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Mapping Out Revenue-Cycle Solutions

Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media, May 14, 2012
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This article appears in the May 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

The payer and provider communities are still dealing with HIPAA 5010, and trying to shift attention to ICD-10 is tough," says Craig Collins, division chair for revenue cycle and administrative lead of the ICD-10 transition at the Rochester, Minn.–based Mayo Clinic. "We put together a strategic plan and process map because we're trying to be first to the plate to do the ICD-10 testing with the payers. Our hope is that in early 2013 we can begin testing with larger payers."

The Mayo Clinic, like many other healthcare organizations, is making strides to prepare for the largest overhaul of healthcare codes in the past 30 years. The process—regardless of Health and Human Services' decision to extend the ICD-10 transition deadline to October 2014—includes a process map of the revenue cycle in the hopes of keeping this project revenue neutral.

Although the code set change is intended to be revenue neutral, ICD-10 includes more than 155,000 codes, a significant expansion from the current 17,000 codes in ICD-9. The transition touches nearly every member of a hospital or health system: physicians, clinicians, coders, IT, HIM, and finance. The mandated coding expansion influences documentation, productivity, contracts and business processes, HIM, practice management, budgets, payment conversions, claims edits, and disease and utilization management.

ICD-10 is expected to have significant impact on the revenue cycle. Nearly half of healthcare leaders (46%) expect to lose money while shifting to the new system, according to the July 2011 HealthLeaders Media Intelligence Report, ICD-10 Puts Revenue at Risk. An important step to avoid revenue hits is completing a process map that digs into the effect the transition will have on the revenue cycle.

The process map is work flow plan driven by multiple repositionable notes created to give an accurate picture of all the activities connected to the current and future processes at an organization. It is a full structural analysis of how all processes flow and connect to each other. The map can show gaps in specific areas that are preventing optimal performance or, in the case of ICD-10, areas that will require special attention to prevent an impact on the organization's revenue.

With some 212 IT systems and 80 geographical sites across Minnesota, Arizona, and Florida that include physician practices and several hospitals, the Mayo Clinic finds the process map to be essential for a successful ICD-10 conversion—and that starts with the right team and clear accountability.

Mayo's core team consists of Collins; Jan Graner, administrator of operations for the ICD-10 conversion; and Jeff Thompson, MD, physician lead for the entire Mayo Clinic system.

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