Tag Archives: ICD-9

HIMSS14: Top 10 Reasons to Visit BridgeFront – Booth #3805



By Brent Moszer, Marketing Manager
HIMSS14
HIMSS14 will be host to 300 educational sessions and 1,200 exhibitors. To get the most, you will need to prepare your schedule, starting here.

Heading to HIMSS14 to glean wisdom about ICD-10? Staff education should be top of mind. Swing by the BridgeFront booth #3805 and learn about our industry-leading ICD-10 education programs for clinical staff, office staff and physicians. Find out how BridgeFront’s education ensures you and your organization is prepared for the transition, before it is too late. Here are some other reasons to stop by our booth:

Top 10 Reasons to Visit BridgeFront’s Booth #3805
10. Learn all about ICD-10 education in 60 seconds.
9. Understand why your revenue cycle will be a mess in 2015, the how to fix it.
8. Get a roadmap to compliance, including security awareness training.
7. Increase revenues by just following a few quick steps.
6. Improve staff skill without breaking the bank.
5. Learn staff education tips and tricks from the experts
4. Put your policies and procedures online for all staff members
3. Track attestations the easy way.
2. A minutes with BridgeFront could save you thousands of dollars.
1. Of course … there are great give-aways! Money, prizes and a lot of laughs.

If you have an LMS and are unhappy, ask about our 25% trade-in discount.

BridgeFront – www.bridgefront.com
HIMSS – www.himssconference.org

Ten ICD-10 New Year’s Resolutions Worth the Commitment



By Chelsey Slack, Product Marketing Manager, BridgeFront ICD-10

We rang in the New Year last week, but with that celebration comes trepidation among the healthcare community. After all, we’re now less than nine months away from ICD-10’s Oct. 1 2014 implementation date.

Will it be nine months of struggle to prepare for the major shift?

In late 2013, the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) conducted a survey that found one cold, hard fact: The majority of the industry isn’t prepared to go live with ICD-10 this year.

Here are ten New Year’s resolutions that are worth the commitment as discussed in the latest ICD10Monitor.com Talk Ten Tuesday webinar.

These were presented by Laurie Johnson, MS, RHIA, CPC-H, FAHIMA, Senior ICD-10 Consultant and Educator for Peak Health Solutions:

1. First, in 2014, healthcare organizations should not be “planning” but “doing implementation.” The first order of business is your finance department needs to obtain a line of credit for emergencies post-October 1, 2014.

2. Ensure your organization does a thorough review of reimbursement processes and DRG assignment.

3. Your health information technology (HIT) department needs to test with at least one of your business partners, whether you’re a hospital and need to test with a payer or vice versa.

4. Secondly, your HIT department needs to ensure all hardware can handles the longer codes in ICD-10.

5. Ask your vendors if their software will be ready for ICD-10.

6. Is your health information management (HIM) department prepared for General Equivalence Mappings (GEMs)? Is your team is prepared it can relieve some of the pressure on your coders.

7. Start your code set training for physicians, CDI staff and coders. Best practices from AHIMA indicates this needs to start at least six months prior to the transition deadline.

8. Clinical documentation improvement needs to start now. Make this a priority, it takes time.

9. Ensure you have a competent ICD-10 steering committee that is fully prepared for the transition.

10. Have a contingency plan for ALL business processes in your organization. Remember your number one goal is to submit accurate claims so your organization gets paid!

Chelsey Slack is the Product Marketing Manager at BridgeFront, who offers ICD-10 Education Solutions for hospitals, practices and clinics, and payers and health plans. Visit www.bridgefront.com for more information or call 1.866.447.2211 for a free demonstration.

Heading to the 2013 AHIMA Convention? Be Aware of ‘Smoke Screen’ ICD-10 Answers



By Chelsey Slack, Product Marketing Manager

The healthcare news headlines are crowded with answers to your ICD-10 woes. This week, I attended the ICD10Monitor.com “Talk Ten Tuesday” session and one of the panelists shared some very important advice on discernment.

Be aware of ‘smoke screen answers’ from vendors, such as your EMR vendor. For example, in asking if they are ready for ICD-10 and they answer 100% yes, ask for details!

