Tuesday, February 10, 2015

How to Participate in a Tweet Chat - Like #FLBlueChat

A tweet chat like the #FLBlueChat chat starting on February 11th at 12:00EST can be a great resource for obtaining useful information and tips about a specific topic. It’s also a great way to make new acquaintances. In advance of this new chat on the topic of the ICD-10 mandate, I wanted to share some information on participating in tweet chats and getting the most bang for your tweet chat buck.

Prepare for the Chat

1. If available, review the chat questions prior to the event. These are often posted on a blog or other page. Spend a little time ideating your contributions and questions.

2. Use a tool to make it easy on yourself

Some chats move very fast. Most popular Twitter clients can be used to follow and participate in a Twitter chat using the official Hashtag for the chat. A few of the popular tools include:


You can also follow a Hashtag in a Twitter client like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. Just set up a search for the #FLBlueChat Hashtag and all of the tweets with that Hashtag should show up in the search window. I use Tweetdeck and setup multiple search columns; each using the designated Hashtag and one of the topic tags. For instance “#FLBlueChat T1”

Quick tip: for all of the tools above, consider filtering out retweets to remove the clutter.

3. Prior to the start of the chat, you may want to RT the host’s tweet announcing the chat. This can also inform your followers that your Twitter stream may be overly active for a short period of time - assuming you plan to share a lot.

4. As the old saw goes about God giving us two ears and one mouth, computers support connecting multiple monitors but only one keyboard. Consider using two monitors to be able to read and listen more than you speak or type. :)

“Listen” and Absorb

1. When you first join the chat, scan the tweets being shared. Note the type of information being shared and who’s doing the sharing.

2. Introduce yourself at the beginning of the chat. This is especially important if you’re a first-timer/relatively new or if you’re Tweeting as a brand. “Hey all, Steve here from suburb of Phoenix – healthcare payer IT guy”.

3. If you just plan on lurking, say so and get it out of the way: “Hey all, Steve from Arizona. Excited to lurk and learn today.”

4. You might want to let others know you’ll be participating in a chat in advance. This is a nice way to support the host and let your network know you may be a bit noisy during that time.

Jump In and Participate

1. Re-tweeting what others share is a common way to support statements from other tweet chat participants and share them with your own Twitter network.

2. Ask questions! Hosts love questions. Sometimes even irrelevant questions because some hosts think EVERYTHING is related to their topic. It may be helpful to preface your tweet with “Question:”

3. Be sure to include the Hashtag in each of your tweets! If you ask a question or respond to someone in the chat, use the Hashtag so others will see your tweet.

4. Note the account names of those sharing interesting information, comments or perspective. You may want to consider following them or adding them to a list of those to observe for a while prior to following.

It’s Not Over Until You Say It Is!

1. When the chat ends, tweet a message of thanks to the host(s) and anyone who made the chat more worthwhile to you. Consider following those accounts whose contributions you found especially valuable.

2. Follow-up. If everything went well you’ve made a new connection or two. Follow-up in the coming days with a friendly tweet. Continue the conversation that was started and begin to build the new relationship.

3. Review the chat summary or transcript. Many hosts will post a transcript of the tweet chat. This is particularly helpful if the chat was fast moving. @Symplur is a free tool you can use to review transcripts and statistic summaries for tweet chats that have registered on the site.

4. Storify is a tool used to create a transcript o a series of tweets and add some commentary and context to the chosen tweets. If someone has “Storified” the chat using @Storify, then check that out. Moreover, you can subscribe to stories and obtain new information that may be subsequently added.

Come Join Us!

I hope the above information was helpful. Why not come join the first of a series of #FLBlueChat chats on Wednesday, February 11th @ 12:00pm EST. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

ICD-10 Conversations - Almost Every Day of the Week!

About four years ago when I was just starting to get involved with the ICD-10 mandate, there was a dearth of information about ICD-10 available on the web.  That's all changed.  Anyone who has anything to do with ICD-10 doesn't have to start from scratch. There's plenty of good information freely available to anyone who knows how to do a simple search.

And a couple organizations have stepped up with recurring programs aimed at sharing a wide range of ICD-10 related content. Here are a few of the more popular programs:

Talk Ten Tuesdays – Stay on Top of the Game

This weekly program, sponsored by ICD10monitor, a division of Panacea Healthcare Solutions, Inc., is an online news and information source created to help healthcare providers make informed decisions as they transition to ICD-10. Here's a link to their upcoming broadcasts and their archives.

