Overcoming the costs of bad HCC coding education

HCC (Hierarchical condition category) coding is a complex and ever-changing field, and training clinicians in the traditional seminar format can cause significant pain points for healthcare providers and administrators. Here are just a few examples of the pain points that result from HCC coding education seminars:


Inaccurate or incomplete information: Traditional seminars often result in low retention, which leaves you with clinicians who may not provide accurate or complete documentation when coding for HCCs, which can lead to coding errors and non-compliance with CMS.


Difficulty applying the information: The seminars cannot provide hands-on training or clinical vignettes, which makes it difficult for attendees to apply the information they’ve learned in their own practice.


Lack of understanding of the most current guidelines: The seminars may not be up-to-date with the most recent guidelines and definition, which can lead to confusion and non-compliance.


Lack of ongoing education and support: The seminars cannot offer ongoing education or support, which makes it difficult for attendees to stay current with new information or retention.


Time and money wasted: Poor education seminars can be a waste of time and money – both for clinicians who attend them as well as the organizations that sponsor them.


Decrease in Reimbursements: Ineffective HCC coding education often leads to an increase in missed diagnoses and a decrease in revenue.


Audits and penalties: Bad HCC coding education often results in bad HCC coding, which can lead to an increased risk of audits and penalties from CMS.


Decrease in patient care: Bad HCC coding education can lead to an overall decrease in patient care, as providers may not be able to accurately diagnose and treat patients due to coding errors.


It is time for physician groups, hospitals and hospital systems to reevaluate the outdated methods of training clinicians on HCC coding and consider alternative options. While traditional HCC coding education seminars have been the norm for many years, they can be time-consuming, unengaging, and disruptive to the clinician’s daily workflow. Additionally, they simply are not as effective as other methods of training, which can lead to inaccuracies in coding and lost revenue for the practice.


Instead of relying solely on traditional HCC coding education seminars, physician groups should consider implementing a blended learning approach that combines different methods of training such as:


Online training modules: These can be accessed by clinicians at any time and can be tailored to their specific needs and experience level.


Self-paced learning: This allows clinicians to learn at their own pace and on their own schedule, reducing the disruption to their workflow.


One-to-one coaching: This can be done by pairing experienced coders with less experienced clinicians to provide real-world training and hands-on experience.


Using software such as the DoctusTech HCC coding education platform provides active education that helps clinicians engage with coding best practices, tests to run, things to look for, and ways to diagnose for risk in a Value-Based Care arrangement, helping to reduce the risk of audit penalties and fines.


Incorporating a blended learning approach can make training more efficient, effective, and engaging for clinicians, which can ultimately lead to improved coding accuracy, increased revenue for the practice, and reduced clinician burnout.


It’s also important to note that, even with the implementation of a blended learning approach, it’s important to have a mechanism in place to keep the clinicians accountable, so administrators know when and for whom a little extra one-to-one coaching and chart review could be beneficial.


Want to see the DoctusTech app in action? Schedule a demonstration today.

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