Healthcare providers in mad dash towards ICD-10

By: Michael MacLaren |
Published: July 14, 2015
Author at Assurance Health Care Financial Services

The transition to the new ICD-10 codes is a $1.64 billion adjustment for the health industry.
While larger practices have more resources to make the change, the solo physician practice may still have work to do.
With implementation of ICD-10 less than three months away, revenue cycle teams are breathing a little more easily since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ announcement of a year’s grace period in which claims will not be denied because they’re not specific enough.
If a wrong code is used, for one year after ICD-10 implementation, Medicare review contractors will not deny physician or other practitioner their claims billed as long as a valid code from the right family is used.
Yet the reality is that after years-long delays and legislative attempts for more, ICD-10 will become the law of the land on October 1.
Even this late in the game, it’s not too late for providers to supplement their game plan, he said. Most of the smart physician practices are partnering with a billing company now before their cash flow is impacted. They want to make sure they’re getting the right level of education and training.
The transition to the new ICD-10 codes is a $1.64 billion adjustment for the health industry.
While larger practices have more resources to make the change, the solo physician practice may still have work to do.
Solo practices certainly have a heightened sense of urgency to have the appropriate training in place.
The administrative side of healthcare has created more challenges for the smaller practices.
Providers need to keep a focus on physician documentation improvement even if their end-to-end testing went well.
And then there’s the big question of what happens after implementation. It’s hard to budget for the unknown, such as the amount of productively decline by coders who take longer to input thousands of new codes.
There’s also the question of what will be needed for staff and budgeting to overcome denials. The impact will extend on coding into appeals and denials; a lot of physicians are looking at augmenting and adding staff.
It is not too late to partner with Assurance Health Care and prepare for the transition to ICD-10.