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Yes—You Still Have Time To Get In Gear for ICD-10

13 Jul 2015, Posted by Tracey Erbert in Billing, Revenue Management

We’ve been talking about ICD-10 since last spring. And now, the industry is less than three months from its October 1 deadline, when coding and documentation requirements will officially transition. That means healthcare business offices across the nation will have to start rolling with the new system—or face the consequences of noncompliance.

But the consequences could be a lack of reimbursement, so don’t go there.

Just make sure your plan to be ICD-10 compliant is already in play. If it’s not, read on and we’ll get you back on track for a successful transition. We don’t like to lose money, and we don’t want you to either.

3 Steps to Take Right Now!

  1. Consider an ICD-10 gap analysis. The ICD-10 gap analysis is an in-depth evaluation process, which basically looks at how you’re performing today (as far as coding and documentation practices) and compares that with how you’ll need to perform once ICD-10 is implemented. It’s really the best way to know exactly where your shortcomings are so you can be more effective moving forward.
  2. Communicate with and train your staff. A business office management team is just that—a team—so for a successful transition, you need to make sure everyone knows the overall game plan, and then get everyone the tools and training they need to be successful. This may mean you send some people off to class, bring a trainer onsite or order printed reference guides for ongoing support.
  3. Make sure your vendors have a plan, too. Technology vendors, IT systems managers and third party billing agencies all need to be prepared for the ICD-10 transition as well, so have an idea of what they’re up to. They may need to install system/software updates, provide training to members of your team or change certain aspects of their process to allow for things like dual coding.

Of course nothing comes without a cost, so make sure you have a budget plan around all of your essential steps. Training classes and materials, system updates, gap analysis—none of it’s free. But it’s all—dare I say it—priceless.

We All Need Resources

With all the rules and requirements associated with this kind of transition, it’s easy to miss a step or get lost in the process, not to mention the fact that ICD-10 requires a whole new way of thinking in so many regards. So don’t assume you’re the one who can go without help. Check out these sources for insight and assistance throughout the process:

  • RoadTo10.org helps you build a step-by-step action plan for ICD-10 readiness
  • CMS.gov/ICD10 is your go-to resource for training materials and updates from CMS
  • AHIMA.org is where you’ll find online classes and interactive assessments from The American Health Information Management Association

And of course, you can always call us. We’ve helped plenty of teams and facilities prepare for this beast, and are confident that we can lay out a successful path for you, too.

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