|Now is not the Time to Implement, Now is the Time to Learn!|
|Written by Andrea Farina|
|Wednesday, June 20 2012 08:05|
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Article written by Dennis Flint discusses a phased approach to ICD-10 and what physicians need and their role in implementation.
This article is published with permission from ICD-10 Monitor, written by Denny Flint, President, Complete Practice Resources.
We just finished a statewide trip talking about ICD-10 with physicians of a large hospital system when we had an epiphany. I'm not talking about your run-of-the-mill light bulb going off. No, this was a real game-changer in terms of completely shifting our philosophy regarding educating physicians about ICD-10. And shame on us for not realizing this sooner.
In the midst of running through our seminar content about creating project charters and communication processes, assessing current readiness, conducting impact and gap analysis, and developing an implementation plan, we realized that the doctors, though politely listening, were completely ... not engaged. Our seminar leaders compared notes, and that's when we had our epiphany. We realized it wasn't pushback against ICD-10 that was causing this lack of connection; it was that most physicians don't know the first thing about ICD-10. How can we talk to them about impact analyses, implementation planning and budgeting for staff training when they don't know what ICD-10 really is?
As a result, we completely changed our physician education strategy and initial focus. What is immediately necessary is a sane, measured approach that first and foremost engages and motivates physicians through a discussion about ICD-10 in terms of the basic realities of what it is and what it means for them. Both the pros and the cons must be explained. The main concept they must understand and be prepared to embrace is that the new documentation requirements necessary to achieve sufficient code specificity is their primary responsibility and the key to ICD-10 success – and that, simply put, it is not that big of a deal.
We let them know gently that, despite the negative messages being spread by many, ICD-10 is not all bad and there exist real long-term benefits associated with it: fewer medical necessity denials, less wasted time and resources on requests for additional information, and the ability to create accurate, acuity-level databases with which the need for better reimbursement can be demonstrated.