ICD-10-CM: Knowing is half the battle
There will be many changes coming down the road for ICD-10 implementation and many transitions you will be unable to do on your own. Communication with outside vendors will be essential to successful ICD-10 transitions.
A vendor communication plan will assist you in making sure that you cover all your bases. Start by pulling all your vendor contracts and make a listing of how the system/organization will impact ICD-10 implementation in your practice. A simple Excel spreadsheet is great for this purpose. First you will want to reach out to your vendors and assess their ICD-10 readiness. Find out what their plans are and begin working with them on time frames. Find out how their changes will affect your practice and then begin to develop your own internal fixes and time frames for any changes the vendors will be implementing.
For example: You contract with ABX Clearinghouse for claims submission. They will be offering ICD-10-CM testing beginning January 1, 2013. In order to participate in the testing you would need your practice management software updated and ready to go by this date. You could then adhere to their testing time frames and ensure you are ready to go live by October 1, 2013.
Here’s another example: Your practice utilizes ABN forms for Medicare. In order to update your policies and procedures internally you will need to reach out to vendors to see what changes they may be making to coverages. Once you obtain dates and information from the various health plans, you can begin to work on revising your internal policies and procedures to remain compliant. You will also need to schedule staff training as well.
Working early and communicating often with all outside vendors will be key to ICD-10 implementation. With careful planning you will be able to take the stress out of this large project.