We get it, HCC coding is hard: choosing the right HCC is nuanced, and can seem subjective. But when you see a patient, you are probably not reaching for a cheat sheet on how to diagnose this patient, right? How is it that HCC coding sent you searching for a cheat sheet?
And learning another new thing is hard, especially when the connection between caring for your patients and coding for VBC can seem tenuous at best. (It’s not, we promise.)
It is possible that the training you have received around HCC coding was not great. Learning HCC coding for VBC in a seminar is almost impossible – and the last several years of zoom seminars has exacerbated an already bad situation. Do you get emails with certain codes to focus on – the “Code of the Month Club” or the like? Do you occasionally get one-on-one coaching and chart reviews, but it is infrequent and perhaps does not match your learning style?
Knowing which code to use when diagnosing is nuanced, and the rules around HCC coding are very strict. Practicing medicine is an art, but the hard edges of HCC coding compliance and rigorous documentation are a very strict science. Less art, more math. And nobody went to medical school because they love math. And most of all, when you are moving fast to get to your patients, the last thing you want to do is dig for a code that is only meaningful for the billing department, and has very little bearing on how you treat your patients.
Strategies on how to diagnose and document for VBC are not clear. It can seem like you are practicing coding and not medicine. But there is a deep truth in HCC coding that is often not communicated in training: diagnosing for risk is one of the most important steps in caring for your patients.
Diagnosing for risk is a vital step in caring for your patients, and it has nothing to do with revenue. When CMS determines the guidelines around risk, a very simple metric is often overlooked: risk is just another way to say “how likely is it that this disease will kill my patient?” Risk Scores, Risk Adjustment Factors, the hierarchies within Hierarchical Condition Category coding – these are all just means of determining how dangerous and serious a condition is, and that should help you prioritize and treat your patients better, with better outcomes. And, to put it simply, better survival rates for your patients.
HCC coding for Risk is just a data-centric approach to prioritizing care for your patients. Better care for the individual patient, because you captured every relevant diagnosis code, documented and planned care around those diagnoses. Better care for your entire panel, because you know the weighted risk of each patient, and can prioritize accordingly. And better care for your organization, because resources are available to provide care where it is needed most.
But again, coding and documentation are daunting, and can seem insurmountable – hence, the need for a cheat sheet.
But what if we told you that there was hope for this situation? A brighter day is coming.
Somewhere on your team, somebody is evaluating the DoctusTech HCC Coding education app, which was designed by doctors to help you master diagnosing for VBC in a fun and engaging app. And after the initial evaluation, it only takes about 5 minutes a week to achieve full HCC coding mastery. And the best part is that it’s not only NOT BORING, it’s actually engaging, competitive, and please verify this – FUN.
If nobody on your team is evaluating the DoctusTech app, somebody’s got to do it. If that’s you, great – download it here, and book some time with our team to see it in action. If there’s somebody you think should be evaluating the DT app, please share it with them, they will thank you.