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H.I.M. ON CALL Launches Dual Coding Service to Help Hospitals Prepare for ICD-10

ICD-10 Testing Requirement Now Supported by Outsourced Coding Firm

Allentown, PA, March 26, 2013: H.I.M. ON CALL, a technology-driven outsourced services company for health information management (HIM), coding and revenue cycle, announces the availability of its dual coding services for hospitals migrating from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Dual Coding is a precursor to end-to-end testing of ICD-10. Payers want to test with providers that can submit ICD-10 codes. The new, dual coding service from H.I.M. ON CALL provides the people, processes and technology required for dual coding and supports ICD-10 testing with payers. The announcement was made by Manny Peña, RHIA, President, H.I.M. ON CALL.

Expert, outsourced coders from H.I.M. ON CALL perform ICD-10 coding via remote or onsite options; allowing the hospitals’ internal coding team to focus on day-to-day production or ICD-10 training, education and ramp-up.  The firm generates dual coding data output and analytics to identify gaps in clinical documentation for ICD-10. Back-up ICD-9 coding services are also available.

“Dual Coding’s data and analytics support our customers’ clinical documentation improvement (CDI) ramp-up for ICD-10,” explains Peña. Specific documentation weaknesses and target areas for revenue loss under ICD-10 are identified.  Some of the features of the new dual coding service include:

  • Perform dual coding (ICD-9 and ICD-10) for up to one year prior to October 1, 2014.
  • Support end-to-end testing initiatives by providing ICD-10 coded cases.
  • Provide monthly summary, data and analytics of CDI issues (ICD-9 and ICD-10).

“In addition to opening the door for end-to-end payer testing, our data and analytics are a tremendous support to ICD-10 teams,” adds Karen Karaban, RHIT, CCS, Director of Coding Integrity at H.I.M. ON CALL.  Accurate, complete and specific clinical documentation is the foundation for correct reimbursement, quality reporting and continuing care. The H.I.M. ON CALL service provides a summary of documentation findings by ICD-10-CM/PCS chapter, patient type, medical service and physician. The potential financial impact due to the lack of specificity in the documentation is also identified with actual and projected decreases in coding productivity by patient type and medical service.

More information about the firm’s dual coding service can be viewed at the firm’s blog or by contacting Joseph J. Gurrieri, RHIA, CHP, Vice President & COO at: 610.435.5724 Ext. 131.

About H.I.M. ON CALL:

H.I.M.ON CALL is a technology and outsourced services company for health information management (HIM), coding, clinical documentation improvement (CDI) and revenue cycle. They offer data-rich technology tools and outsourcing services to make better coding decisions and prepare for change. Service offerings include coding, coding audits, CDI consulting and ICD-10 education. Their AVIANCE Health™ suite of web-based software applications includes audit management, DNFB management, coding analytics and electronic document management. Founded in 1998 and based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the company is focused on the future and willing to embrace new ideas; delivering financial value in everything they do.

March 26, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

UCare Selects Edifecs as Strategic Partner for ICD-10 Migration

Today Edifecs announced a new ICD-10 customer partnership with non-profit Minnesota health plan, UCare. Edifecs will support the healthcare system’s transition to ICD-10 through its solution which will ensure operational and financial neutrality. Edifecs’ ICD-10 Solution will prepare the health system’s technical team and clinical staff with the risk associated with the transition and provide a clear picture of how the technology will help them manage the migration without disrupting service to our members.

Nonprofit Health Plan Deploys Edifecs ICD-10 Solution to Mitigate Risk and Achieve Mandate Compliance 

Bellevue, Wash. — December 17, 2012  Edifecs, Inc., a leading healthcare software provider specializing in regulatory compliance solutions for healthcare providers and health plans, today announced that Minnesota-based UCare health plan (UCare) has chosen Edifecs as its strategic partner for ICD-10.

UCare will deploy the Edifecs ICD-10 solution, which is designed to help health plans achieve operational and financial neutrality after the ICD-10 transition by providing greater ability to understand and mitigate risks during each transition stage. UCare will use the Edifecs ICD-10 solution for impact analysis to prioritize remediation and testing efforts, and then use its code-mapping capabilities to speed up the process and improve accuracy.

