What You Need to Know About Upcoming ICD-10 Changes.
Many medical providers and practices are concerned about the looming ICD-10 deadline, and with good reason. The current ICD-9 system is comprised of approximately 13,600 medical diagnosis codes—ICD-10, on the other hand, will be made up of 120,000 detailed codes. That’s enough to make any practice a little nervous about the challenge of implementing and adhering to these new coding standards.
Although one of the underlying purposes of the ICD-10 conversion is to make it easier for practices to gain reimbursement in the long-term, the immediate changes required to make the transition can be costly. Medical billing and coding staff will require extensive training, and physicians will be forced to provide more details when documenting a diagnosis. Time and training are expensive, and a luxury that many practices may feel that they cannot afford.
But, there’s hope—with a few preliminary steps, you can help your practice make a smooth transition into the future of medical billing and coding.
Determine which of your existing processes use ICD-9 codes.
Every system and process that uses ICD-9, including electronic health records, clinical documentation, and practice management software, will be affected by the ICD-10 upgrade. As you begin planning implementation, you’ll want to keep track of these processes and ensure that everything is updated as necessary.
Check with your practice management system vendor about ICD-10 updates.
Confirm that your current practice management system meets Version 5010 standards—an upgrade that has been required since January 2012. You may also want to check your contract and find out if upgrades, such as those needed to comply with ICD-10, are included.
Assess your staff’s training needs.
Don’t wait until October 2, 2015 to start training your medical billing and coding staff. Take the time to determine which members of your staff will require training, and start exploring the resources and materials that are available to your practice. If you are part of a small practice, you may consider teaming up with local providers to cut costs.
Review ICD-10 implementation plans with all third parties, including clearinghouses, billing services, and payers.
When it comes to the ICD-10 conversion, it pays to be proactive. Reach out to your billing services, payers, and clearinghouses and find out what their plans for ICD-10 compliance are and how they will affect your practice.
Budget time and expenses for ICD-10 implementation.
The ICD-10 transition will require time, money, and training; but, if you plan ahead, you can budget for these expenses. Assess what your practice has already completed and what remains to be done, and determine how much revenue you can allocate to these updates per quarter.
Contact the Medical Consultants Group in Atlanta
Don’t wait—start preparing for the ICD-10 conversion today. Contact the Medical Consultants Group in Atlanta, Georgia to find out how your practice can make the transition to ICD-10 without breaking the bank.