Until 2020, no matter how chaotic the world was, coding remained relatively steady. Sure, we all lived through ICD-10 and occasional coding updates. But nothing like the jolt our HIM community received this year due to drastic changes in patient volumes, coding guidelines and workplace disruptions.
At the outset of the pandemic, we at KIWI-TEK made it our mission to help the HIM community survive the chaos caused by the crisis by providing timely information and data. Our top priority has always been to support HIM professionals and their revenue cycle success. This year certainly amplified our desire to serve.
Early on, recognizing the vast amount of confusing and conflicting news, guidance, predictions and updates from numerous sources, we consolidated relevant, actionable data that was focused on your needs. We then made that data available to you through social media, email communications and website content.
In April 2020, we devoted an entire section of our website to COVID-19 updates and guidance. When CMS announced reopening guidelines, we created guidelines to support HIM compliance.
In May, based on our research, we issued predictions and advice for “The New Normal”. This led to our participation in an AHIMA-hosted podcast about current HIM challenges, possible solutions and forward predictions.
In June, after many discussions and quality input from our coding partners, we created “The Legacy of COVID-19—The impact on HIM now and in the future” ebook that highlighted the necessary changes that HIM departments were forced to make and how many of those innovations will carry forward. HIM Scene published that document as an article later that month.
By diligently following all of the news on the pandemic, we realized that no one was reporting on, or illuminating the plight of, the thousands of HIM coding professionals who had lost their jobs. We collaborated with the “Jobs for American Medical Coders” Facebook group to conduct a survey of coders who were unemployed due to the pandemic. This led to an August article, “COVID-19 and the Plight of the American Coder” that was featured on Justcoding.com.
As we all forged ahead through the summer, we knew that many of you had embraced, tackled and resolved the challenges you faced. We felt it would be valuable to share some of the successful innovations and solutions with our community, so we hosted a customer roundtable with several revenue cycle experts and then consolidated those insights into focused blogs and a How to Thrive guide.
Looking toward 2021, no one knows for sure what challenges lie ahead, but we know from this years’ experience that we can be more prepared. We are finalizing a new guide, “How to Prepare Your HIM Resources for an Unpredictable Future.” We have also offered to present at state AHIMA CSAs in 2021 on “Preparing for the Next Unknown—How to Ready Your Coding Team” which has been accepted by many of those organizations.
Going forward, we will continue to research trends and deliver coding information that is timely and relevant to maximize your business. We are here for you. Our goal is to be your best coding partner, committed to evolving with you as your needs change. We will always provide the coding support and services that you need—when you need them and how you need them.
Wishing you a safe and peaceful holiday season,
Bill Wagner and the KIWI-TEK team