HIMagine That! Dual Coding

Jan. 21, 2015 / By Sue Belley, RHIA, Donna Smith, RHIA

Sue: Happy New Year, Donna! Did you enjoy the holidays?

Donna: The holidays were wonderful, and you know I always feel reenergized in the new year!

Sue: Me, too! Instead of making New Year’s resolutions though, I focus on cleaning, straightening and getting organized.

Donna: Speaking of getting organized, I started making a list of what needs to be accomplished before ICD-10 goes live in October.

Sue: Well, what #1 on your list?

Donna: Dual coding is #1 on my list.

Sue: Why’s that?

Donna: Well, if you recall, we talked about practice coding in ICD-10 last January and then the delay hit a few months later, which resulted in a slowdown of implementation plans including dual coding.

Sue: I remember that conversation, and you’re definitely right that there was a general slowdown in implementation plans. So, how should organizations tackle dual coding now?

Donna: Here is what I put on my list for dual coding: 1) determine if the staff needs ICD-10 refresher training and, if needed, supply training 2) identify the staff members who will answer coding questions and perform the quality review during dual coding 3) obtain supplemental coding and CDI support in case it is needed during dual coding 4) start dual coding, ramping up slowly and carefully 5) identify gaps in documentation, education, etc. and remediate and . . .

Sue: Wait . . . slow down . . . wow you really did make a list!

Donna: Sorry . . . I am just passionate about the importance of dual coding . . .

Sue: I feel your sense of urgency and I agree with you! Earlier in my career I had a director who used to tell me that the year was over in April, and if you didn’t have your major initiatives well under way by then then you might as well forget achieving the goals you had set for the year.

Donna: Exactly! Implementing dual coding can’t happen soon enough!

Sue Belley, RHIA, and Donna Smith, RHIA, are project managers with the consulting services business of 3M Health Information Systems.