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4 ICD-10 Staffing Strategies

Chelsea Rice, for HealthLeaders Media, October 21, 2013

"I just hope the date doesn't change again. Having the date delayed cost us in some productivity. We had everything ready to go and had scheduled the training," says Mannon. "But because the deadline got pushed back, we didn't want to have people start training on the same thing for two years. You don't want people toggling back and forth between ICD-9 and ICD-10."

Inova is giving time during the normal work day for its coders to train and practice on ICD-10, but productivity targets have been adjusted to allow for this transitional period. "It's important to figure out what it would take for existing coders to work at the same level of proficiency they have now, so productivity wouldn't be affected," says Nelly Leon, director of coding and classification at AHA.

"I've heard that hospitals have plans to get their production coders to get an early start before they have to submit it externally so they can practice areas for additional training before they go live."

"What we're more worried about is accuracy than speed," says Manning.

2. Provide schedule flexibility

"Most of the concern is the learning curve associated with the transition to ICD-10," says George Argus, who works with medical coding and classification strategies for the American Hospital Association. "This learning curve will probably slow down the volume that coders typically would handle. Additional staff might be needed and additional overtime will probably be needed to meet the compliance standards."

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