningful Use tools and tips to help you attest along with our latest infographic on making increasing demand for healthcare services an opportunity for your practice. The newsletter also provides a chance to discover upcoming events, news, and resources from Kareo and links to connect with Kareo on social media. Plus, you’ll learn about how to register for our upcoming free educational webinar, Patient Portal: Meaningful Use, Engaged Patients & More, presented by Laurie Morgan. Read all this and more now!

April Kareo Getting Paid Newsletter

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Patient Portals: If You Build One, Will Patients Engage?

Lea Chatham April 8th, 2014

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by Laurie Morgan, Capko & Morgan

Register Now to Learn How to Make the Most of a Patient PortalLately we’re finding that the mere mention of the words patient portal prompt a shudder of fear among some of the practice managers and physicians we work with—as if the very idea of implementing one conjures images of the most painful aspects of the EHR implementation process. And nobody seems to even consider the upside. As with so many other technology waves that have crashed onto practice shores in the past few years, administrators and physicians assume that the benefits of implementing a patient portal couldn’t possibly outweigh the cost (and may not even exist!).

You, too, may be thinking that a patient portal is just another must-do for Meaningful Use—with no upside for your practice. But what if I told you that there is a growing body of research showing that a well-functioning patient portal has tangible benefits for patients and your practice? Not pie-in-the-sky, but measurable benefits like significantly improved adherence to preventive care and vaccine schedules and medication recommendations.  Research even shows that an effective portal can help you retain existing patients and recruit new ones. One recent study found that 73% of patients were more loyal to their physician when there was a portal, while another showed that two-thirds of patients would consider switching to a provider who offered access to medical records online.  And if you consider that adding just one patient a week as a result of offering an easy-to-use portal and online tools, that could mean $5,000 to your annual bottom line—and that’s just one way to profit.

A successful portal implementation can put you on the path to meeting Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements and so much more. But it’s not enough to simply launch your portal. Success requires carefully determining what you will offer to patients, deciding how you will interact with them via the portal, and developing a roll-out plan to ensure patients know about your portal and its benefits to them. It’s not rocket science, and it needn’t be overwhelming, but it does require a bit of planning and research.

Please join me on April 16 for a free webinar, The Patient Portal: Meaningful, Engaged Patients, and More, that can help you effectively launch and maximize the benefits of a patient portal!

About the Author
Laurie MorganLaurie Morgan is a senior consultant and partner at Capko & Morgan. She managed both start-ups and large-scale operations in the media industry before turning her focus to medical practice management. Her consulting focus is on driving and capturing revenue and operating more efficiently. Laurie has an MBA from Stanford University.

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Privacy Statements in Plain Language

Lea Chatham April 2nd, 2014

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By Jean Eaton, B Admin, CHIM

Primary care practice managers and clinic managers are required by legislation and regulated standards to develop forms and notices to inform their patients of what to expect at the clinic. These documents usually have one of two main purposes:

  • Inform our patients and client about how their information is being collected, what will be done with it, and what their choices are.
  • Inform our patients and clients about their care and treatment.

Each purpose is important–important enough for us to take the time and effort to make the documents easy to read and easy to understand.

What is plain language?
The objective of plain language is to write in simple conversational English at about an eighth grade reading level. Here are some basic plain language guidelines that make documents easy to understand.Tweet this Kareo story

  • Omit legal/technical jargon and limit defined terms
  • Use positive language
  • Avoid double negatives
  • Use active voice
  • Pare down sentences to one thought
  • Omit wordy phrases (instead of “in order to” use “to”)
  • Use personal pronouns
  • Keep the message personal by using question and answer format to explain common situations
  • Describe complex issues in “if this, then that” terms (e.g., “If you have a question or complaint, then contact us here.”)

Revising your privacy statement into plain language helps you review your own practices and often provides clarity and improvements. An easily understood privacy statement helps to meet regulations and standards compliance of the clinic. Perhaps most importantly, when the patient understands the privacy statement, the patient becomes actively involved in the process of collection, use, and disclosure of their personal information. Using plain language may not be simple but it can help you improve your practice management.

Design the poster or handout using a reader friendly format much like an advertisement. Avoid fancy fonts and images, just frame the text in a simple box.

Here is a sample of a plain language poster:

Privacy Poster Sample

 

About the Author

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJean L. Eaton, B Admin, CHIM, CC is the Practice Management Mentor. She believe that people working in healthcare know that they want to provide good services and have a profitable business. They have a sense of what they need to do to get there, but sometimes need the confidence, details, and resources to help them. She helps with templates, user guides, real-life examples, networking, practical resources, and mentoring. She can give you the confidence to take care of the elephant in the room.

