Health Information Management

"State of HIM" survey reveals alarming statistics

HIM-HIPAA Insider, July 1, 2013

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by Jaclyn Fitzgerald, Online editor

Trust Healthcare Consulting Services and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) recently released a report on the results of their “State of HIM” survey, which analyzed the impact of ICD-10, clinical documentation improvement (CDI) programs, and computer-assisted coding (CAC). More than 300 HIM professionals from across the U.S. responded to the survey from August to October 2012, with 84% of respondents stating that they are HIM directors.

A mere 19% of respondents indicated that their facility had an ICD-10 transition project underway and only one respondent stated that their facility had completed the transition. Twenty-five percent of respondents reported their facility had not yet formed an ICD-10 steering committee. The remaining respondents reported that their facility had implemented a steering committee, but 29% stated that their committee does not meet regularly. According to implementation timelines released by AHIMA, AAPC, and CMS, facilities should have already established a steering committee.  

Approximately two-thirds (66%) of respondents stated that their facility had implemented a CDI program. Less than half (44%) of participants at facilities without a CDI program stated that their facility planned to implement one by 2013, whereas 5% said they never plan to implement one. Community hospitals with more than 350 beds lead the pack with 96% of respondents from these facilities reporting that they had an operational CDI program. However, critical access hospitals (CAH) fell short with 29% of their respondents saying they had a CDI program. Nearly one-third (32%) of these CAH respondents stated that they did not plan to implement a CDI program. This is likely due to the fact that many CAH respondents reported that their facility lacked an ICD-10 steering committee, according to survey report.

More than half of respondents (51%) stated that their facility was pursuing CAC solutions, with 76% planning a CAC solution within the next year. Only 11% said that their facility currently uses CAC. More than one-third (38%) of respondents do not plan to use CAC Based on the survey results, CAHs, non-teaching community hospitals with fewer than 350 beds, and “other” healthcare facilities  employed the majority (79%) of CAC solutions. The report noted that 70% of respondents who are not pursuing CAC were also lacking an ICD-10 steering committee or had a steering committee that did not meet regularly.

HIM professionals have their work cut out for them with the demand for coders could increase 20%-40% over the next two years and coder productivity likely decreasing with the implementation of ICD-10, according to the survey report. Survey respondents anticipate a 23% increase in their coding labor needs over the next two years. More than half (58%) stated that they did not believe they will need additional outpatient coders or did not know how many additional outpatient coders they should hire. Forty percent did not know yet or did not believe that their facility would need additional inpatient coders as a result of the ICD-10 transition.



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