Staff and Office personnel have to work together to make transition easier.
Can Ben’s self-improvement plans cause trouble for his staff?
Pam looked up as Ben bustled into the office. “You’re energetic today!”
“I’m feeling inspired,” smiled Ben. “We’ve made some smart changes in the practice, and we have more coming up, so I think I’m ready to tackle changes in documentation.”
“I’m impressed,” said Pam, “but I hope you’re not going to make too many changes. I feel like I’ve had just about all the change I can stand.”
Ben was surprised. “I don’t think this is going to be a problem, Pam. We know that the new ICD-10 codes that go into effect in October are going to require more detailed documentation. I’m just going to get a handle on the new requirements.”
“I understand that,” Pam sniffed, “but I feel like I have just gotten to where I can completely understand your notes and pick out the important keywords for coding. If I have to get used to a whole new system… well, if it’s not essential, I’d rather we didn’t make any more changes, that’s all.”
Ben took a seat. “You know there are a lot more codes in the ICD-10 system than with ICD-9 codes–”
“Don’t I know it! Almost 70,000 total.”
“And one of the reasons there are so many more is that the codes have to be a lot more specific. If you don’t have very specific clinical documentation, it’ll be easy to get the codes wrong.”
Pam said nothing.
“If we have too many coding errors, or inaccurate documentation, it becomes a compliance issue.”
Pam frowned. “I see what you’re saying. We could face non-payment issues, or even be audited. That would be a lot more trouble than getting used to a new style in documentation.”
“Exactly.” Ben stood and stretched. “Tell you what, I’ll work on my handwriting and punctuation at the same time.”
Pam laughed — or, thought Ben, maybe it was a snort. Either way, he was ready to get on top of the new demands for documentation. It felt good to have a clear goal.