 

 

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Winter Weather Got Your Revenue Down? Here Are 4 Ways to Pick It Up

Lea Chatham April 1st, 2014

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It’s been a rough winter. Bad weather (heavy snow, icy roads, and high winds) impacts small businesses of all types, including medical practices. Employees can’t make it in so you are short staffed or not staffed at all. Patients call and cancel because they don’t want to risk being out and about. Whether you actually have to close or you have high no shows and cancellations, it affects your bottom line.

Kareo recently asked medical practices if they had to close for one or more business days because of inclement weather. It turns out about 55% of Kareo customers surveyed had closed as a result of bad weather this winter.  The result was an average drop in revenue of 12% for practices that actually closed. Yikes! If your monthly revenue is $30,000 per provider then you’re short about $3,600 per provider per month. This doesn’t include practices that saw reduced patient visits but kept their doors open. When every dollar counts, that’s a hit.

You can recoup these loses with a little work. Bad weather is a lot like recovering from a disaster. Try the same 4 strategies. Tweet this Kareo story

  1. First and foremost, get those cancelled/missed appointments rescheduled as quickly as possible. If you have remote access to your practice management software, you can work on this from any location while your practice is closed.
  2. Consider extending your practice hours for the coming weeks to accommodate additional appointments. By adding evening hours or a few Saturdays, you should be able to get many appointments rescheduled in a matter of weeks.
  3. Get in touch with other patients who need follow up appointments. If you have patients who are in need of follow ups but haven’t scheduled, give them a call too. For example, contact patients who need a surgical procedure or a colonoscopy but haven’t scheduled. It can help boost your revenue in the coming months to balance out the losses.
  4. Consider doing a little marketing. Many small medical practices don’t do any marketing to patients or the community. It may seem like it takes too much time or costs too much. In fact, there are lots of easy ways to conduct simple marketing to boost your business. If you haven’t been doing this, now may be the time to try. Start with your existing patients. HIPAA allows you to market your services to your own patients. Send a simple postcard out to encourage patients to come in for routine preventive care. You can do it for more generic visits like flu shots or for specific groups of patients like women who need annual exams.

To do any of these tasks effectively, you need a good practice management solution. Cloud-based software allows you to access the system and work from home. Customizable scheduling lets you change and adapt your schedule to add hours. Good reporting enables you to run reports on patients to do follow up and marketing.

As a last note, to help keep open appointment slots down, be sure to use reminders (phone, email, and text) to reduce no shows, and to fill empty appointment slots by continuing to reach out to patients who need follow up and offering 24/7 online appointment scheduling.

Share your strategies for recouping revenue after an unforeseen closure in the comments!

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Infographic Shows Increasing Healthcare Demand Is a Revenue Opportunity

Lea Chatham March 31st, 2014

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At some point in recent years, you’ve probably heard that there is a projected shortage of primary care physicians on the horizon. But have you heard that there is already, and will continue to be, an increase in demand for healthcare services as well? In the infographic below you can see the details of the impact the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aging baby boomers, and a growing population are having on the demand for healthcare services. In fact, all the combined factors will result in an increase of 100 million more doctor’s office visits per year by 2025.

If you see this as a challenge, it’s time to change your perspective.

This is an opportunity for independent practices that are interested in growing their businesses.
Tweet This

By optimizing your practice operations, you can retain your current patients, increase the appointment slots available for prospective patients, and recruit new patients who are looking for new providers and services.

How can you do this? Simple, by ensuring that you have implemented a seamlessly integrated practice management, billing, and EHR solution in your practice. Once you have that in place, it’s important to implement best practices and take advantage of advanced tools like email or text reminders and statements, patient portal, and online appointment scheduling. You may also want to look at alternate scheduling models like modified wave scheduling that can increase the number of patient visits by as much as 20%. How can your physicians see 20% more patients a day? Again, by streamlining tasks and reducing time spent on administrative duties. The average primary care physicians spends a quarter of the day on administrative tasks

The use of technology can reduce a physician’s administrative time and free more time for patient visits. Tweet This

What does all this mean for your bottom line? It could mean serious revenue. The average primary care physician sees 78 patients and works 50 hours a week. If you could reduce your time on administrative tasks and add more patients by using improved scheduling and other tools, each provider could see 15 more patients a week. If your average visit reimbursement is $100, you’d reap an additional $75,000 a year per provider. In addition, a UBM white paper showed that the average increase in revenue when using an EHR was $33,000 per FTE provider per year! You could be looking at an additional $100,000 a year or more.

