If your practice or organization hasn’t already begun the processes of assessing, planning and implementing training and other matters related to transitioning to the ICD-10 coding October 1, 2014 deadline, there is still time to become trained, systems-ready and become compliant before then. If you’re not sure where to begin or what considerations and tasks should be on your readiness checklist, M-Scribe and its team of experienced professionals can help make the transition process easier and faster for you and your staff.
Perhaps the most critical part of a practice’s successful transition to the new ICD-10 coding system is the Planning and Assessment stage. Proper planning lays the groundwork for your health care billing team to obtain the necessary upgraded software, equipment, and training as well as to develop staff proficiency with the new coding system well ahead of the October deadline. Waiting until the last minute can result in overlooking necessary tasks and processes, leading to frustration, deficiencies in staff ICD-10 readiness training, unexpected software and other systems upgrades causing billing, posting and other delays, as well as other coding and billing headaches.
M-Scribe’s team can assist you and your staff with the following tasks to ease the transition to ICD-10:
- Develop a list of tasks that need to be completed prior to implementing the ICD-10 coding in your practice or organization, as well as develop a realistic timetable for completion. These will include identifying tasks, those responsible for executing each task, resources and other dependencies specific to your practice or organization, its existing policies, processes and systems, as well as where the current ICD-9 fits in with the organization, and the expected effects of ICD-10 changes to the practice, including electronic health records.
- Identify and plan a realistic and comprehensive budget that includes upgrades to software as well as training expenses, coding guides and Superbills.
- Work with you to designate transition responsibility to either one person among your staff or to a committee, depending upon your organization’s size and budget.
- Review the facts and background information about ICD-10 and its benefits with both management and billing staff. The new coding’s benefits include expanding the flexibility of coding by increasing the length to seven characters, thus permitting coding specific complications, severity, conditions and other factors affecting accuracy and detail. More detailed reporting as well as analytics outcomes and utilization should result in improved claims reporting and processing on both the practice’s end as well as with the carriers. When your staff understands the reasons behind the new coding, learning the new ICD-10 system will seem less burdensome.
- Identify necessary changes to systems, as well as costs and testing to successfully transition. You will also need to ask your software and/or systems vendors about the time frame required for testing, including starting and ending dates.
- Review transition plans and contracts with affiliated physicians and hospitals, trading partners and other vendor agreements, including billing services, clearinghouses, and software or systems vendors for their ICD-10 readiness.
Once the initial planning and needs assessment is in place, M-Scribe’s team can assist you with the implementation and adoption of ICD-10. Your practice should find that with the adoption of ICD-10, with its more sophisticated and detailed coding, it will be easier to establish more efficient payment services as well as weed out fraud and abuse, improve medical decisions on a clinical level, measure the quality of patient care and keep track of issues in public health.
M-Scribe Technologies, LLC has been a leader in the health care billing and documentation services industry since its founding in 1999, serving practices of all sizes and specialties. Contact us today at 888-727-234 or visit us online for an in-depth consultation and evaluation of your practice’s unique needs to ensure that your organization is ICD-ready and compliant before the October 2014 deadline.