I think Talk Ten Tuesdays was one of the first recurring programs about ICD-10. Chuck Buck is the lead moderator of Talk Ten Tuesdays - quite the character and always entertaining - AND informative! You can follow @ICD10Monitor here.

What’s Up Wednesdays – Together Let’s Get ICD-10 Ready

This program is sponsored by BlueCross of Northeastern Pennsylvania. You can find program information here and recordings from previous shows here. Here's information from their most recent program on January 21, 2015.

Open Line Fridays 

This monthly program is sponsored by FLBlue and offered In alliance with representatives from Baptist Health South Florida, Lee Memorial Hospital, Mayo Clinic, Tampa General Hospital, Availity®1 LLC, Secure EDI, Springs Family Physicians LLC, and Health Data Consulting. You can find program information here and recordings from previous shows here. 

George Vancore is the lead moderator for Open Line Fridays and, like Chuck Buck, is quite the character and always adds a lot of fun to an already exciting topic! You can follow @FLBlue here.

What about Monday's and Thursday's?

So who's going to fill these slots?

For more information on ICD-10 and other health information technology-related topics, be sure to subscribe to this blog and consider following me on Twitter.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

ICD-10 Codes in Non-Claim HIPAA Transactions

Most everyone involved with ICD-10 knows that the HIPAA 837 Healthcare Claims Transactions (Professional, Institutional & Dental) contain ICD-10 diagnosis and procedure codes and, therefore, must be considered when making their systems and processes ICD-10 compliant. But what other HIPAA transactions contain ICD-10 diagnosis and procedure codes?

Based on the amount of information shared on the web and some cursory research I’ve performed looking for information and guidance on non-claim HIPAA transactions impacted by ICD-10, it appears that not many people are aware that there are other HIPAA transactions that can also contain ICD-10 codes.

Which Non-Claim HIPAA Transactions Contain ICD-10 Codes?

WEDi has published a document titled “ICD-10 Impact to HIPAA Transactions”  that identifies all HIPAA transactions impacted by ICD-10. These HIPAA transactions include the following:

Healthcare Eligibility Benefit Inquiry and Response (270 & 271)

These two transactions includes the following:

1. Diagnosis Codes and a Diagnosis Code Qualifier for each code
2. Procedure Codes and a Procedure Code Qualifier for each code

Benefit Enrollment and Maintenance (834)

This transaction includes Diagnosis Codes and a Diagnosis Code Qualifier for each code.

Healthcare Services Review – Request for Review and Response (278)

1. Diagnosis Codes and a Diagnosis Code Qualifier for each code.
2. Procedure Codes and a Procedure Code Qualifier for each code.
3. Surgical Procedure Codes and a Surgical Procedure Code Qualifier for each code.

But We’ve Already Addressed this via our 5010 Upgrade!

Just because your organization is 5010 compliant doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of the woods with your HIPAA transactions when it comes to ICD-10. Most 5010 upgrades merely tested the format of 5010 transactions and their ability to carry ICD-10 codes and qualifiers. Little, if any, focus was likley given to making sure ICD-10 procedure and ICD-10 diagnosis codes were correctly assigned to the transactions and that the transactions were correctly processed in applications: front-end or downstream. 

And it seems unlikely many organizations got into testing various processing scenarios.

Special Processing Scenarios. Like What?

There are some special processing scenarios organizations may want to consider when addressing the 278 Healthcare Services Review transactions. For instance,

What is the appropriate response to a 278 referral inquiry if the inquiry is submitted after 10/1/2015 but the original referral request was submitted prior to 10/1/2015? Is it ok to respond with a transaction containing ICD-9 codes? Will the transaction even pass any transaction compliance checks performed by your EDI tools or clearinghouse?

What about a request for a referral extension? Referrals submitted prior to 10/1/2015 will contain ICD-9 codes and would typically be valid for up to a year. If a referral request extension is submitted on 10/2/2015, which ICD code set should be used? 

I’m sure there are other considerations.

It’s Imperative!

As WEDI states in the document I noted above: “it is imperative that we have a clear understanding of where the ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS codes are used in the transactions required under HIPAA and used in the health care industry to exchange diagnosis and procedure information.

