As a rule, healthcare CEOs rarely get involved with health information management (HIM) concerns. Until now. The move to ICD-10 is the exception to the rule. Chief executive officers at healthcare provider organizations (hospitals or large physician groups) should be educated, informed and wary of ICD-10 for three strategic reasons.

Financial Risk

Reimbursement will change under ICD-10. Additional costs will be incurred. The bottom line –financial health is at risk.

Inform your CEO of ICD-10 costs including the groundswell of technology expenses, operational outlays and consultant fees. All of these expenses will be incurred under their watch and reported to the hospital board.  Secondly, conduct as many revenue analyses as possible to predict service-line winners and losers under ICD-10. Share this information openly with your CEO.

Reputational Harm

CEOs must ensure their organization is the first choice for quality healthcare services within the communities they serve.  Quality reporting and consumer access to quality scorecards has become an important step in achieving this goal.  However, most CEOs do not understand how faulty coding leads to incorrect quality reporting, and paints a negative picture of care delivery.

Educate your CEO of the cause-and-effect relationship between coding and public scorecards. And beyond coding, the underlying impact that clinical documentation has on quality reporting. Clinical documentation, coding and quality; they are all tightly intertwined in ICD-10. This is a fact all executives must understand!

Staffing Surge

There will be an increase in the amount of human resources needed to get cases coded and billed. Organizations will be forced to hire more staff and increase their use of outsourced services. While both these facts are well-understood by HIM, CEOs may not understand.

Don’t let your CEO be caught off-guard when human resource and outsourcing costs explode. Cost-justify these expenditures now and sharpen your predictions for additional staff. An informed CEO is HIM’s greatest ally.