UCare is the fourth largest health plan in Minnesota, serving nearly 300,000 members in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Its Medicare health plans cover nearly 100,000 Medicare-eligible individuals.

“UCare is known for its high-touch approach to serving its members, and Edifecs brought that same level of customer care and expertise to solving our ICD-10 transition challenges,” said Rob Beauchamp, CIO at UCare. “After our initial training sessions, our technical team and even our clinical staff were enthusiastic about the Edifecs ICD-10 solution. The mapping and analytics capabilities provide a clear picture of how the technology will help us manage the transition without disrupting service to our members.”

The team at UCare was not only impressed with the Edifecs ICD-10 solution, but also the level of support and ICD-10 education provided by Edifecs. In helping UCare develop its overall ICD-10 transition strategy, the Edifecs team has shared best practices and lessons learned from previous deployments—particularly those that help smaller health plans manage risks and resource constraints that wouldn’t faze larger plans.

“UCare is taking a leadership role among regional health plans by effectively managing its transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 in a thoughtful, business-neutral way, and Edifecs is committed to ensuring UCare has the tools and expertise it needs to succeed,” said Sunny Singh, CEO of Edifecs. “Our partnership will help UCare manage the complexities of ICD-10 and quickly achieve compliance, while still maintaining the customer service focus the organization is known for.”

The conversion from ICD-9 coding standards to ICD-10 is one of the most comprehensive migration projects the country’s healthcare system will undergo. Because the vast majority of IT systems and many healthcare policies will be affected, the Edifecs’ ICD-10 solution is designed to help healthcare organizations understand where the impact will be greatest and then mitigate the financial and operational risks. The deadline for implementing the ICD-10 system is Oct. 1, 2014.

About UCare

UCare is an independent, nonprofit health plan providing health coverage and services to nearly 300,000 members in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. UCare serves more people from diverse cultures and more people with disabilities enrolled in Medical Assistance than any other health plan in Minnesota. Working in partnership with health care providers and community organizations, UCare serves Medicare-eligible individuals, families and individuals enrolled in Minnesota Health Care Programs such as MinnesotaCare and Medical Assistance, and adults with disabilities.

About Edifecs, Inc.

An industry leader since 1996, Edifecs provides healthcare software solutions that improve operational performance by streamlining the exchange of information among health plans, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations, while enabling compliance with current mandates such as HIPAA 5010 and ICD-10.

Today, more than 250 healthcare customers use Edifecs technology to unify transactions from any information channel source and input mechanism, while automating manual business processes such as enrollment, claims and payments management.

Edifecs is currently recognized as one of the 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies in the state of Washington, 100 Best Places to Work in the state of Washington, an Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private company and one of the 500 Fastest Growing Companies in North America by Deloitte. Edifecs is headquartered in Bellevue, WA. For more information, please visit www.edifecs.com.

December 31, 2012 I Written By

Nuance Healthcare Announces Clinical Language Understanding for Radiology at RSNA

Changes in Payment Models and Transition to ICD-10 Spur Need for More Accurate Clinical Documentation in Radiology

RSNA 2012 – CHICAGO – November 26, 2012 – Today, from booth 6217 at RSNA 2012, Nuance Communications, Inc. announced Assure, a clinical language understanding (CLU) offering for Powerscribe 360 | Reporting that will identify quality errors and omissions in radiology reports prior to final signature.  Assure is the first product offering to leverage CLU and which will benefit from the recent acquisitions of Quantim and J.A. Thomas and Associates, strengthening Nuance’s solutions that help drive clinical documentation improvement (CDI) for radiologists and their referring physicians..

Radiology is moving from fee-for-service to a value-based reimbursement model where it must now, more than ever, show the value it adds to patient care.  A way to demonstrate this value is to measure how radiology’s clinical documentation makes patient care more efficient and effective; a heavy weight to bear in light of government regulations such as ICD-10.  Voice-enabled radiology reporting with CLU technology plays a key role in the efficient delivery of quality diagnostic reports, enhancing patient care and helping to reduce imaging costs.