Don’t believe everything you see and hear. Some experts are simply misinformed or uninformed. For example, in attending conference sessions, be sure to check the presentation facts after the conference.

Focus on what you need, not what is being sold to you. There is a lot of noise in the market (and will be in the exhibit hall) trying to make you believe that resources like posters, games and pdf’s are the answers to it all. While fun, the core value is quality education delivered in a way and at a price that will help you be successful in the ICD-10 transition.

This may be age-old advice, however it rings true for many situations, including the 2013 AHIMA Convention and Exhibit. Keep this in mind as you network, stroll through the exhibit hall and take sessions at the conference. Happy travels!

BridgeFront is a leading provider of healthcare eLearning and is exhibiting at the conference in booth #1721. Stop by for a chance at great prizes and to see a live demonstration of our ICD-10 eLearning Program.

3 Reasons to Visit BridgeFront at the AHIMA 2013 Convention & Exhibit

By Chelsey Slack, Product Marketing Manager
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ICD-10 is quickly approaching and so is the AHIMA 2013 Convention & Exhibit. If you’re headed that way, come see what’s new with BridgeFront in booth #1721. We’re excited to share our ICD-10 eLearning program.

Here are three reasons to stop by our booth:

1. Get a live, on-site demonstration of our engaging and effective ICD-10 eLearning Program.

Stop by and receive a live demonstration of our extensive selection of ICD-10 eLearning education. Our program offers eight ICD-10 curriculums and walks your staff through the transition. Ideal for everyone from front-end staff to physicians, our education solution could very well mean the difference between staying comfortably afloat or sinking in the pool of change.

2. Receive access to a free ICD-10 course as a trial, and our special door prize, just for stopping by with this blog post.

Print and bring this blog post for access to a free ICD-10 course as a trial, and you’ll also receive our special door prize for printing or showing us this blog post.

3. Meet our friendly staff. We’re eager to help with your education needs!

Come on by and meet some of our friendly staff members in the booth. We’re here to help with your staff education needs, whether it’s ICD-10, Revenue Cycle or Compliance. Remember, with our ICD-10 program, we also offer live and virtual training, along with our interactive eLearning program.

For more information about the AHIMA 2013 Convention & Exhibit, go to: http://www.ahima.org/convention.

About BridgeFront:

Effective, customizable and budget-friendly; BridgeFront helps healthcare provide the highest quality of staff education. You have the flexibility to take any online course as-is or modify it, and even build your own courses. For over ten years, BridgeFront has provided engaging online education on compliance, revenue cycle, patient communications, clinical, leadership and now ICD-10. You can reach by calling 1.866.447.2211 or email info@bridgefront.com.


Failing to Prepare for ICD-10 is Preparing to Fail: Part III of III

The Coming ICD-10 Cash Flow Crisis and How to Avoid It

By Terry Kile, Senior Sales Executive, BridgeFront

The transition to ICD-10 will not be without its issues.

Mona Engle, RN, CEO/Practice Administrator of Drs. May Grant Associates, is concerned about coding outcomes. “If something is not coded correctly, the insurance company will not pay — so we have to do it right…The ICD-10 transition will [be] a difficult and costly endeavor,” she says.

By nine months from your deadline, your team should be documenting, coding and billing in both ICD-9 and ICD-10. For most of us, that timing falls around the end of 2013. Beginning the process of dual coding should consist of:

• Chart review by an ICD-10 trained medical coder to help you identify documentation needs for ICD-10.
• Increased training for the entire team.
• Implementing changes to processes and forms pertaining to your present coding and billing procedures.

At first, your coders may spend many hours “crosswalking” codes. That is, doing a side-by-side comparison of an ICD-9 code to its closest match in ICD-10. This is a challenge when the ICD-9 code for Extrinsic Asthma-unspecified (493.00) has 16 different code choices in ICD-10. Making the correct choice requires additional documentation detailing a number of factors.

