Communicating With Physicians About ICD-10 Documentation

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  • September 8, 2010
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A question often asked at our boot camps is, “How do I get my physicians to document for ICD-10-CM?” This is probably one of the most challenging issues coders will face with the conversion to ICD-10-CM. Following are some tips based on these discussions with boot camp attendees.
First, talk with your physician regarding ICD-10 and its importance. If you have a large group of physicians, consider a PowerPoint presentation to keep everyone on track. Talk about the live date of October 1, 2013 and what the office needs to do to be ready. Stress the importance of the date and that there will be no delays in the implementation of the coding system. You can see all the steps needed on your ICD-10 Benchmark Tracker on our website.
Schedule regular meeting times for ICD-10 discussions. The frequency of these meetings should be driven by the size of the practice and the needs of the physicians. Perform audits specific to diagnosis. Code them first with ICD-9-CM, then code to ICD-10-CM. I suggest that you do these “audits” by disease process. For example, if you have a family practitioner group, start with diabetes. Pull notes for that diagnosis only. After doing the coding comparison, sit down with the doctors and discuss the differences between the systems using their own chart notes. Once they understand the diabetes set of codes, move on to hypertension and start the process again. This will allow for continuous education, but in a more focused manner. Just make sure to check back on the diagnoses that you already covered to ensure that your providers are keeping up with the documentation requirements.
These tips should help you formulate your game plan for documentation education.

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