The biggest effort required in the ICD-10 transition has fallen squarely on the shoulders of those who use the new codes for diagnosis and reimbursement. You have needed to quickly educate yourself on how ICD-10 will change the codes you use most and analyze your top ICD-9 codes to determine the impact the new ICD-10 code set will have on the practice. Most independent practices are well on their way, but unfortunately, some practices are still not prepared for the medical coding conversion, or scramble to submit the correct ICD-10 codes. If you haven’t already, focusing on areas such as your budget, training, coding and technology will help you get up to speed quicker and greatly help you in the future.
The switch has slowed down the coding process for both clinicians and coding staff, which ultimately leads to a decrease in clinical efficiency and productivity. To avoid any negative affects the backlog will have on your cash flow, you should consider getting some coding assistance during this transition. You need to ensure you retain your current coding staff while possibly hiring more, and it’s not easy in an environment where everyone is clamoring for extra coding help.
Take advantage of technology
The best thing you can do for ICD-10 is not rely too heavily on low-tech solutions. Working with books, spreadsheets, and Post-It notes will never match the speed, accuracy and efficiency of high performance practice management software. Take advantage of the technology used by EHR and practice management systems that can help automate your clinical documentation to prevent high ICD-10 related denial rates and improve compliance with new requirements.
These systems offer diagnosis look-up windows and unified ICD-10 search function that will help you select the level of specificity that ICD-10 requires. They will also allow updates to patient notes to help physicians capture clinical information needed for ICD-10 coding. Some EHR and practice management vendors will even help you track your preparedness for ICD-10 with ongoing and updated websites, blogs and webinars. They have lots of information to help you compare ICD-9 codes with the ICD-10 equivalents, view potential risk assessments, search for ICD-10 codes, add ICD-10 codes to charge slip templates, and view articles and action plans to guide your transition. Using the many resources for ICD-10 readiness that these companies provide will make the ongoing transition a lot easier for private practices.
The best solution is to turn to a practice management system that can help you bridge the gap when you can’t afford or find extra coding help. While some vendors are charging for vendor representative visits or training to make your system ICD-10 ready, top performing cloud-based EHR and practice management systems have updated their clients automatically at no expense. For budget-savvy practices, you can prepare without spending any money: “If you use cloud-based practice management and EHR software and the vendor has promised, as several have, to slipstream in an update that accommodates the seven-digit codes those pieces of the puzzle might be essentially solved for you.”1
When it comes to coding, “Carefully planned automation can boost efficiency and productivity.“2 Software applications include powerful ICD-10 search features that allow users to search by a word, a phrase, or a single code. The results will allow coders to drill down into the ICD-10 sub codes.
To ease the burden that the sheer number and specificity of the new coding system puts on private practices, the CMS has created a welcome grace period. For 12 months after ICD-10 implementation, Medicare review contractors will not deny physician or other practitioner claims billed under the Part B physician fee schedule. This will happen through either automated medical review or complex medical record review based solely on the specificity of the ICD-10 diagnosis code as long as the physician/practitioner used a valid code from the right family of codes.3
This is a time to get organized and take advantage of the many resources available that can help your practice. The transition to ICD-10 promises to improve the accuracy of coding, assist in global health data collection and ensure better, more accurate reimbursement. The positive outcomes are going to make the hard work of transitioning worth the effort.
Besides partnering with a trusted cloud-based practice management and EHR like AdvancedMD, we’ve compiled a list of trusted partners that are fully integrated with AdvancedMD software. Learn how AdvancedMD and these partners can be a powerful partner in your ICD–10 conversion.
3M CodeRyte℠ CodeComplete℠ Auditing Service – This service is a full-service, outsourced auditing service that provides healthcare organizations with an independent review of their records and coding results for coding quality and compliance.
3M CodeRyte℠ CodeComplete℠ Services – An outsourced Coding Service is a full-service, outsourced coding service delivering CPT®, ICD, DRG, and APC coding for outpatient medical and surgical specialties.
3M CodeRyte℠ CodeAssist℠ System – This system is a web-based computer-assisted coding solution that leverages natural language processing to examine clinical documentation and automatically assign accurate billing codes.
AdvancedMD ICD-10 toolkit – This toolkit lets you track your preparedness for ICD-10, compare ICD-9 codes with the ICD-10 equivalents, view potential risk assessments, use as a quick and convenient search for ICD-10 codes, add ICD-10 codes to charge slip templates, and view articles and action plans to guide your transition.
Find A Code – A cloud solution for documentation, coding (CAC), reimbursement (revenue cycle/denial management), and compliance, backed by 100% US-based support.
The Coding Network – Providing accurate, experienced, single-specialty coding services to the healthcare industry.
National Healthcareer Association – AAPC is the largest training and credentialing association for the business of healthcare, with more than 140,000 members representing physician offices, outpatient facilities and payer organizations.
AdvancedInsightTM – AdvancedInsight provides Big Data capabilities with a 360-degree view of your practice’s financial health on a single dashboard with drilldown and ad hoc reports.