Friday, December 26, 2014

List of Healthcare-Related "Top 10" Lists

It's that time of year! In case you've missed any, here's a collection of what I think are some of the better "Top 10" lists pertaining to healthcare-related topics. For more "top" information throughout 2015, consider following me on Twitter.

Last Updated: 1/05/14 @ 18:00 pm MST

General Healthcare

Providers & Payers


How to Purchase Health Insurance: Collection of Info, How-To's & Tips

The following is a list of articles and blog posts on the topics of purchasing health insurance and using health insurance once it's purchased. I shared these via my twitter account throughout 2014. For more information of this nature, consider following me on Twitter.

Purchasing Coverage

Using The Marketplace

Provider Networks

Subsidies & Related

Out of Pocket Costs

Glossaries & Terminologies


General Tips

Prescriptions, RX and Pharmacy Related


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Beyond the #ICD10Matters Hashtag - Some Ideas for Supporting ICD-10

There sure is a lot of activity being generated recently by those who support ICD-10 and those who are against ICD-10. Hardly a minute goes by that I don’t see a tweet espousing that #ICD10Matters and that there should be #NoDelay to ICD-10. Then in the next minute I see tweets calling for a 2 year delay or outright cancellation of the ICD-10 mandate. Or a blog post about those silly ICD-10 codes with references to flaming water skies and walking into lamp posts. To me, many of these tweets – regardless as to which side they take - are mostly all fire and no heat and provide little, if any, information in support of their position. I suppose ICD-10 rallies and rah-rah support is fine; but there has got to be a better way.

A Better Way?

How might social media be better used to support the ICD-10 mandate and to assist those needing to make the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10? Since I’m on the side supporting ICD-10, I’d like to offer up some ideas to those wanting to use social media - in particular Twitter and blogging platforms - to advance the implementation of ICD-10.

1. Be clear as to who you are trying to reach.

ICD-10 impacts solo practitioners and small practices different than large group practices; certain specialties more or less than other specialties; professionals different than hospitals/facilities. And providers different than health plans. This recent post provides some good insight into how ICD-10 impacts some physician’s differently than others.

Also, consider the role or persona of the person you are trying to reach. Physicians, Coders, HIM/CDI specialists, Office Managers, etc. all have different needs, views and perspectives.

2. Leverage the pain points of certain medical specialties.

ICD-10 will impact certain medical practices to a greater degree than others. I suggest messages carrying content on specific needs and hot-button issues relative to a specific medical practice subset will better resonate and get attention.

3. Provide some value – not just a meaningless Hashtag

Sharing content that supports your position - specialty-specific information, best practices, reference materials, places to go for specific info, lessons learned, etc. – lends credibility and authority to your message.

4. Draw attention to the Big Picture and The Future

Consider how to tune the target’s focus away from basic ICD-10 compliance and toward the importance ICD-10 has on new reimbursement models many providers will be dealing with in the near term. Share the importance of ICD-10 coding in terms of risk adjustment comorbidity, accuracy, and compliance. Call out Medicare and Medicaid’s focus on managed care, accountable care, bundled payments, patient centered medical homes and other payment models that shift risk to providers; and how diagnosis coding and ICD-10 is an important part of participating in these programs.

5. Ensure your message is seen and can be seen

The #NoDelay#ICD10Delay and #ICD10Matters hash tags have been used to help identify ICD-10 content. I’d say the #ICD10 hashtag is the most commonly used tag and should be included in every message shared.

6. Consider leveraging “healthcare IT” and related social media-based events

- There are lots of opportunities to get your message in front of those who are impacted by ICD-10. Consider leveraging the following:

- Work your message into various tweet chats. There are some popular chats like the #hitsm tweetchat#hcsm tweetchat and others where ICD-10 and closely related topics provide a forum for sharing your support for ICD-10 and spreading good information.

- Hold your own tweet chat on ICD-10. There have been several chats where ICD-10 is discussed. It seems there should be more. Who's game?

- The HIMSS 15 Conference is coming soon. You can be assured ICD-10 will be a topic of interest and the HIMSS conference should provide opportunities for spreading good ICD-10 information.

- Check the Editorial Calendar’s of primary healthcare media publications and schedule your ICD-10 promotion around the salient topics and timelines noted in those schedules.

What Other Ways Can You Suggest? 

How Can I Help?

Let me know if there's any way I can help with advancing your specific message in support of ICD-10. Leave a comment here. Send me an email at shimcode@gmail.com. And consider following me on Twitter.