“Crosswalking” requires referencing coding books, which is time consuming, so several software options are now available to make this process more efficient. Check out Simple Solutions, from Complete Practice Resources, or have your coders use ICD-10 Code Search, found online here.

Another key to success is communicating with all system vendors and business partners that use DRG codes to receive and send data to your systems. These may include pharmacies, labs, your EHR, etc. This is imperative to complete as you approach the deadline because a vendor’s plan for conversion to ICD-10 will directly affect your bottom line.

Some practices and hospitals are planning to test for internal ICD-10 compliance a full six months before the deadline, probably long before most of their external partners are ready to convert. If your vendors are not ahead of the game, you will need to develop conversion strategies or risk losing cash.

The ICD-10 transition is challenging, but it is not impossible…and it doesn’t end on October 1, 2014. Your ongoing job is to make sure that cash flow over the first three months of the new processes is affected as little as possible. Be ready to do immediate charting, coding and billing triage during the last half of 2014 and to immediately change the systems, habits and processes responsible for any problems. Ongoing issues cost very real money.

Reach out to industry organizations, professionals and your vendors to help make this transition a success. We are all trying to work as fast as we can to ensure that your practice come through this process with as little loss as possible. With your devoted time and attention, we can make that happen.

Terry C. Kile is a Senior Sales Executive for BridgeFront, an online education provider for healthcare. For information about BridgeFront, go to www.bridgefront.com. Contact them directly by calling 1.866.447.2211.


Failing to Prepare for ICD-10 is Preparing to Fail: Part II of III

The Coming ICD-10 Cash Flow Crisis and How to Avoid It

By Terry Kile, Senior Sales Executive, BridgeFront

How can your practice avoid having cash flow issues in the last part of 2014? It will take planning, training and support from your employees, partners and vendors. This will certainly not be solved with a simple EHR software change—especially since you don’t yet know when or if your EHR vendor will be ready to test ICD-10 documentation and codes prior to October 1, 2014.

To begin, choose a person in your practice to head the process—it may be your practice manager or one of your partners. Their qualifications should include a thorough understanding of the complexity and financial significance of the ICD-10 transition, someone who can delegate effectively and motivate others to accomplish their assignments, and one who will hold others accountable if they do not.

Your “internal champion” may even be a committee, as long as one person is responsible for the entire transition. When you look into the tasks involved, you may feel as if you don’t have anyone available to take on the assignment. That’s okay, too. While you need still need an in-house point person, the champion may very well be an outside consultant.

Training is the next step in the process. Besides the obvious training needed for medical coders, physicians also need to be brought up to date as soon as possible. The earlier you start training, the more frequently your team can train on the material, and the earlier you can begin dual coding. Dual coding (the process of coding patient encounters concurrently in ICD-9 and ICD-10) will provide you with an overview of what needs to be fixed prior to the deadline. Online training alternatives let staff learn remotely. An inexpensive set of courses is provided by BridgeFront.

Frank Musso, of Francis C. Musso, CPA, MPA, P.C., notes that “the move to ICD-10-CM will increase documentation activities for medical support staff and physicians. This is a permanent change, not a learning curve change, and translates into an increase in physician time spent on documentation for ICD-10-CM with no expected increase in reimbursement.”

Planning the transition process for your practice takes time, and your team lead may not have enough time to work out the schedules, milestones and assignments required. Several simple project management software programs and whitepapers are available to simplify and accelerate the planning process, among them The ICD-10 Checklist from AHIMA.

Stay tuned for Part III of this ICD-10 blog series next week!

Terry C. Kile is a Senior Sales Executive for BridgeFront, an online education provider for healthcare. For information about BridgeFront, go to www.bridgefront.com. Contact them directly by calling 1.866.447.2211.


Failing to Prepare for ICD-10 is Preparing to Fail: Part I of III

The Coming ICD-10 Cash Flow Crisis and How to Avoid It

By Terry C. Kile
Senior Sales Executive, BridgeFront
ICD-10
ICD-10 is the tenth revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD). ICD is a diagnosis classification system whose initial version goes back to the Black Plague, when European governments and medical professionals were trying to compare causes of death with those of other nearby countries in order to understand and combat reoccurring disease.

