Preparing an ICD-10 Gap Analysis.

You might be wondering how to start to prepare your home health and/or hospice for ICD-10 implementation. One of the very first steps to get your agency ready for ICD-10 is to perform a gap analysis.

What is a gap analysis? A gap analysis is a technique used to determine what steps need to be taken to move from your current status to your desired status. In this case, a gap analysis would be performed to determine what your agency needs to do to be prepared for the transition to ICD-10.

Here are some essential elements of a comprehensive gap analysis for ICD-10 preparation:

1. Compare what is currently being done in each department using ICD-9 and identify more effective and efficient processes that will be necessary for ICD-10. Remember! It isn’t just your coders who will be affected by ICD-10. Administration, clinical, financial, billing, QA and IT are all part of this transition.

2. Identify challenges your office currently faces and get them in order.  A challenge now will only hold back productivity during and following the ICD-10 transition.

3. Assess your coding processes. Are there knowledge deficits? Perhaps your coders need a refresher course in medical terminology.  Many terms will be used with ICD-10 that weren’t used in ICD-9.  Is your coding timely and accurate?

4. Devise a plan to counteract potential decreases in productivity.  It has been said that agencies should expect a 50% decrease in productivity the first six months of implementation and a 20% overall decrease that will never be made up.  Consider outsourcing your coding. But if you do so, it would be wise to get a contract in place soon, to avoid any hiccups.

HEALTHCAREfirst is here to help you through the transition to ICD-10.  Our certified coders have a minimum of five years home health coding experience and are expertly focused on the speed and accuracy of their coding.  We offer affordable options for outsourcing your coding needs. For more information, please contact us today.