Venepalli: Come October every single report that your hospital is going to generate is going to be under a different set of codes. What are they going to do when they have to compare how that hospital is doing to last year or the year before? They are comparing apples and oranges in some situations.
How do you know? How can you explain your numbers going down or up? How can you use your numbers to predict who you hire or how you should be expanding? This is really relevant for what is happening with (accountable care organizations) and how to you base purchasing. That secondary level of analyses once you are using 1CD-10 may even become more important as a tool to look back at, at least for the first five or six years.
HLM: How can providers best prepare for the transition?
Venepalli: Take your 100 most-frequent billing codes, inpatient and outpatient, and also look at the hundreds you are getting the most reimbursements for and run it through this analysis. What you will find is that the majority of the codes you are OK with and that 18% to 20% of codes are convoluted and maybe incorrect.
This is so easy to do you can do it in an afternoon. Run these codes and wherever you are seeing that the ICD-10 codes are not making sense, or there is some sort of information loss, train your coders, train your billers and physicians to recognize and anticipate that.
Boyd: We have a limited time before the transition and every clinic has a different amount of time to invest in this. If you have 100 codes and it is somewhere between 15 and 20 of codes that are convoluted and you only have a few hours to spend with your staff those are the one you focus on. We are trying to triage the training. You can't spend 100 hours between now and October to train all of the physicians and staff.