Today, the World Health Organization maintains this comparative information, and since the United States is the only country still using ICD-9, the move to ICD-10 will enable more accurate comparisons of healthcare data with other countries. But the most important part of this change for your practice is that federal regulations will require more and better data tracking to measure the quality and safety of care—something enabled by ICD-10. There are a number of benefits to this transition, says Charles D. Krespan, M.D. of the Drs. May Grant Associates practice.

According to Krespan, “ICD-10 gives us more data about our patients’ medical conditions and the hospitals’ inpatient procedures. Better data leads to better decisions, which leads to better patient care.”

Many prudent hospitals and practices are already preparing for the shift to ICD-10, but most will still make the transition with significant effort and cost.

Frank Musso, of Francis C. Musso, CPA, MPA, P.C., believes the transition will be substantial. “Not only does the new code set include five times as many codes as the ICD-9 code set,” he says, “but the different arrangement of codes will require more documentation, revised forms, retraining of staff and physicians, and changes to software and other information technology. I would also expect changes in reimbursement patterns …. “

“We are very concerned about the ICD-10 transition,” echoes Mona Engle, RN, CEO/Practice Administrator of Drs. May Grant Associates says. Even though she feels confident about the progressiveness and preparedness of her practice, she says “I know that ICD-10 will be very costly in terms of training our staff, implementing the codes and retraining our physicians. It is extremely important that we do it right, because if we don’t it will impact our patients—and that’s something we never want to happen.”

There are only 16 months leading up to the October 1, 2014 deadline. All HIPPA-covered entities must make the change to the new system, or will not be reimbursed by any payer—commercial, Medicare or MA. This would put a severe cramp in your practice cash flow, but can be avoided as long as your practice takes the correct steps to implement ICD-10.
Important note: If making diagnoses prior to October 1, 2014 to be billed or completed (surgical, testing, medication) after October 1, 2014, your deadline for ICD-10 transition is the first time you make that diagnosis. If not, you run the risk of losing the reimbursement or doing all of the medical coding and charting twice for those patient encounters.

Stay tuned for Part II of this ICD-10 blog series coming next week!

Terry C. Kile is a Senior Sales Executive for BridgeFront, an online education provider for healthcare. For information about BridgeFront, go to www.bridgefront.com. Contact them directly by calling 1.866.447.2211.


3 Critical ICD-10 Questions Answered

3 Critical ICD-10 Questions AnsweredBy Kent Lane, COO of BridgeFront

On January 29, 2013 we hosted a webinar with HCPro’s Senior Regulatory Specialist, Jennifer Avery, CCS, CPC-H, CPC, CPC-I. In the webinar, she discussed the key differences between ICD-9 and ICD-10 that could impact a successful migration to ICD-10.

The presentation also highlighted the education needed for your clinical staff, CDIS, billers, and coders to ensure they understand the changes and their role in the conversion – bringing your organization closer to the goal of a smooth transition.

View the recorded presentation in our Archive Webinar Library on our website.

During the questions and answer time at the end of the presentation, there were many questions addressed. Here are the top three questions for all providers and health plans to understand while planning for the ICD-10 transition.

1. We know the AMA is a powerful lobby and has already affected the implementation date once. I understand the AMA is actively pursuing a delay or even cancellation of ICD-10 implementation. Do you think they will be able to affect the date again?

“I hope not, but right now it is out there that AMA is trying to push off implementation by another couple of years – or not implement at all. I hope there are enough of us opposed to this and we can strong arm them right back. We are way behind in our processes and we have out-grown the current system. We cannot ignore the problem.”

2. To what extent do you expect Computer Assisted Coding Systems (CACS) to impact ICD-10 transition?

“Whether good or bad computer-assisted coding will have a major impact on coding and how coders are utilized in the future, especially with ICD-10 transition. The versions of CAC actually make me feel more secure as a coder as I have not found one yet that I think will actually ‘replace’ coders- it will just change how we are utilized. We may actually be doing a lot more ‘clean-up’ after the computer assigns the codes as it cannot replace the coder’s logic.”

