In the early months of 2014, the impending ICD-10 deadline resulted in healthcare providers scrambling to prepare for new coding standards. Most providers had not invested sufficiently into making the necessary updates and feared massive reimbursement losses. In April, Congress and President Obama agreed to delay implementation of the ICD-10 standard for medical diagnosis and billing codes to Oct. 1, 2015. This controversial move was met with mixed feelings; unprepared providers were relieved while those that had made massive investments to get up to date felt misled into taking action.
Early in 2014, The Healthsearch Group partnered with a leading health system in the New York Tri-State area to assist in the recruitment of a large number of Coder openings. After filling numerous senior roles, the deadline reprieve enabled the health system to re-engineer their short term and long term strategic plan. We have since filled several positions and continue to partner with them as they prepare for the future.
While some Healthcare organizations are taking advantage of the delay in a variety of ways, such as training staff, improving documentation integrity and conducting more robust testing, others remain weary and fear that their large financial investment into this change will once again go wasted if the date is yet again pushed back. The lack of a firm and clear path has led to much division within strategic efforts.
A recent study conducted in May and June found that most healthcare providers are using the 12-month ICD-10 reprieve to prepare for the new coding standard. To mitigate productivity loss, 68% of survey respondents plan to conduct extra training and practice, and 31% expect to hire more coders to help with the eventual transition. This will lead to an even tougher market as the Oct. 1, 2015 deadline approaches. “Is it worth hiring coders before the market turns desperate and fierce competition for experienced coders causes salaries to skyrocket? Many recruitment strategies are ‘on the table’ but being proactive is a must. As partners and advisors, we are confident that together we can find solutions.”
–Simon Gordon, Manager of Search Operations and Business Development
Global competition for talent is a daunting challenge faced by HR Organizations today. While unemployment rates are at a five year low, healthcare executives are requiring Human Resources Departments to be more agile and deliver more with less. In an effort to build and sustain a competitive edge, restructuring is more likely than not at the forefront. Managing this process is an art-form requiring in-depth expertise on the impact of loss of knowledge and capacity while at that same time harnessing the next generation HR delivery model (Shared Service, Business Partner, Centers of Expertise).
During this era, it is critical HR professionals remember the one size fits all approach does not work. Today’s HR Leaders must exhibit an ability to maximize their value to the business by driving innovation and performance, understanding workforce analytics, achieving better ROI’s, and implementing leaner processes. It is important to follow industry trends, and have a strategy around workplace mobile apps, social media & blogging, the emergence of private insurance exchanges, outsourcing HR, managing millennials, and employee perception of work life balance.
Finally, it is truly essential to leverage organizational diversity; diversity as a business strategy; diversity goes further than the conception of a diverse workforce, it entails bringing a diversity of thought to issues such as budget & fiscal management, risk management & liability, internal controls, resource planning, etc.
In the face of an improved economy, the HR landscape continues to change. Remember that the road map to success is not easy; by delaying taking action, you often adversely affect outcomes. Crystal Taylor, Vice President of Managed Care
Crystal Taylor, VP of Managed Care