As an added bonus having an EHR and patient portal can help you keep all those new patients, 73% of whom are more loyal to a physician who has a portal. Check out more interesting facts and figures in this infographic. Download a high resolution version here and share with your colleagues.

Kareo infographic

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4 Things to Remember about Building Physician Referrals

Lea Chatham March 26th, 2014

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Kareo Webinars Recently, at the free webinar 3 Ways to Cultivate Rapid Growth through Referrals, speaker Cheryl Bisera talked about her three A’s for building patient and physician referrals. She provided many great tips and there were tons of terrific questions. Cheryl and Kareo have answered those questions, highlighting a few of her best ideas for strengthening your referrals.

 

  1. Q: How can we reach out without seeming salesy? Aren’t programs like lunch and learns often seen as a sales pitch?
    A: They certainly can be seen that way. It’s important to be sure your program is offering real value.
    Again, you aren’t trying to sell yourself, you are trying to build a relationship and provide tools and resources to potential referral sources. Tweet this Kareo story
    You just want to help them see the value for both of you in building that relationship. Don’t do a lunch and learn that is just an overview of your practice. The focus should be educational and have value. For example, if your practice offers a unique program that isn’t available elsewhere, a lunch and learn for other providers to educate them about that service could have real value. It could be a new tool (robotic surgery) or service (PTs who provide incontinence treatment) or a procedure that is so new they didn’t even know it existed—bringing them up to date in your specialty keeps them at the top of their game too.
  2. Q: What are some realistic goals we should set around improving referrals? How do we know if our efforts are successful?
    A:  The best way to measure success is to understand your current metrics, then set goals and track how you are doing over time. Tweet this Kareo story
    Who is referring and how often? Is your goal to increase referrals from existing sources or find new ones? Your goals will depend on these questions and your unique situation (practice size, specialty, location, etc.) For example, if you are a smaller practice and haven’t done any outreach or marketing to build your referral network, you should expect that with an aggressive campaign you have a lot of room for growth and can improve your referral revenue by as much as 20% in six months. After that time, you can gauge whether or not that is an appropriate goal to repeat or adjust as needed. Your results will also depend on how much time, money, and resources you are going to invest in your outreach campaign and that may change with your results as well. A marketing plan includes data that can help with these goals such as looking at like communities and finding out the capacity of your specialty in your community (how many like specialists are in your area), these demographics and the demographics of your community (how many potential patients exist) determine your competitive landscape.
  3. Q. How can I get the doctor in my office to get behind these kinds of initiatives?
    A: Showing your physician reports on the referral source revenue—average revenue each referral source has provided for that year to your practice. Then suggest what it would mean to the practice in revenue if “we could increase that by 50%”? Or if you were to reduce your revenue by that which comes through your three top referrers—how would that affect your practice revenue (what if our top three referrers disappeared due to a move, retirement, or other cause)? That’s a good reason to practice the three A’s! The numbers will speak for themselves. If the issue is that your physician feels like a salesman, appoint or recruit a marketing specialist for your practice to be the liaison between your practice and referring practices and to reach out to potential referrers—but remember the skillset listed in the webinar, the wrong person, wrong message, and wrong approach could hurt your reputation and relationship with other practices.
  4. Q. At what point do you give up on a practice you are trying to connect with?
    A: I would never recommend “giving up” entirely. If you have tried many times to reach out and you aren’t getting a response, there could be any number of reasons why. We often give up too soon because we misinterpret a lack of response due to their busyness as rejection. Remember the rule of 7, be sincere and keep at it while respecting their time and honoring their ques. It’s not always easy and that’s why there are marketing specialists and liaisons. If you feel it is appropriate, ask outright if there is a reason they aren’t interested. Maybe it is something you can fix. If not, or if you can’t get an answer, then scale back to a more limited outreach program. It might be just once or twice a year to keep your name in front of them. You never know when something might change. Perhaps the issue was specific to the practice manager and then one day that person leaves. The replacement manager might be more receptive. So don’t give up all together.

If you found this information interesting, join us for our next free webinar with practice management expert Laurie Morgan, The Patient Portal: Meaningful Use, Engaged Patients & More. And if you have tactics that have helped strengthen referrals at your practice, share them in the comments!

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6 Questions to Assess Your Practice’s ICD-10 Readiness

Lea Chatham March 24th, 2014

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By Lisa A. Eramo

Kareo ICD-10 resourcesIf there’s anything that most of us learned in school, it’s that procrastination is never a good thing. It can cause unnecessary stress and result in a potentially disastrous outcome (failed final exam, anyone?).

