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Last minute tips to prepare for ICD-10, 2 of 5


When it comes to preparing for the October 1, 2015 medical coding conversion, some practices may be well on their way, but others might need some last minute tips to get ready. Focusing on areas such as your budget, training, coding and technology will help you get a quick start on your planning. Practices that have been slow to get started should start planning now so they won’t miss out on any reimbursements come October. These blogs will give you some key areas to focus on before the deadline.

Tip #2 Budget for the cost of switching
Your budget is another area that will be affected by the switch to ICD-10. It’s important to consider how much it will cost you to make the changes necessary to be in compliance. Estimates of the cost to small practices vary from as little as $2,000 to as much as $100,000. That’s a wide range. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) estimates that complying with ICD-10 on time could cost small practices less than $2,000.1 But a 2008 Nachimson Advisors Impact Report shared these estimates:

  • Small practices (3 physicians/2 admin staff):                 $83,290
  • Medium practices (10 providers/coder/6 staff):             $285,195
  • Large practices (100 providers/64 coders/54 staff):      $2.7 million2

Those costs include practice management system updates, new coding guides, superbills and staff training.3 Any form that lists your office’s commonly used ICD-9 codes is going to have to be updated, too, to reflect coding changes. Because ICD-10 forms have a higher level of specificity, they’re going to be longer and more complex, which is going to cost you more.

The transition could affect fee schedules, reviews, auditing and coverage. Because of the big changes in ICD-10, payers are going to need to renegotiate or adjust the terms of their contracts. The more detailed ICD-10 codes might change how much you will be paid for each procedure. Be proactive and find out what changes will need to be made. Contact each payer to ask if they plan to renegotiate their contracts.

After all these potential expenses, there will be some good news for your budget: The benefits of using up-to-date codes will lead to greater specificity and data reporting and will mean more accurate and fair reimbursement.4

The AdvancedMD MyICD-10 Timeline is a one-stop location for ICD-10 training and education. We are continuously posting new resources and helpful progress roadmaps to help you get ready for the conversion to ICD-10. The month-by-month timeline will assist you in your current plan. Learn how AdvancedMD will be a powerful partner in your ICD–10 conversion.

AdvancedMD EHR and AdvancedMD practice management are fully prepared for ICD-10.

Schedule a live demo of AdvancedMD catered to your practice today.

1Sullivan T. ICD-10: 5 tips to prepare now before spending a nickel. Medical Practice Insider. 5/20/15.
2The Impact of Implementing ICD-10 on Physician Practices and Clinical Laboratories: A Report to the ICD-10 Coalition. Nachimson Advisors. 10/8/08.
3Small and Medium Practices ICD-10 Transition Checklist, eHealth University CMS. 2014.
4Achieving ICD-10-CM/PCS Compliance in 2015: Staying the Course for Better Healthcare—A Report from the AHIMA 2014 ICD-10/CAC Coding Summit.

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