By arming radiologists with CLU documentation technologies and enterprise-wide coding, Nuance will provide immediate quality feedback and CDI recommendations for the physician and produce better quality reports and downstream benefits to facilities and providers. Today, Assure for PowerScribe 360 | Reporting goes beyond simply spotting pre-defined words within a report.  Assure leverages Nuance’s CLU technology, which contains the world’s largest knowledge base of medical terms to understand the context of the exam order and report.  Using intelligent concept extraction, Assure considers verb tenses, negations, and historical references to identify conflicts a radiologist can address prior to signature and coding.  This enables radiologists to capture the appropriate data before the diagnostic report is provided to the referring physician and used subsequently for diagnosis, treatment and care.

“Today, nearly half of all imaging exams in the U.S. are being created using Nuance speech recognition,” said Janet Dillione, executive vice president and general manager, Nuance Healthcare.  “Now, layer that with our powerful CLU technology to unlock data within clinical documentation and support it with 20+ years of healthcare expertise and you have a perfect opportunity to deliver a radiology solution that supports more accurate, complete clinical documentation and prepares for ICD-10.”

At RSNA, Nuance will have its full radiology portfolio on demonstration at booth 6217, including Powerscribe 360 | Reporting with Assure, critical results communication, and computer-assisted coding (CAC).  To learn more about how Nuance can help radiologists improve patient care, please visit: www.nuancehealthcare.com/destinationbest.

Nuance Healthcare

Nuance Healthcare, a division of Nuance Communications, is the market leader in creating clinical understanding solutions that drive smart, efficient decisions across healthcare.  As the largest clinical documentation provider in the U.S., Nuance provides solutions and services that improve the entire clinical documentation process — from the capture of the complete patient record to clinical documentation improvement, coding, compliance and appropriate reimbursement. More than 450,000 physicians and 10,000 healthcare facilities worldwide leverage Nuance’s award-winning, voice-enabled clinical documentation and analytics solutions to support the physician in any clinical workflow and on any device. For more information, visit www.nuance.com/for-healthcare/index.htm.

Connect with Nuance Healthcare on Social Media:

For the Health of IT blog – www.nuancehealthcareblog.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/NuanceHealth

Nuance Communications, Inc

Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) is a leading provider of voice and language solutions for businesses and consumers around the world.  Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with devices and systems. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance’s proven applications.  For more information, please visit: http://www.nuance.com/

December 4, 2012 I Written By

Amphion Medical Solutions Helps Hospitals Leverage New ICD-10 Deadline to Address Coder Shortage

One-year bump in new coding system go-live provides hospitals a unique opportunity to leverage a full array of supplemental staffing options

MADISON, Wis. – Oct. 16, 2012 – Amphion Medical Solutions, an innovative provider of transcription and coding technology and outsourcing services, is poised to help hospitals and healthcare organizations meet the critical staffing challenges predicted to occur in tandem with the coming ICD-10 transition. Recently delayed to Oct. 1, 2014, the new deadline for converting to the expanded coding system provides hospitals with a unique opportunity to identify innovative approaches to proactively address anticipated staffing gaps created by the increased demand for services.

“The healthcare industry is facing a shortage of nearly 70,000 coders in the coming years, and hospitals that expect to meet the ICD-10 challenge should already be taking steps to address workforce demand,” said Mike Cavill, chairman and co-founder, Amphion Medical Solutions. “Amphion understands these challenges and has packaged a full array of options that cover strategies for both internal staff expansion and third-party outsourcing to meet needs.”

The magnitude of the ICD-10 transition—which expands the number of diagnosis and procedure codes from 17,000 choices to 141,000—is one factor contributing to increased coder demand that industry estimates predict will lead to shortages of 30% to 50% nationwide. Further escalating the problem is a growing aging population that will require more healthcare services and more extensive medical care, alongside an aging coder workforce that may choose to retire rather than invest time in learning the new coding system.

