What’s Your ICD-10 Game Plan?
Recently the news was released that CMS was going to replace the 30-year-old ICD-9 code set with ICD-10, and even though we have an October 1, 2013 deadline it is not too soon to start preparing. Topping off the necessary steps to ICD-10 conversion is the implementation of a new 5010 security set that begins on January 1, 2012.
It is definitely too early to start learning the 68,000 ICD-10 codes, but now is the time to jump start your implementation efforts. With proper planning and training you can have a much smoother transition.
ICD-10 will allow for further benchmarking and better diagnostics of patient illness and diseases. Most other countries have already made the migration to ICD-10 long ago leaving us as one of the few who have not.
So What’s the Problem?
In addition to the implementation of new codes we need to also learn a whole new system. There will be security and software issues that must be addressed with vendors. Practices utilizing paper encounter forms may be forced into going electronic as there will not be enough room to list diagnosis code options.
Instead of 3 to 5 digits we will have up to 7 digits of specificity, hence the need to speak with software vendors now. If you are a small practice that normally performs IT projects on your own, you may need to look towards outside help for a venture this large.
In addition, if proper attention and training is not given to successful implementation you may experience cash flow issues trying to get caught up and compliant. You must work with all of the carriers that you currently contract to make sure that they are on track and ready for the change.
Time has been given for proper implementation, and it is our duty to use that time wisely. Do not procrastinate; this change will affect almost every aspect of your practice or facility. Make plans to include representation from the following groups of people adjusted for your facility size:
Keep in mind that good communications will be extremely beneficial to ensure smooth transition and keep it flowing in a positive direction. Look for reputable sources for your trainings; do not be lured in by companies charging lucrative fees. Budget wisely to maintain and sustain, and look wisely for your resources.