3. Before ICD-10, do I need to be certified on ICD-9? If so, what online courses are available?

“I always think it’s a good idea to become ‘certified’ if you are involved in any aspect of coding. If you are proficient in ICD-9 and not currently certified – you may want to go ahead and set for the exam prior to the changes.”

“Then you would be required (depending on organization you get certified through) to either sit for a proficiency exam (AAPC) or get CEUs in ICD-10 (AHIMA). As for the education component to prepare for certification – there are several organizations out there that have various online products and some are dependent on whether you plan to focus on the inpatient, outpatient world, or both. BridgeFront/HCPro alone has several online learning tools to help you prepare for certification.”

“I definitely would encourage you to pick based on reputation and endorsements and not on price, as some promise to give you everything for a small fee – but fall short on content and we have seen a number of students go through other vendors only to be forced to spend additional money with a more reputable training company to gain the knowledge/skills they need.”

BridgeFront has partnered with HCPro to offer a complete ICD-10 and Coding Online Education Program. Learn more at www.bridgefront.com.


Tips on Attending HIMSS13 and Visiting the Exhibition

By Kent Lane, COO of BridgeFronthimss13-logo3

We’re excited to learn about the new Knowledge Centers for 2013 in the exhibit hall at this year’s HIMSS Conference. This is a great opportunity to gain valuable insight into key topics like ICD-10, Mobile Health, and Clinical and Business Analytics/Intelligence.

In each Knowledge Center, there’s a packed schedule of peer-reviewed presentations, case studies, experts to speak with, HIMSS resources, and much more.

If you’re interested in ICD-10, go to the ICD-10 Knowledge Center in booth #4581. Make sure to attend one of the presentations on topics like, “Measuring ICD-10′s Impact on Coder Productivity” on March 4 at 1:15pm and “ICD 10: Bigger Than an IT Issue” on March 5 at 3:30pm.

While there, take a minute to meet the BridgeFront staff nearby in booth #4774. Ask about our newly expanded Coding and ICD-10 Education Program for your staff. Our staff is ready to discuss your organization’s ICD-10 education plan and how we can help.

Here are some tips from HIMSS on visiting the exhibition:

1. “Pre-plan your exhibition experience.”
2. “Don’t miss any of the HIMSS Specialty Pavilions on the show floor.”
3. “Check out Conference Deals and Targeted Exhibitor Listings prior to conference.”
4. “Be ready to network and start developing business relationships.”
5. “Be comfortable. Comfortable walking shoes are a must.”

For more information about BridgeFront’s HIMSS13 booth #4774, read the news here or contact us directly. Call 1.886.447.2211 or email info@bridgefront.com.


The Surprising Link to HIPAA from the ICD-10 Delay

By Peter N. Cizik, CEO of BridgeFront

The dust is finally settling after the masses descended on Las Vegas to attend the annual HIMSS conference in February. ICD-10, meaningful use, and HIPAA were several central themes discussed.

Now last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a proposed ruling that would extend the ICD-10 compliance deadline until October 1, 2014.

The consensus was that a delay may give some breathing room to organizations that feel they are behind, but would also increase the total cost of the transition. Delaying the pain may feel good now, but it just extends the period of time it takes to “cure” it – sort of like extending your stay in a hospital, which we all know is expensive.

There is an interesting link to HIPAA from the ICD-10 transition. We expect many more service and software providers will be engaged to help organizations figure out the transition – from gap assessments to software tools to help coders and clinicians. This means a big increase in potential business associates, since they will be exposed to protected health information (PHI).

We’ve seen numerous inquiries from business associates looking for independent audits, risk assessments and training as the realities of the potential damage from a breach become more evident. This is a good reminder to re-examine your business associate relationships; have they provided the proof that they are complying with all the regulations?

It’s just good business for both parties; neither wants to deal with the fallout of a poorly handled breach – whether for the impacted patients or to a trusted business relationship.

For more information about BridgeFront’s staff compliance training and risk assessment services, visit our website at www.bridgefront.com or contact us directly. Email info@bridgefront.com or call 866-447-2211.