Posted in Workflow

How to outsource ICD-10 coding and get high quality

Carl Natale
by Carl Natale
How to outsource ICD-10 coding and get high quality

As healthcare organizations prepared for ICD-10 implementation, they trained medical coders to work with the new code sets. Those coders who learned ICD-10 coding became more valuable and encouraged them to change jobs.

For Athens Regional Medical Center (ARMC) in northeast Georgia, this created a shortage of ICD-10 expertise. That led ARHS to turn to outsourcing vendors to maintain quality and productivity during the ICD-10 transition.

According to Penny Bond, director of HIM at ARMC, this wasn't as easy as writing a check. There were several factors credited with keeping productivity and accuracy high that included:

  • ARMC worked with two outsourcing agencies to supplement in-house medical coders.
  • All in-house and outsourced coders were managed as one team.
  • Clear goals were set for everyone.
  • Education was shared among all medical coders.
  • Funs activities were available to all medical coders.

Bond wrote all medical coders were managed the same despite their employment status. This required work and leadership beyond writing a check.

The medical coders became a hybrid coding partnership that worked for everyone.