The Impact of ICD-10 on Productivity

 ICD-10's impact on productivity

During normal operating cycles, most healthcare organizations do more with less to maximize cash flow — which can be difficult. Now, healthcare faces a major and all-important transition: the implementation of ICD-10 on October 1, 2013.

You may be involved right now in a project related to preparing for ICD-10. Let’s discuss a few reasons to prepare for a change in productivity.

Your organization may upgrade or install one or more new computer software programs; perhaps for the conversion to HIPAA Version 5010 or the transition to an electronic health record (EHR), or another clinical or financial initiative. Some of these upgrades will help prepare for ICD-10; others will help support quality or other programs.

Both the installation effort and system testing requires time and effort. Not only will the information technology (IT) department be involved; but others may be asked to help build and test the system’s functionality. Downtime is also a real possibility and can affect productivity. However, having redundant systems in place can reduce the chances of system downtime during an upgrade or implementation.

Now, we can’t forget that it takes time to learn how to use a new computer system; this process will likely add to the disruption in individual productivity.

What are some issues you can anticipate with a system upgrade implementation? It’s likely that there will be many ICD-10 planning meetings to discuss:

  • Computer system issues;
  • Processes and procedures;
  • Payer issues and contracts;
  • Education planning and preparation;
  • And other project steps as they relate to converting to ICD-10.

Depending on the amount of time people need for the planning process, individual positions may need to be backfilled with additional staff to maintain day-to-day operations. What can you do to help minimize the impact this will have on productivity?

There may also be a loss in productivity and performance immediately after the transition to ICD-10, as we work with both ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes. Practices and organizations should prepare for processing claims with both ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes, leading to a dual-coding environment.

Adopting and applying these new processes and procedures will take time. How will you help ensure there is time to review and revise your organization’s processes and procedures prior to ICD-10?