AAPC's 16 steps that ease ICD-10 implementation

Carl Natale
by Carl Natale

As part of a broad campaign titled “ICD-10 Changes Everything,” the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) has sketched a road map providers can use to reach ICD-10 compliance and do so by the government-mandated deadline. 

“It doesn’t have to be completely overwhelming if they just take a systematic approach, do it in steps, follow a timeline, and work with their vendors,” says Rhonda Buckholtz, vice president of business and member development at AAPC. “And if physicians start now, they’ll be able to make that transition with quite a bit less frustration – and probably a lot cheaper – than if they wait until further down the road or until the last minute.”

[Related: Part 3: Understated aspects of ICD-10 for coders. Podcast: On coder shortages and other ICD-10 challenges.]
And so here are the 16 steps that AAPC says everyone needs to follow for a successful ICD-10 implementation. 

1 Organize the implementation effort
2 Develop an ICD-10 communications plan
3 Conduct impact analysis
4 Organize cross0functional efforts
5 Budget development
6 Internal system design and development
7 Develop training plan
8 Contact system vendors
9 Implementation planning
10 Phase 1 training
11 Business process analysis
12 Phase 2 – Education and planning
13 Policy change development
14 Outcomes measurement
15 Deployment of code by vendors to customers
16 Implementation compliance
“If providers follow these steps and take a look at what goes into them, it will flow much quicker for them, be much less disruptive, and will hopefully continue to get them paid after October 1, 2013,” Buckholtz explained.

In addition to the 16 steps, the AAPC offers a number of ICD-10 compliance tools, including a timeline, benchmark tracker, and a floor plan that diagrams changes of which every physician office should be keenly aware.

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