Many provider organizations getting ready for the transition to ICD-10 understand that the time is drawing near to start training physicians on what they need to know about the new diagnosis and procedure code sets.

When it comes to doctors, less but more focused training will bring more benefits, says Gary Huff, M.D., president and CEO at consultancy HUFF DRG Review.

It is important to economize physician time and that means that training videos are the least effective method of educating them, Huff contends. “Doctors don’t want to watch videos on coding; they’ll do their charts while listening to it,” he said during a talk with Health Data Management at the American Health Information Management Association’s annual conference in Atlanta.

Also important is to realize that some physicians--especially surgeons--become more important from a coding perspective under ICD-10 because of the increased complexity and specificity of the codes, Huff adds. Organizations need to data mine to find what is not being documented by physicians, and then have training that is very focused and very short.

Doctors don’t need to know every code; even neurosurgeons don’t need to know every neurology code, Huff contends. Some neurosurgeons just operate on the back; they only need to know spinal and fusion codes. “Give them the fewest things to remember. If you can’t put it on an index card, it’s probably too much.”

When training physicians, make sure they can get continuing education credits and use the physicians’ own data to talk about their cases, advises James Fee, M.D., a vice president at HUFF DRG Review. “When you share a story, that’s when it sticks.”


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