ICD-10 putting Americans back to work, part 3: Job security

By Tom Sullivan
11:41 AM

Want to advance your career and make your job more secure? Then think ICD-10 skills, and now.

“As soon as you emerge as expert in ICD-10, your stock in the company goes up,” explains Jim Gibson, principal at Gibson Consultants.

In the first two installments of this series, we learned that ICD-10 will create new job opportunities for Americans while, simultaneously, a talent shortage of ICD-10 expertise is bound to occur. Following that, quite naturally, is the reality that with few people to fill those new jobs, folks well-versed in ICD-10 and associated technologies will become valuable.

Many healthcare organizations are still standing around, scratching their heads, and wondering how to get started on the ICD-10 initiative. HIMSS, in fact, detailed findings from its latest HIPAA 5010, ICD-10 Readiness Survey that determined only 9 percent of providers have formally begun their ICD-10 projects. And the group also found that “access to qualified and knowledgeable staff is the most pressing concern.”

Thus, between now and the mandated day to comply with ICD-10, October 1, 2013, ICD-10 skills will be in increasingly greater demand. Gibson believes that healthcare organizations will turn to contractors first but, ultimately, they'll also have to hire.

[Related: Top 5 HIPAA 5010, ICD-10 hurdles. See also: Top 5 ICD-10 myths, debunked.]

When they do seek to recruit employees from outside the company, says Kelly Smith, senior corporate recruiter at Kelly Staffing Expert, those ICD-10 skills will be attractive enough to arm the prospective hire with negotiating power.

“If a client doesn't have to train a new employee and know that they can come in and hit the ground running with ICD-10 you better believe they will make an offer to the candidate that has ICD-10 knowledge,” Smith says. Existing employees that add ICD-10 skills to their quiver may be rewarded with a salary increase or promotion, she continues.

An earlier ICD10Watch story – ICD-10 creating career opportunities – examined Dr. Steve Nitenson's take on a specific skill set that will be in high-demand. To summarize Nitenson, who has developed  and taught graduate-level courses at Golden Gate University:

In short: general knowledge of how the healthcare system works alongside “significant information systems skills” obviously including ICD-10 and HIPAA 5010 architecture – and the ability to understand and implement necessary changes as well as communicate those.

For coders specifically, Kelly adds that “when it comes time for the job seeking coder to apply for jobs they will be in a far stronger position to receive an offer over their ICD-9 counterparts. Better yet, odds are recruiters will be calling the ICD-10 coders enticing them with exciting opportunities and generous offers.”


Tom Sullivan blogs regularly at ICD10 Watch.com.