Time flies. One day, you are enjoying the summer sun and the next, the leaves are falling and it’s autumn. The same is true for implementing ICD-10. Even as the hours tick away until Oct. 1, it’s is not time for physicians to panic. Rather, it’s time to pay attention and establish someone at your practice who will keep the process moving.
Most practices are concerned about the effect that ICD-10 will have on their bottom line, according to a survey commissioned by Navicure and conducted by Porter Research. Most respondents admitted they stopped the process when the government delayed ICD-10 implementation multiple times, but believe they will be ready when Oct. 1 arrives.
Where to start:
Your most used ICD-9 codes will have to to be analyzed to determine a crosswalk to the ICD-10 code-set. You’ll want to know what impact those codes might have on your practice. Office technologies will have to be tested to ensure readiness. Performing chart audits will help to increase confidence in clinical notes, so that practices are sure they contain all the required elements to get to the level of specificity for a payable code. Understanding baseline key performance indicators are critical, so that cash flow problems can be quickly identified and remediated.
Jump in: Codes and process will become clearer
When the implementation process is started, it will clarify how ICD-10 will effect different people in the office. Finding out who is involved with diagnosis codes and what their workflow will be will help practices determine the effect of the code-set. This exercise will uncover training needs, workflow adjustments, and the need for outside help or adjustments to application settings.
Conduct a run-through
The best thing to do is to walk through the entire process from admission to discharge. Capture all diagnosis codes along the way and ensure those who are part of the process are familiar with the codes needed. Evaluating current charge slips is also important as the transition to ICD-10 codes will mean that the charge slip may now include many pages that were not required before.
Best results with preparedness
People and processes are intertwined, so analyzing work flows and codes to define the best path to ICD-10 transition are critical, along with identifying the training needs for implementation. It’s time to test all your technologies and processes with carriers and payers to ensure a smooth transition and a profitable practice.
About the Author:
Wendy Aiken, PMI-ACP, has been at AdvancedMD since 2011 as a product manager. Having worked on the front lines of the medical industry for more than two decades, Aiken is now adding her ‘real world’ expertise to the medical software industry.