Four Methods to Keep Your Coding Team on Top of Their Game and Your Revenue Cycle Secure

by Lynn Kuehn, MS, RHIA, CCS-P, FAHIMA

Your coding queue is threatening to overtake you and the cases seem to get more complex all the time. With high dollar cases on the line, how do you assure that your team codes cases correctly and that the coding is defensible in an audit? You need a plan to help prepare and protect your coding team, while sending the outside auditors on to more fruitful territory.

Many facilities are turning to a multi-purpose tool to both teach and provide real-time answers to challenging coding questions. The Libman Education eLearning Library was developed for just this purpose. It provides unlimited access to a complete and comprehensive library of fully up-to-date coder education materials. eLearning Libraries that offer specialized, targeted selection of courses, such as inpatient, pro fee, or pediatric, to meet the needs of particular teams within your organization are also available.

While the eLearning Library offers a great training solution at a reasonable price, it is more than that. I want to share with you how some organizations are using the eLearning Library to provide their coders with the resources they need to get the correct answer faster. Keeping the coders working and keeping their queues under control is the goal.

Consistent Training to Support Quality and Productivity Goals
The eLearning Library allows subscribers to keep all team members “on the same page.” Everyone has access to training materials that explain complex but still standard procedures. Everyone has access to the code updates well before implementation. Everyone has the resources they need to improve their quality and their productivity. Everyone has opportunity to earn CEUs to support their credential. No one has an excuse for not being at the top of their game.

Stretch Education in Response to Coding Challenges
Some clients use the eLearning Library to make course assignments to team members when an internal or external audit identifies training deficits. That’s the traditional method.

Others are doing that plus being creative and driving engagement in learning by scheduling Stretch Education for coders after the team has completed a course or series of courses. These clients develop plans with the Libman Education team for custom training using a select number of their own, facility-specific reports that everyone on the coding team reads and codes ahead of time. A survey tool helps the instructor gather their answers confidentially and targets education to fine-tune the learning on these complex cases, driving the learning to a much higher level.

On-demand Coding Resource
Still others use the eLearning Library as their very own virtual Question-Answering Service using the left navigation bar within each course which lists the procedures or diagnoses covered in that course.

Let’s say a coder is struggling to code a spinal case documented as pedicle subtraction osteotomy. This is a challenge to code. There’s no index entry. There’s no Coding Clinic opinion. The internet articles seem confusing.

Any team member with eLearning Library access could go to the ICD-10-PCS Spinal Procedures course in the eLearning Library and review the left navigation bar to find Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy listed. Navigating to that slide they will find a description of the procedure, a useful image, and instructions for proper coding. On-demand, real time answers will help them to code correctly and get back to their queue.

Coding Grand Rounds

Still others combine the eLearning Library with the Coding Grand Rounds process described in my recent article: “Coding Grand Rounds: Creating a Learning Culture.”

The Coding Grand Rounds process allows organizations to request my formal coding opinion on challenging procedures for which there is lack of agreement. These detailed opinions can even help with claim denial letters.

An ‘all-of-the-above’ method would also work!

eLearning Library Subscription
Unlimited access to over 60 courses, assessments, and training curricula designed to enhance job-specific, self-paced learning for one full year. Earn AAPC and AHIMA CEUs. Resources and training for the individual or an entire team. Learn more here.

About the Author

Lynn Kuehn is president of Kuehn Consulting, LLC, and a nationally recognized authority on ICD-10-PCS coding. Lynn was elected to the AHIMA Board of Directors, served as faculty for the original ICD-10 “Train-the-Trainers” program, and authored or co-authored several of AHIMA’s most popular books including ICD-10-PCS: An Applied Approach, recognized as the “go-to” resource for learning and mastering ICD-10-PCS. As a Subject Matter Expert with Libman Education, Lynn’s unique and engaging teaching methods as well as her leadership on the importance of accuracy and efficiency in coding is recognized by clients and students throughout the country.

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