The ICD-10 delay forced many healthcare organizations to rethink their ICD-10 staffing and implementation plans. Baptist Health System in Birmingham, Alabama, devised a plan to prepare for the one-year delay of ICD-10 by revising its budget and relying on new graduates to fill coder positions.
In a concerted effort to move healthcare payments to a system of "quality over quantity," CMS finalized policies that greatly expanded packaging for outpatient providers in the 2015 OPPS final rule (www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-11-10/pdf/2014-26146.pdf). It also introduced complexity adjustments with comprehensive ambulatory payment classifications (C-APCs).
CMS designates certain procedures as inpatient-only and identifies them using CPT codes. Hospitals normally only use CPT codes for outpatient coding, so this may be confusing for coders who use ICD-9-CM Volume 3 codes for inpatient procedures. Coders need to know which procedures are on the inpatient-only list to monitor compliance with this rule as they apply inpatient procedure codes.
Many hospitals and health systems include computer-assisted coding (CAC) systems as a strategic tool in their plan for ICD-10. CAC software is considered an antidote to the significant decrease in coder productivity anticipated with ICD-10.