by Carl Natale
Posted on Fri, Feb 01, 2013 - 12:34 pm
The good news is that the major healthcare vendors are ready to help healthcare providers assign ICD-10 codes to diagnoses and procedures.
According to Melinda Tully, vice president of Clinical Services & Education, J.A. Thomas & Associates, a Nuance company, there are tools on the market that can assign ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes right now.
That's great for testing and dual coding. And I will have more on that next week.
But that brings up some bad news. Providers need more than computer assisted coding (CAC) and electronic health record (EHR) systems to be ICD-10 compliant. For example, practice management systems (PMS) and medical billing systems need to create ICD-10 compliant medical claims. And there are a few healthcare IT vendors who won't be ready for the ICD-10 deadline.
This underscores the need for early testing. Healthcare providers need to take a diagnosis through the entire process to make sure they will be get reimbursed. A super-c00l, productive EHR won't do any good if the information doesn't make it on to a bill or medical claim.
Make sure your plans include all aspects of your operation.
Steve Sisko discusses ICD-10 preparation by healthcare payers:
- Payers should be updating software, systems and procedures by now.
- They should have testing plans.
- The goal should be six or seven months of testing.
- Payers need to reach out to their providers and provide education.
There will be two types of costs to include in your budget: direct costs and indirect:
- Software upgrades
- Staff and physician training
- Consultant services
Indirect costs can reduce cash flow and revenues
- Drop in productivity
- Increased accounts receivable cycles
Offset costs with:
- Thorough education and training
- Thorough testing
A round up of their ICD-10 preparation articles:
- Planning for ICD-10 with comprehensive training and testing.
- CMS offers informative webinars for ICD-10 end-to-end testing.
- Bonnie Cassidy: Keep your staff informed during ICD-10 planning.
- AHIMA: Don’t skimp on ICD-10 training for coders and physicians.
- Detail and specificity: What your ICD-10 documentation should look like.
- Use assessments, metrics to track ICD-10’s financial impact.
- Don’t ignore the impact of ICD-10 on outpatient services.
- Q&A: ICD-10 success relies on project planning, change management
Betsy Nicoletti has some fresh preparation tips:
- Maybe day-long ICD-10 training sessions aren't the best idea. Consider breaking the training into one- or two-hour sessions.
- Maybe this is a good opportunity to examine who is responsible for code selection.
- Small providers don't have the resources of large hospital systems but can learn from their experiences.
- Hoard cash or prepare a line of credit. (Not so fresh but worth mentioning.)
Heather Haugen lists five tips for a smoother ICD-10 transition:
- Start planning now. (This one never gets old.)
- Physicians will resist being responsible for coding but you need to lead passionately.
- Fear is a major force driving ICD-10 resistance so counter it with facts and appealing to their intellect.
- Training, education and communication are key.
Keith Fulmer warns that your ICD-10 strategy shouldn't come from a tech vendor. (Keith Fulmer's Blog)
Just a promo for the session "Predicting Payment Impact of the ICD-10 Transition on Hospital Reimbursement,” at HIMSS 13 in March. (HDM News)