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ZirMed Offers Top 5 Tips as Providers Transition to ICD-10

Recommendations Based on 17 Months of End-To-End ICD-10 Testing with Provider Organizations and Payers

Louisville, KY – September 24, 2015 ZirMed®, which empowers healthcare organizations to optimize revenue and population health with the nation’s only comprehensive end-to-end platform of cloud-based financial and clinical performance management solutions, announced a top-five list of strategies to help ease providers through the impending transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10.

Based on its experience conducting end-to-end testing with its clients and with payers since April 2014, the company has developed the following recommendations for providers:

  • Develop a list of commonly used codes. Determine which diagnoses are most commonly used by the organization and create a chart with the correct ICD-10 codes as a quick reference to save time and reduce errors.
  • Create a master list of ICD-10-related assignments. Designate responsibilities ahead of time to reduce staff confusion and frustration post-transition.
  • Prioritize denied claims. The shift from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is expected to increase denials significantly. Providers should focus on appealing those claims that have the most significant revenue impact and the highest success rates and let the less impactful denials slide.
  • Assess organizational workflow and revenue impact. Plan to track the organization’s performance during and after the transition. Identify problem areas quickly and take corrective action.
  • Set staff up for success. Schedule fewer appointments the week after October 1 to allow extra time for coding and training questions.

One of ZirMed’s Wisconsin-based clients, ThedaCare, engaged with ZirMed early on in the planning process and shared an update on its efforts prior to go-live. Beth Malchetske, Director of Business Integration explains, “By focusing on the things we can control, we empower our teams to address issues before the transition, instead of waiting until a claim is at the payer awaiting reimbursement. And by making sure all the steps are followed, we’re ensuring our facilities get paid as quickly as possible post-go-live.”

ZirMed’s systems and solutions are completely ICD-10-compatible. The company offers a free ICD-10 readiness assessment, to help providers evaluate the impact that ICD-10 will have on their organizations. ZirMed also provides ICD-10 educational tools to its clients, including:

  • The ICD Translator, which helps providers understand changes from ICD-9 to ICD-10
  • A diagnostic usage report that shows each organization a list of its most commonly used diagnosis codes, sorted by volume and frequency
  • A payer dashboard that sorts each organization’s top payers by volume and helps clients identify which payers are offering ICD-10 testing

“ZirMed has been hard at work to make sure that our clients have the best plan, solutions, and support to make the transition to ICD-10 as smooth as possible,” said Crystal Ewing, ZirMed Senior Business Analyst and Manager of Regulatory Strategy. “Providers should understand that they are not alone and there are products and services available to them to help them fix rejected claims, identify critical benchmarks, and prioritize training opportunities. No one knows exactly what will happen after the October 1 deadline, and there are certain to be bumps in the road, which is why contingency planning is critical.”

For more recommendations, and to learn more about ZirMed’s comprehensive ICD-10 strategy, please visit the company’s ICD-10 Resource Center.

About ZirMed®

ZirMed empowers healthcare organizations of all sizes and types to optimize revenue and population health with the nation’s only comprehensive end-to-end platform of cloud-based financial and clinical performance management solutions—including patient access, charge integrity, claims management, AR management, patient responsibility, and population health management. By combining breakthrough predictive analytics technology with innovative software development and the industry’s most advanced transactional network, ZirMed solutions extract actionable insights that improve our clients’ revenue cycles and support effective management of population health—while streamlining workflows, increasing operating efficiencies, and driving bottom-line performance. ZirMed’s technology and client support continue to be honored with top industry awards, including KLAS®, Healthcare Informatics, Best of SaaS Showplace (BoSS), and Black Book Rankings. To learn how ZirMed can help your healthcare organization boost its financial and clinical performance in an era of changing reimbursement models and rising operating costs, visit

September 24, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 5 blogs containing over 11,000 articles with John having written over 5500 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 18 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Amazing Charts Eases Physician Transition to ICD-10 Coding With User-Friendly Technology and Free Education

Input of Common Medical Terms Is Mapped to ICD-10 Codes for Industry-Leading Ease of Use

BOSTON, MA–(Marketwired – March 31, 2015) – Amazing Charts, a leading provider of Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Practice Management (PM) systems for ambulatory care, today introduced a comprehensive product solution and free educational resources to address the Oct.1, 2015 transition to ICD-10. Amazing Charts EHR Version 8.2 will allow physicians to use clinically relevant terms to accurately and efficiently find ICD-10 codes.

