In the days and weeks following the ICD-10 switchover on October 1, many providers will need help answering some challenging coding questions to ensure that they are in compliance. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) launched a service to help.
AHIMA's new Code-Check can help providers correctly assign ICD-10 codes by consulting with credentialed/experienced coders as well as using “coding guidelines and other regulatory and authoritative documents.” The aim of the service is not only to assist providers in identifying the right code but to help them understand the code assignment and the rationale for using it.
According to Lou Ann Wiedemann, AHIMA’s vice president of HIM practice excellence, the group spent a year or so researching what the industry’s needs would be after October 1, leveraging focus groups with coders.
“We knew that the majority of people would be ready for the ICD-10 deadline. We also knew that a lot times no matter how well you prepare unexpected things happen and you need additional support,” says Wiedemann, who adds that “accurate code assignment is critical to their success.”
According to Wiedemann, AHIMA’s Code-Check experts will respond with an answer to a subscriber’s question within one business day of receiving the question. While only questions regarding how to accurately code a diagnosis or procedure can be answered, Code-Check does not provide answers on how reimbursement is directly affected by ICD-10, she states.
The subscription service is available for purchase immediately—and can be shared among a large physician practice, entire coding departments, and even CDI specialists—but question submissions and responses will begin October 12, Wiedemann notes.
Providers can purchase a single question or a subscription for a bundle of questions—related to ICD-10-CM, ICD-10-PCS, CPT, or HCPCS code—that can be used over a 12-month period. According to AHIMA, Code-Check is “unique in its ability to combine all four classification systems into one service.”
The cost of asking a single coding question for individuals is $20 per question for AHIMA members, and $35 per question for non-members. A 12-month subscription for up to 12 questions is $216 for individual members and $360 for non-members.
A 12-month subscription for up to 50 questions is available to organizations for $1,500. At the high end, an organization/corporate 12-month subscription for up to 600 questions is $10,800. Organization/corporate subscriptions include quarterly reports documenting all submitted questions and provided solutions for all staff members.
Additional information about Code-Check is available here.
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