Spring-cleaning is the time of year when we typically clear out closets and dig out the back of the garage. But this year many medical professionals have a bigger mess to deal with.
Lawmakers say they are moving forward with the October 1, 2015 ICD-10 conversion deadline, which means private practices have less than six months to get into tip-top shape. If your practice is still prepping for the switch, now is the time to do a little ICD-10 spring-cleaning.
Where to start
Roll up your sleeves and dig in
With several delays in the past, some providers are feeling ICD-10 fatigue. It can be difficult to stay motivated when the conversion has been looming for years. But experts agree that private practices have to stay the course.
Now is a good time to meet with your staff to revisit your ICD-10 conversion plan and to provide a little motivation to keep things rolling. Hard work this spring will pay dividends come October 1.
Clean up your ICD-10 conversion plan
A plan is never set in stone. If you find that you haven’t stayed on schedule with your original strategy, or your plan needs changing, clean it up now.
Double check that your milestone dates are still achievable. If not, craft a new calendar to get things moving. Check in with staff members to make sure they understand—and can complete—their assigned tasks. Check with payers and EHR and practice management vendors to make sure things are spick-and-span on their side.
Polishing up your plan periodically will ensure that your practice is ready when it’s go-time. If you don’t have an ICD-10 plan in place, it’s not too late. Check out our exclusive guide for tips to get started.
Scrub your documents
Because most of your documents—if not all—list the old ICD-9 codes, it’s time to scrub off the old and add the new.
Have a member of your staff take inventory of all documents in your practice and note which ones need to be updated. Remember to look at charge slips, payer agreements, intake forms, etc. (If you are already using electronic charge slips, your EHR and practice management vendor may have already made the necessary changes. Check with them to be sure.)
Once you have a comprehensive list, you can begin updating them one by one. Have key stakeholders review the documents for accuracy and suggested edits. Also, when it is time to begin using the documents, make sure the old ones are properly and legally discarded and all team members know to use the new squeaky-clean ones.
Throw out the junk
You may find that the current software solutions are cluttering up your ICD-10 progress. If you think your EHR or practice management system is holding you back, there is no reason to continuing wasting time on outdated or lackluster programs.
Start researching other systems immediately. A new vendor may be your biggest ally during the ICD-10 conversion.See if it may be time to consider switch.
Spring Cleaning is the ideal opportunity to dust off your ICD-10 conversion strategy and get to work prepping for the October 1 deadline. To evaluate how your practice is doing, click here.