Billing Company Embraces ICD-10-CM

By Hazel M. Miller, LPN, CPC-I, CPC, CPC-H, CPC-P, CMBS
Medical Resource Management© (MRM), an upstate New York billing company, embraced ICD-10-CM and found coding success.
Owners and coders at the young billing company adopted ICD-10-CM concepts with enthusiasm and looked at as, “ICD-10-CM is just another way to code a diagnosis…” Because the company’s coder skill sets varied, it was easy to change thinking from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM; there were no “preconceived” coding skills within the group.
Any employee not already a certified coder was enrolled in the AAPC Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) curriculum through a local college. Employees were required to pass the course, the CPC exam, attend an AAPC ICD-10-CM course, and to pass the ICD-10-CM Proficiency Assessment to ensure the company a sound coding base.
MRM is pursuing testing opportunities with its software vendors and health plans to ensure ease of ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM claim processing and little to no cash flow impacts to its providers. Key to testing is understanding how payers will convert: Will they follow the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) conversion guidelines or will they have their own conversion guideline?
An important step in MRM’s ICD-10-CM preparation was purchasing product(s) that would help convert the ICD-9-CM code to an ICD-10-CM code. AAPC Coder was successfully used to assist in the preparation from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM. The product was easy to use and provides so much more than just ICD-10-CM conversion codes.
All-in-all, MRM doesn’t feel they spent as much ICD-10-CM money as they had budgeted, and are appreciative that costs were spread out over several years.
MRM’s physician and non-physician practitioner training will utilize a combination of AAPC on-line tools and on-site, medical record documentation review. Training has been placed on hold until closer to the October 1, 2015 implementation date to ensure proper utilization.
The positive message MRM wants to share with others “ICD-10-CM is more specific, it will allow claims to pay versus deny, be proactive, learn ICD-10-CM now, embrace it, let go of old coding ideas…” They are ready to go and can’t wait for this new challenge and new opportunity.


Brad Ericson
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Brad Ericson, MPC, CPC, COSC, is a seasoned healthcare writer and editor. He directed publishing at AAPC for nearly 12 years and worked at Ingenix for 13 years and Aetna Health Plans prior to that. He has been writing and publishing about healthcare since 1979. He received his Bachelor's in Journalism from Idaho State University and his Master's of Professional Communication degree from Westminster College of Salt Lake City.

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