To counter these trends, Amphion offers a comprehensive package of coding solutions, starting with overflow services and extending to full outsourcing. Services can be designed to cover long-term contracts or work on a project-by-project basis to alleviate costly backlogs that can delay billing and reimbursement processes in hospitals. Amphion also provides ICD-10 training programs that include pre- and post-assessment tools to identify staff knowledge gaps and ensure readiness.

To further develop in-house coding resources, Amphion offers turn-key and customizable training programs to cross-train and transition complementary staff functions to coding. In particular, transcriptionists can be a great resource pool to draw from as a closely-aligned function that is currently facing the opposite problem—downsizing. Training programs can be provided onsite or remotely with one of the company’s coding educators leading the classes and are backed by 100% quality monitoring that ensures 95% accuracy.

About Amphion Medical Solutions

Founded in 2001, Amphion Medical Solutions (www.amphionmedical.com) delivers complete services and technology solutions to meet healthcare clients’ transcription and coding needs. With extensive healthcare expertise and leading-edge technology, Amphion leverages the proven benefits of transcription and coding outsourcing and provides organizations with the technology they need to manage an in-house transcription team. Featured products include Triton, a speech understanding transcription platform, and Themis, a remote coding solution.

November 22, 2012 I Written By

Optum ICD-10 Training Curriculum Helps Hospitals Prepare for the New Coding Standard

  • Optum ICD-10 Core Education delivers comprehensive training to prepare physicians, coders and other staff affected by the transition to ICD-10
  • Three levels of instruction introduce ICD-10 concepts, enable individuals to develop practical skills and apply them through on-the-job training
  • Education series complements Optum’s full-service suite of ICD-10 solutions for hospitals

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn., Sept. 27, 2012Optum has launched Optum ICD-10 Core Education, a comprehensive training program to help hospitals ensure physicians, coders and other staff who are affected by the new coding standard are fully prepared before the October 2014 deadline.

According to a survey conducted by the American Hospital Association in February, physician training (90 percent) and coder training (64 percent) are the leading ICD-10 implementation challenges cited by hospital executives.

“Optum ICD-10 Core Education delivers complete, customizable ICD-10 instruction that leverages the expertise Optum has gained by conducting ICD-10 business readiness assessments with hundreds of health systems across the U.S.,” said Kyle Pak, senior vice president and general manager at Optum. “Optum provides comprehensive capabilities to help hospitals plan, integrate and sustain ICD-10 coding in their business processes, and this curriculum will be essential to those efforts.”

Optum ICD-10 Core Education provides a complete training program that can be customized to meet the learning needs of physicians, nurses, coders, clinical documentation improvement specialists, and other hospital staff whose work is affected by ICD-10. Three levels of instruction comprise the Optum ICD-10 Core Education curriculum:

  • Overview training, which orients participants to the reasons, benefits, challenges and timelines of ICD-10 as well as department-specific impacts to workflow and systems.
  • Knowledge-based/skill transfer, to provide a deeper understanding of ICD-10 and ensure those who work with diagnosis data can easily navigate and use the code set.
  • On-the-job training, which helps learners apply their ICD-10 training to their current work.

Supplemental ICD-10 training options are also available. These include on-site train-the-trainer sessions to cultivate physician champions, courses designed to build more in-depth experience and support through medical records audits, and education during the dual-coding and post-transition phases of ICD-10 implementation.

Upgrading the health system to ICD-10 dramatically expands the classification system used to code health conditions, their severity, and the procedures used in patient care. This index, which serves an essential function in medical billing and quality measurement and compliance programs, will grow to more than 155,000 codes from 17,000 in ICD-9.

Training and education are critical to comprehensive ICD-10 readiness programs, which also include assessment, coding, clinical documentation, reimbursement, technology and process management. The transition will affect nearly every member of a hospital or health system, and will influence nearly every aspect of patient care delivery from clinical documentation, contracts, business processes, budgets, payment systems, claims processing and care utilization management. Without adequate preparation, hospitals face lost productivity and an increase in denied claims, which could cause significant disruptions to revenue cycle management and financial performance.

