4 Tips to Chart a New Coding Course Beyond the Pandemic

It’s been estimated that 50% of procedures currently performed in the hospital before the pandemic could be moved to an outpatient facility. Although it is likely that hospitals will experience a brief surge in patient procedures when the pandemic subsides, long-term there will likely be a significant loss in elective volume to the ASC and physician office. This is where HIM leaders have an opportunity to chart a new course for cases and coding teams.

With a positive change in mindset, there is a real opportunity for HIM and coding teams to not only survive, but prosper!

Change perspective

Sticking to traditional approaches to hospital-based coding volume must be critically reviewed. The pandemic may be just the shock needed to produce a long overdue review and change in the approaches of inpatient, outpatient and ASC coding services.

Evolve with the trends

Expect continued erosion of hospital procedural volume to ambulatory facilities. Adopting an aggressive plan to expand coding into the ASC and office-based procedure arenas is essential.

Incent your team

Consider incentives that reward improvements in coding quality, efficiency, and productivity.

Govern wisely

Build a new multidisciplinary collaborative leadership model to develop a new coding workflow. This includes stakeholders from inpatient, outpatient, ambulatory and other departments depending on your hospital’s case mix. It should function as the HIM-sponsored ‘board of directors’ for mapping out a new coding process.