"Coder resources are going to be limited. We are going to put a program into effect that allows for remote positions where people can work at home at various times of day. ... We think that is going to be effective for us," he says.
Building referrals from independent physicians
South Nassau is also using ICD-10 as an opportunity to gain referrals from independent physicians in its area, Rosenhagen says.
"The physician community associated with South Nassau—especially smaller practices—are not going to be prepared unless they are associated with a larger organization, like ours, that can provide the informational resources to help them understand the demands of ICD-10 on their practice."
By reaching out to its medical staff to offer classes for their office staffs, South Nassau believes it will encourage closer relationships with its community physicians.
"We are in the middle of a very competitive environment, and doctors here share privileges at several hospitals. This will help us make inroads with primary care offices and other specialties," Rosenhagen says. "Our administration is reacting appropriately and reaching out to doctors who need assistance in this area."
Biting the bullet
Although there is still the possibility of a delay, providers say they are proceeding diligently with their plans to make the transition on Oct. 1, 2104, and are not banking on the government giving them more time.
"The sense we have is that it is not going to be delayed, and we are all forces go to prepare," Testman says. "Our understanding is the federal government is ready, which is unusual, so I don't see them delaying. Personally, I don't think they should. Sometimes you just have to get it done and move forward."
This article appears in the December issue of HealthLeaders magazine.