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Healthy Transition

The Challenge

The challenge which lies ahead of the move to the ICD-10-CM is that, this will increase documentation activities by about 15 to 20%. This translates into a permanent increase of 3 to 4% of physician time spent on documentation for ICD-10-CM.

As the study notes, “This is a permanent increase, not just an implementation or learning curve increase. It is a physician workload increase with no expected increase in payment, due to the increased requirements for providing specific information for coding. Electronic Health Record systems will not be able to eliminate the extra time requirement.”

Partners of the change

  • Hospitals
  • Health care practitioners and institutions
  • Health insurers and other third party payers
  • Electronic transaction clearinghouses
  • Hardware and software manufacturers and vendors
  • Billing and practice management service providers
  • Health care administrative and oversight agencies
  • Public and private health care research institutions

Tips for a successful transition

A successful transition from ICD-9 codes to ICD-10 codes on October 1, 2015 requires significant planning. At a minimum, your organization should consider the following activities:

  • Ensure top leadership understands the breadth and significance of the ICD-10 change.
  • Assign overall responsibility and decision-making authority for managing the transition.
  • This can be one person or a committee depending on the size of your organization.
  • Plan a comprehensive and realistic budget. This should include costs such as software upgrades and training needs.
  • Contact vendors, physicians, affiliated hospitals, clearinghouses, and others to determine their plans and readiness for ICD-10 transition.
  • Adhere to a well-defined timeline that makes sense for your organization.
  • Inform physicians/staff of upcoming changes and the practice’s implementation plans.
  • Perform an impact assessment and identify potential changes to existing work flow and business processes.
  • Evaluate the effect of ICD-10 on other planned or on-going projects and determine business and technical implementation strategy.
  • Determine anticipated testing time and schedules. If vendor(s) provide(s) solution, then engage immediately.
  • Seek resources from CMS, professional, and membership organizations to help with transition.
  • Conduct internal testing. This must be a coordinated effort with internal coding, billing, and technical and vendor resources.
  • Continue to educate staff on changes in documentation requirements from health plans.
  • Begin external testing at regular intervals.
  • Complete external testing and continue training for coders as needed.
  • By Oct 1, 2015, ICD-10 system may be implemented for full compliance. ICD-9 codes may continue to be used for services provided before October 1, 2015.We wish everyone a successful transition to ICD-10, if you need any assistance on coding please feel free to reach us at info@rapidcare.net