Optum brings more than 25 years in coding expertise and leadership, and a comprehensive suite of technology, services and analytics capabilities to help hospitals plan, transition and measure their ICD-10 programs, as well as to leverage their investments to drive long-term business improvement.

For more information about Optum ICD-10 Core Education, visit optuminsight.com

About Optum

Optum (www.optum.com) is a leading information and technology-enabled health services business dedicated to helping make the health system work better for everyone. Optum comprises three companies – OptumHealth, OptumInsight and OptumRx – representing more than 35,000 employees worldwide who collaborate to deliver integrated, intelligent solutions that work to modernize the health system and improve overall population health.

September 28, 2012 I Written By

Survey Shows ICD-10 Deadline Delay is Not Welcome News for Hospitals

The longer the delay the worse for hospitals that have been planning for the ICD-10 transition

YAKIMA, WASH.—March 2, 2012—VitalWare (www.vitalware.com), the leading provider of ICD-10 intelligence, today released the results of a survey of 500 healthcare entities about the effect that the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ postponement of the ICD-10 deadline will have on their transition plans.

VitalWare provides vendor management for hundreds of hospitals and clinics, tracking and monitoring approximately one thousand vendors for ICD-10 readiness. In its recent survey, an overwhelming majority of respondents (64%) reported they intend to continue working toward the transition. One respondent said, “I can only speculate what the delay may be at this point. Regardless, our organization is moving forward with the ICD-10 project and we feel that it will allow us to do ICD-10 just that much better.” Said another respondent:  “We planned to be ready, and anticipate that we will be whether there is a delay or not.

However, respondents wanted to know a firm date for compliance and said the longer the delay, the worse it would be for their eventual transition. According to 74% of respondents, the worst-case scenario would be no decision on the compliance deadline for a prolonged period of time. As one respondent said, “We hope to hear the new compliance date soon, not knowing is the worst outcome possible.”

Survey respondents also expressed concerns that the delay would increase their costs and slow their momentum:

“We have consultants and vendors hired to be here. If we stop they will go elsewhere and it will be near impossible to get them back. If ICD-10 is delayed it will only cost us much more than originally budgeted!”

“My concern is that the momentum we just built will be sidelined by a delay. Getting staff geared up a second time will be difficult and costly.”

“We were ready to begin the coder training modules when the delay was announced. We have now postponed for at least three weeks until we hear more. We are afraid to begin if this will place us a year (or two) ahead of where we want to be on a training timeline.”

“There are several key issues: 1.) Education and training will be pushed into another year requiring dollars earmarked for clinical projects to be put on hold so the budgets can be redirected once again to ICD10. 2.) It requires a re-evaluation of all implementation and implementation timelines. 3.) It requires significant contract review and renegotiation 4.) It gives some managers/administrators/physicians the idea that ICD10 will never be implemented and project resources and planning are not necessary.”

“I believe that more funding will be needed for training, compliance, upgrades, etc. due to the delay. “

“Our clients have been working diligently to meet the federally mandated deadline for transitioning to ICD-10. This transition is a marathon event for those organizations that were doing what they were supposed to do in the timeframe required,” said Kerry Martin, CEO of VitalWare. “Now they are being challenged by having to go back to the starting line with those who have procrastinated. It’s reassuring to see most of our clients are still full speed ahead, but that will change shortly if we do not hear from HHS real soon! No news is the worst news.”

About VitalWare

Headquartered in Yakima, Washington, VitalWare leads the market in transforming ICD-10 intelligence into useful and actionable information thereby allowing our clients to focus their time and resources on core business. The VitalView platform, its flagship product, provides real-time insight into ICD-10 vendor readiness with an executive dashboard, helping healthcare organizations improve vendor management and make informed decisions for sustained productivity, uninterrupted reimbursement and improved project management. For more information, visit www.vitalware.com or call 855-GOICD10.

March 7, 2012 I Written By