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Holiday Season

happy holidays image

This holiday season, you may be looking toward the festive celebrations, the joyful atmosphere, the giving and receiving of gifts, the wintry landscape, and special times spent with family and friends. ICD-10 most likely is way in the back of your mind.

On the other hand, for those providing home health and hospice services, there may be no better gift to yourself than holiday peace-of-mind by streamlining your ICD coding process. What more perfect organizational new year’s resolution than to assess your current coding procedures and work towards improvements?

Securing ICD-10 Peace of Mind

The most obvious way to solve your homecare coding worries would be to simply outsource the task to end your coding struggles. On the other hand, if you have already counted ICD-10 implementation as a blessing, your organization will benefit from a coding process review and the formulation of a continued improvement plan.

In addition to outsourcing coding, eight ways to find that elusive peace of mind concerning your organization’s coding skills are as follows:

  1. Utilize all available CMS helps and resources, such as FAQ pages, ICD email updates, the Clinical Concepts Series, ICD code mappings, and official government-issued coding guidelines.
  2. Hire a coder with specific home health and/or hospice coding experience. Remember all diagnoses relevant to the services you are proving must be listed on the claim. A fully trained and certified coder will eliminate many of your ICD compliance vulnerabilities.
  3. Re-train existing coders to prevent errors, increase productivity and adequately code allowing for maximum reimbursement for each claim submission.
  4. Improve your documentation processes. This includes better communication among clinical and coding employees and continued education. Focus on the importance of clinicians obtaining adequate and complete patient details at admission and recertification. Comprehensive documentation ensures coding is complete and done right avoiding painful delays and denials.
  5. Ensure that your OASIS documentation is correct, complete, and matches the care plan and goals.
  6. Explore ways to increase your case-mix weight such as developing tools to be used during OASIS integrity reviews.
  7. Determine client plan of care and visit frequency prior to claim submission to maximize operational efficiency and reimbursement.
  8. Develop a contingency plan if claims are rejected leading to a cash shortage. Have a back up strategy to replace a coder temporarily unavailable due to illness or if a coder resigns. Also remember that some pre-October claims are still outstanding, and the all the risks caused by ICD-10 implementation haven’t yet been fully realized.

ICD-10 Assistance

If ICD-10 coding difficulties or other factors are causing client care, cash flow, and productivity problems at your organization, a holiday review could identify issues and lead to solutions. Is additional staff education needed or would temporary outsourcing give you a chance to “catch your breath” and re-organize? Or, do the logistics of doing coding in-house make permanent outsourcing a better option?

As you complete your year end assessment and put the final touches on your new year strategies, one fact is certain- you will enjoy the holidays more knowing your ICD-10 coding is on track. Secure peace of mind leading to the best in 2016!

Contact Kenyon HomeCare Consulting today to learn more! Coding Plus offers comprehensive coding outsourcing services to cover every aspect of the coding process – documentation, code assignment, claim submission, and organizational efficiency reviews.

Happy holidays!

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