The deadline for implementing ICD-10 is rapidly approaching. Providers and practices should be preparing for the transition and approaching the implementation with confidence. They should be doing this even with the recent announcement from CMS on creating a one-year grace period, allowing for flexibility in the claims auditing and quality reporting process during the transition. Addressing the following 11 steps will help assure your practice will be on track for a successful transition on Oct. 1, 2015 and going forward:
1. UNDERSTAND ICD-10
Review the major differences between ICD-9 and ICD-10 and how those differences will affect a clinician’s specialty as well as your organization as a whole. Reviewing the “Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting” for ICD-10 is a good starting point.
2. CREATE YOUR INTERNAL IMPLEMENTATION AND COMMUNICATION TEAM
Include staff from the administrative and clinical sides of your practice and divide up the work that needs to be accomplished. Make sure you communicate the changes required by ICD-10, both from a workflow standpoint as well as clinical documentation.
3. REVIEW THE IMPACT AREAS OF YOUR PRACTICE AND MODIFY PROCESSES
Consider all the different systems you use, the organizations you exchange data with, as well as what electronic and paper-based workflow processes you use that drive clinical encounters and the billing process. Make sure all of these are updated and/or modified appropriately for ICD-10 compatibility.
4. REACH OUT TO YOUR SOFTWARE VENDORS
Ask vendors about any needed upgrades to use ICD-10, what training (if any) will be needed, and cost estimates. Don’t forget to ask about the ability to concurrently use ICD-9 and ICD-10 and how long you’ll have the ability to do that.
5. DEVELOP YOUR BUDGET
Make sure you consider software and hardware upgrades, education and training costs, the cost of temporary staff during transition should it be needed, changes to printed materials, additional time for documentation review, and the cost of lost coder, clinical and/or revenue cycle staff productivity.