3M Health Information Systems in November will make commercially available cloud-hosted computer-assisted coding software for small hospitals.

Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center in Leitchfield, Ky., a 75-bed facility, was the developmental partner for the technology, which essentially is a stripped down version of 3M’s 360 Encompass suite of health information management software. 3M started working on the software in February 2013 after conducting an audit at Twin Lake and the CFO bemoaned that vendors aren’t paying attention to the ICD-10 needs of small hospitals, and he feared lost productivity when the ICD-10 coding system goes into effect.

By late May, the company had a product to test, says Garri Garrison, director of emerging business. Implementation started at 9:00 a.m. and by 1:00 p.m. coders were in the system and learning to use it, and coding at 2:00, says Marcia Shartzer, health information management director at Twin Lakes.

Now, HIM staff converts the inpatient record to a PDF file, upload it to the CAC system, convert the record to text and run it through the natural language processing module to analyze the text and recommend appropriate codes. Coders then open the file and validate or change the automated codes.

With diagnoses more appropriately coded and medical necessity better documented, the case mix index increased, improving reimbursements to the point that Twin Lakes’ annual fee for computer-assisted coding was recouped in the first 30 days, Shartzer says. Productivity also has increased to a level that could offset some productivity losses when ICD-10 arrives.


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