Kenyon HomeCare ConsultingA Hard Look At My Organization’s Coding Problems - Kenyon HomeCare Consulting (206) 721-5091

Kenyon Connects

A Hard Look At My Organization’s Coding Problems

Coding problems are more than a minor nuisance to homecare agencies. Incorrect and inefficient coding is a roadblock to your cash flow and can persistently keep you from reaching your maximum revenue potential.

We want to first put the spotlight on coding problems and encourage you to take a hard look at how your organization is measuring up. That done, we will present some solutions that can help you move your bottom line out of the doldrums and into the strong currents of coding success.coding problems

Coding Problems That Should Not Be Tolerated

Have you noticed a slumping revenue stream, frequently delayed and/or denied reimbursements? Are there time-consuming struggles to get documentation and coding complete and ready for timely submission? When experiencing a general sense of coding disorganization and confusion, it’s time to for a “coding check up.” Here are five signs your coding is “sick” and needs resuscitation!

  1. Coders make frequent mistakes. They don’t always know how to select the most specific applicable code-entry, Or have difficulties knowing how to complete the 7 alpha-numeric characters needed for an ICD-10 code. Mistakes will inevitably cause denials or delays as you revise or collect additional information.
  2. Clinicians provide inadequate documentation. Without properly recorded documentation to support codes adequately, even the best coders are unable to do their job. When information is omitted, goals and outcomes are missing or not sufficiently detailed, or OASIS data incomplete, coders become confused, disorganized, and discouraged.
  3. Managers are distracted and overworked. Managers become overwhelmed if they aren’t given the time to manage because they are responsible for coding. Constantly correcting documentation and coding errors instead of improving issues with remedial training, prevents your agency from reaching it’s full potential.
  4. Always behind the curve on coding updates. CMS provides periodic ICD-10 updates and tools and unless someone is valiant, these changes will easily be missed. Optimal reimbursements require your coding practices to be 100% up to date.
  5. Experienced coders are impossible to find. When in-house coders quit or take an extended leave, your cash flow slumps or stalls until they return or are replaced. Finding certified coders with home health experience is nearly impossible. You simply can’t afford not to have experienced certified coders!

Solutions to Common Coding Problems

If you find that any of these coding problems apply to your organization, thankfully, we have the solutions! Organizations who have improved their coding reimbursements, have found the following five solutions helpful:

  1. Get regular feedback through monthly reports. Reports show effective coding processes and identify the staff needing help or reeducation. Constantly monitoring progress, detects concerns quickly preventing reimbursement decline.
  2. Provide additional training to both coders and clinicians. Investing in ongoing coding and documentation education is a necessity for maximum ROI. If your managers don’t have time to educate, reach out to consultants or find webinar training to improve skills.
  3. Receive coding updates automatically by email. Sign up for the CMS ICD-10 Industry Email Updates, and you will be aware of new coding tools or updates immediately. Your coders will then have the opportunity to implement them quickly.
  4. Hire only certified home health and hospice coders. There are significant differences between coding optimally for physicians and hospitals as opposed to homecare providers. Knowing these differences allows precise home health and hospice coding leading to increased revenues and higher OASIS integrity scores.
  5. Outsource ICD coding to a dedicated provider. Outsourcing will free up managers’ time and eliminates most coding problems. You will have access to clinical documentation education and won’t worry about your lack of certified coders.

Conclusion For Your Coding Problems

Coding problems are a major issue for homecare agencies because they stifle revenues and back up cash flow. Knowing what problems to target and how to solve them is half the battle. The other half is putting that knowledge into action.

If outsourcing, either temporarily or permanently, seems the best solution to your coding problems, contact Kenyon HomeCare Consulting for information and invaluable assistance. Coding Plus is a complete coding program offering monthly reports, documentation tools and education including on-site, webinars and teleconferences. Discover for yourself a 29-48% increase in case-mix weight and reimbursement as reported by Kenyon clients.

Category: ICD Coding

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *