The transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 goes beyond a coding issue and affects every single department of a health system. For example, the transition will affect staffing in a number of ways. Providers will have to be able to maintain a healthy, appropriate staffing ratio in the midst of what is an inevitable hiring surge as ICD-10 is implemented.
This means Human Resource departments must pay particular attention to the issues associated with ICD-10 implementation. It’s hard enough as it is to justify creating new positions in hospitals. So when new positions are approved during this hiring surge, organizations must be able to make the most out of them. Centralized hiring through ICD-10 enables organizations to be more efficient with their human resources in a number of ways, including:
- All recruitment and hiring efforts are targeted and performed within a single central department
- All onboarding costs are significantly reduced
- Time-to-hire cycles of recruitment are shortened
- Retention is addressed as a whole, centrally, rather than on a department by department basis
Employee retention was an especially important issue over the last year, as the deadline for ICD-10 implementation drew closer and closer. With ICD-10 talent becoming scarce and the few employees left who actually had training beginning to chase higher salaries, providers faced some challenges in getting trained employees at a reasonable cost.
Some of the biggest retention strategies for trained employees include:
- Contracting employees in exchange for full ICD-10 training
- Reorganizing various coding services to enable the cross-training of people on coding staff in other types of work and service lines
- Identifying post-implementation revenue cycle roles focused on tasks besides ICD-10 production coding for any professionals who have strong clinical documentation and/or ICD-9 skills
- Incremental pay increases or retention bonuses for certain milestones in performance related to ICD-10 productivity and competency
Make sure you have established a good staffing plan to prepare your organization for ICD-10 implementation. It’s important to have qualified, productive team members in place to help ease the transition.
About Howell Consulting Group
Howell Consulting Group provides healthcare consulting services to hospital and physician practices nationwide. Our key focus areas are revenue cycle management, health information technology, and revenue cycle billing and collections.
HCGs consultants are highly experienced in all aspects of healthcare financial management. We implement revenue cycle best practices to optimize your receivables performance and maximize your cash flow.
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