'CDI: Miami': On the case, engaging physicians in the ICD-10 switch

To help bring physicians on board in its clinical documentation improvement program, Baptist Health South Florida has dubbed the effort "CDI: Miami."

"The physicians on staff seem to think this is the most amusing thing on the planet," Lorena Chicoye, M.D., Baptist's corporate medical director of managed care, told Becker's Hospital Review in an article on its efforts to secure physician buy-in during its transition to ICD-10.

When it started its CDI program two years ago, Baptist Health set up a steering committee of physician leaders from each of its five hospitals, according to Becker's. The organization reported adding nearly $14 million in additional reimbursement to its bottom line this year because of improved documentation in medical records.

Chicoye and Mauricio Palma, M.D., director of CDI at Baptist Health, offered three tips for engaging physicians in CDI, including:

  1. Involve practicing physicians as soon as possible. Hospital executives should explain what exactly they're and how they're going about it.
  2. Make sure they understand what the transition means for them. "If they don't know the day-to-day impact, they're not going to support you. They're just going to think, 'Eh, the hospital is doing more stuff to me,' rather than, 'The hospital is doing more stuff for me,'" Chicoye said.
  3. Assemble a team of CDI specialists who can deliver physician-to-physician education. Baptist makes sure the education is face-to-face. It recruited physicians to teach their peers.

Christine Armstrong, principal at Deloitte, in an interview with FierceHealthIT noted the improvements client organizations have made in clinical documentation as part of the ICD-10 conversion, and stressed the importance of physicians to that process.

The American Hospital Association is urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to expedite its ICD-10 testing plans to make sure testing begins by January 2014.

Physician practices, meanwhile, are struggling with the conversion, according to a survey by the Medical Group Management Association. Just 4.8 percent of more than 1,200 responding medical groups indicated that they had made "significant" progress in their ICD-10 implementation efforts.

Forty-five percent of respondents to a June survey from Atlanta-based medical clearinghouse Navicure identified training as the biggest hurdle to making the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10.

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