You know what ICD-10 is and how it’s going to affect your workload in the coming months before the deadline more than we do. We empathize at the explosion of 13,000 to 68,000 medical codes. Though with the AMA pressing for another delay – a two year delay – maybe the deadline will move again.
Regardless, you need to be prepared and focused on ensuring that you’re “up to code.” And, as with any new initiative that involves computers, even after the deadline there will be glitches. Your coders’ “muscle memory” will use an old rather than a new code, resulting in the need to work out payment instead of having it automatically processed.
Here are a few first steps to help you get started with ICD-10 if you haven’t yet:
- Get started! Now. While the switch over “could” be put off for another year (or two), the move to ICD-10 from ICD-9 is a switch, NOT a transition. Currently, on October 1, only ICD-10 codes will be accepted for payment. If you aren’t ready; you won’t be paid.
- Review the final ICD-10 Rule.
- Designate an ICD-10 point person in your office and establish your communication plan. There are templates and training available, but you need to have someone in overall charge of the transition.
- Who do you need to train (providers, billers, coders, physicians)?
- Coders and physicians need to work together to ensure physician documentation is coded correctly. Work to ensure that this doesn’t become an adversarial relationship!
- Make a list of all systems and forms that will be impacted by ICD-10 (EMR, superbills, etc.)
- Make a list of any business processes that may need to be modified as a result of ICD-10
- Develop a budget for costs related to implementation, including expenses for system changes, Software updates, resource materials (including ICD-10 coding books) and training.
- Talk to your vendors about ICD-10 implementation. You want to be sure that THEY are ready and compliant with their software and services – will you be charged additional fees for any upgrades, will they assist/discount training, etc. Also, if you are looking at a new provider or service, you definitely want to be sure they are ICD-10 ready.
- Test transactions with ICD-10 codes with payers and clearinghouses
While we can’t help you with your ICD-10 specific transition, we CAN help make your life easier while you focus on this task. This transition is going to cost you. How much? That depends on the size of your business. The American Medical Association study from 2014 found the following cost ranges for each practice size based on variable factors such as specialty, vendor, and software.
Small practice: $56,639 - $226,105
Medium practice: $213,364 - $824,735
Large practice: $2,017,151 - $8,018,364
We can save you at least 30% of your printing costs to help offset the ICD-10 switchover. Even better than the financial benefits will be having one less thing to worry about as ICD-10 looms closer. Give us a call: (703) 369-2575.
Keep up to date with ICD-10 at CMS.gov (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services).
Also, take a look at CMS’ Road to 10 site, which has information geared directly to help smaller physician practices transition to ICD-10.