ICD-10 coding in Amazing Charts begins when a physician types a symptom or diagnosis using common medical terms — such as abdominal pain, diabetes, or fracture — and then selects a clinical description with a code from a dropdown menu, or chooses to further refine the search. Words can be entered in any order, and common abbreviations and partial words are recognized. Physicians are presented with a set of ICD-10 codes highlighted in different colors to show which codes are billable. Behind the scenes, SNOMED Clinical Terms (CT) are mapped to ICD-10 codes in compliance with interoperability standards. Additionally, ICD-9 codes can be accessed for billing (or rebilling) encounters created prior to the Oct. 1, 2015 deadline.

Preparing physicians to code to the highest level of specificity promotes improved patient care and expedites reimbursement to optimize revenue. Amazing Charts offers physicians a series of free online educational resources — including blogs, how-to tutorials, live webinars, and videos — focused on the transition to ICD-10, coding, and clinical documentation improvement.

“We want to help our users move to ICD-10 well in advance of the October deadline to ensure no interruption in payments for services,” said John Squire, president and COO, Amazing Charts. “In keeping with our core tenets of usability and affordability, we designed our products to provide real assistance to physicians as they make the transition to ICD-10 coding, and the ICD-10 upgrade and online education is free to all practices on support. Amazing Charts Practice Management is also ICD-10 ready.”

About Amazing Charts

Amazing Charts provides Electronic Health Records (EHR/EMR), Practice Management, and other Health IT solutions to healthcare practices. Based on number one user ratings for usability, fair pricing, and overall satisfaction, Amazing Charts EHR has been adopted by more than 10,000 clinicians in over 6,800 private practices. Founded in 2001 by a family physician, today Amazing Charts, LLC operates as a subsidiary of Pri‐Med, an operating division of Diversified Communications (DC) and a trusted source for professional medical education to over 260,000 clinicians since 1995. For more information, visit:

March 31, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 5 blogs containing over 11,000 articles with John having written over 5500 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 18 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Haugen Consulting Launches Interactive, Web-Based Training Program for ICD-10

Haugen Academy prepares clinical coders, documentation specialists and physicians for ICD-10. 

Denver, Colorado (October 17, 2013)Haugen Consulting Group, Inc. (HCG), an elite healthcare consulting firm and educational services provider, announces the launch and general availability of  Haugen Academy. Haugen Academy is a cost-effective, web-based learning center for facility coders, professional fee coders and documentation specialists. Developed by industry-recognized HIM and CDI experts, the program is interactive, self-paced and includes competency testing to ensure all staff are ready for ICD-10. The announcement was made by Mary Beth Haugen, RHIA, MS, Founder and CEO of Haugen Consulting Group.

“There are nearly 200,000 active clinical coders in the U.S. that must be trained and once ICD-10 is live, an additional 38,000 coders are required to meet healthcare’s day-to-day productivity needs,” mentions Haugen. The healthcare industry is looking for efficient and cost-effective ways to train these coders along with clinical documentation specialists and physicians. Haugen Academy meets these needs.

Melinda Patten, MHA, RHIA, CHPS, CDIP, Director of HIM at Children’s Hospital Colorado, relies on Haugen Academy to train her team of 20 in-house and remote clinical coders. “Our average coder age is 55, so we wanted a training program that targeted the entire group and accommodated our different levels of learning,” Patten says. “Haugen Academy courseware is visual, interactive, and offers Q & A. I like that the focus is strictly on ICD-10.”

Haugen Academy provides training materials and educational options for a wide range of coder ages, technology skill sets and learning preferences. The training respects each student’s existing knowledge base through a combination of refresher courses and ICD-10 modules. Competency testing ensures modules are completed and new information is retained.

The company will host a complimentary, educational webinar focused on ICD-10 education and Haugen Academy on November 14, 2013. To register for the webinar visit:

About Haugen Consulting Group

The Haugen Consulting Group, Inc. offers custom readiness assessments, implementation, education and documentation reviews for ICD-10-CM/PCS. Assessments include identification of risks, recommendations for organizational readiness, and strategies to prepare people, processes, and technology for the upcoming conversion from ICD-9 to ICD-10. HCG also offers Haugen Academy, an instructor-led training and web-based learning center for ICD-10. The Academy provides training and education to ensure all learners become confident and proficient with ICD-10. For more information visit: or call: 720.502.7690.

October 17, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 5 blogs containing over 11,000 articles with John having written over 5500 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 18 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Coder Academy Launched to Train and Place Healthcare Professionals for ICD-10

New Partnership between TrustHCS, Career Step and HIM Connections Educates All Levels

July 1, 2013, Springfield MOTrustHCS announced the launch of a new coder academy designed to prepare coding professionals of various levels and new, novice entrants to the field. The TrustHCS Academy brings the strength of three companies together to meet the nationwide increase in coding demand associated with ICD-10.  TrustHCS coding educators prepare new students and seasoned coding professionals to enter the field and by increasing their knowledge and related ICD-10 skills.  Career Step delivers proven, on-line curriculum, and HIM Connections places trained and certified students—a critical component of the program’s launch.  The announcement was made by Torrey Barnhouse, President, TrustHCS.

“The healthcare industry has endured a persistent 30% deficit in coding staffing,” mentions Barnhouse.    Results of a recent industry study co-sponsored by the AHIMA Foundation and TrustHCS, indicate this gap will continue to increase by an additional 23% as a result of ICD-10 implementation. “Our Academy helps to meet this demand,” he concludes.

Career Step’s proven on-line content is the backbone of the TrustHCS Academy.  The Career Step curriculum boasts an 86% first-attempt pass rate for those sitting for the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) certification.  This is in comparison to an industry average 67% first time pass rate for the certification.

In addition, HIM Connections helps with student job placement.  The TrustHCS Academy will work closely with HIM Connections to connect academy graduates with industry needs.  HIM Connections contracts with numerous Human Resource and Health Information Management (HIM) Directors across the United States for staffing needs specific to medical record coding and HIM.

The first cohort of TrustHCS Academy students have already signed up to tackle the curriculum.  This group includes the general public with no coding or HIM background and coding professionals with various backgrounds and levels of coding knowledge.

About TrustHCS

TrustHCS is a health information management (HIM) services and revenue cycle consultancy firm for healthcare providers. TrustHCS protects the revenue integrity of health providers through affordable, on-demand remote coding, coding compliance, audit, cancer registry and educational services. TrustHCS is an early adopter of learning partnerships for ICD-10 and offers a unique, cost-effective set of educational modalities for hospitals, clinics and physician practices nationwide, TrustHCS ensures correct clinical coding, delivers effective coding compliance programs, conducts audits and supports cancer registries. For more information, visit

About Career Step

Career Step, a premier healthcare education company offering career-focused education and corporate training, has trained nearly 90,000 students, has 160 partnerships with colleges and universities nationwide, and provides training for several of the most respected healthcare employers in the nation. Career Step is committed to improving lives and advancing the business goals of its clients and partners through its curriculum and services. The company’s training programs are currently focused in healthcare, administration and technology.  More information can be found at or 1-800-246-7836.

About HIM Connections

HIM Connections is a results-driven staffing and recruitment firm specializing in HIM. The company quickly locates qualified, credentialed and experienced HIM professionals to fill hospitals’ HIM staffing needs; short-term or long-term. The company saves time for their customers by presenting fully-vetted candidates, building relationships with passive candidates, and offering flexible service options for staffing and recruitment of HIM professionals. For more information, visit

July 5, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 5 blogs containing over 11,000 articles with John having written over 5500 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 18 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

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 ( 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

About Optum

Optum ( 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 (, 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 or call 855-GOICD10.

March 7, 2012 I Written By