Physicians: Apply this lesson to ICD-10. Do you know whether your practice is ready?

Waiting until the last minute to prepare for this monumental change can delay cash flow and impede even the most efficient practice. Why not plan in advance and save yourself the headache?

Unfortunately, many physician practices aren’t getting the message. Only 4.7% of practices have made significant progress toward ICD-10 readiness, according to a June 2013 survey published by the Medical Group Management Association. Fifty-five percent haven’t begun implementation at all.

Jacqueline J. Stack, BSHA, CPC, CPB, CPC-I, CEMC, CFPC, CIMC, CPEDC, AAPC director of ICD-10 training and education, says practices—particularly smaller practices and solo practitioners—need to assess their readiness for ICD-10 so they can get the ball rolling. It’s time to face the music and ask those difficult questions to see just how ready you are, she says.

Question #1: Have you accepted ICD-10, or are you still in denial? Hoping for another delay is not the answer. Use this precious time to begin preparations rather than bury your head in the sand of denial. If your staff members see that you’re embracing this change, then they will too.

Question #2: Is someone in charge of the effort? Putting someone in charge of ICD-10 allows you to focus on patients while ensuring staff readiness. Tweet This
In most practices, either the practice manager or a lead coder will assume the responsibility of ICD-10 coordinator. Once identified, ask your ICD-10 coordinator to create a formal task list and identify those who need training. Does your ICD-10 coordinator know where to find ICD-10-CM resources?

Question #3: What does your documentation actually reveal? Ask your ICD-10 coordinator to run a frequency report of your top 50 most frequently reported diagnoses. Your coordinator should review documentation for these diagnoses to ensure that it can support the assignment of ICD-10 codes. If the documentation results in assignment of an unspecified code, ask your ICD-10 coordinator to explain why. Does the diagnosis require laterality? Anatomical specificity? Your coordinator should be able to provide you with a cheat sheet or other tool to aid in your documentation. Ensure that this individual has the time and resources to compile and develop this information.

It may also be helpful to undergo an ICD-10 clinical documentation assessment using an outside company or consultant, such as the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). The best way to prepare for ICD-10 is to ensure quality documentation through multiple audits and corrective action.

Question #4: Are your staff members are ready? Ask your staff members how comfortable they are with ICD-10. Don’t assume that they can learn easily or that they are learning it on their own. Establish a formal assessment and training process. Your ICD-10 coordinator should be able to assist with this.

Question #5: Have you contacted your vendors and payers? If your answer is no, strive to change this quickly. Ensure that your ICD-10 coordinator adds these tasks to his or her to-do list:

  • Compile a list of each payer and vendor along with its contact information.
  • Ask each payer and vendor when (i.e., a specific date) it will be able to display or process ICD-10 codes. Track each vendor’s and payer’s progress toward this goal by periodically contacting them.
  • Ask each payer (including Medicare and Medicaid) as well as any vendors when they will be ready for ICD-10 testing. End-to-end testing is important. This means that your ICD-10 coordinator should send claims through your practice management software to each payer. Ensure that each payer is able to receive those claims and send responses back.
  • Contact worker’s compensation and auto insurance companies. These entities are not mandated by HIPAA to adopt ICD-10. Inquire whether they will transition to the new coding system or not. Note that some states mandate that worker’s compensation move to ICD-10.

Question #6: Do you know how ICD-10 may affect productivity? The only way to know for sure is to allow your coders to code a few records each week using ICD-10. How long does it take them to complete each record? Does a delay translate to a potential disruption in cash flow? Will you need to hire temporary staff to answer phones and book appointments so that your staff can concentrate on coding accuracy for a period of time after implementation?

About the Author

Lisa A. Eramo

Lisa A. Eramo is a freelance writer/editor specializing in health information management, medical coding, and healthcare regulatory topics. She began her healthcare career as a referral specialist for a well-known cancer center. Lisa went on to work for several years at a healthcare publishing company. She regularly contributes to healthcare publications, websites, and blogs, including the AHIMA Journal and AHIMA Advantage. Her focus areas are medical coding, and ICD-10 in particular, clinical documentation improvement, and healthcare quality/efficiency.

Kareo ICD-10 Resources

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Welcome to Getting Paid, a weblog by Kareo offering ideas, news and opinions about medical billing and practice management with the goal of making medical billing easier and yes, getting you paid. Visit the Product Blog for more information on our products.

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