Part 3 – ICD-10 is now down the stretch… now what does your practice do?
Continuing with our Series about what medical practices and hospitals should be doing now that we are slowly running out of time to design and implement an ICD-10 compliance strategy. For other Parts in this series, please refer to related blogs.
5. Master the codes that matter
While many physicians have memorized the codes they use in ICD-9, which is harder to do in ICD-10, because the system is more elaborate. Instead, experts recommend focusing on learning the codes relevant to your specialty, rather than all 155,000 codes. “Make a short list of the codes you have to be good at,” says Lance. Place the list for you, your team members, and other staff all over your practice. Until ICD-10 takes hold, challenge each other with ICD-9 to ICD-10 conversion codes quizzes – “Hey, if I have an ICD-9 code for X, what is the ICD-10 up-code or equivalent?”
For practices and specialties that have complicated coding, use a medical documentation service like iData’s coding process – coding expertise using a mature coding workflow that is topped with a sprinkle of subject matter expertise.
6. Diminishing efficiency and productivity
Be prepared for changes to your coding affecting other aspects of your practice’s operations—and divert resources, dollars, and staffers from other tasks and budget items. Look at where your workflow is going to have to change. ICD-10 is no longer about an “if”; rather it is about a “when” and the sooner your practice gets ready and is positioned well at the starting gate, the less impact to productivity (and commensurate revenue) you will experience.
Consider that many taken-for-granted task such as referrals, supply orders, equipment and service orders that were handled within the ICD-9 world, will now need to contemplate how they are created and generated in the ICD-10 world. Be sure that your entire workflow has contemplated the wide-ranging effects of ICD-10.
7. Quality, quality, quality
Every practice should have a point person assigned to regularly check coding to make sure there are no errors that are costing the practice money—and identify staffers who need more training, say experts. The stakes are high for practices that don’t get it right because errors may lead to delayed or denied claims.
No practice can afford to make big mistakes that affect cash flow today, especially in the financially and regulatory tightened and rapidly changing medical field.
Whether small, up-and-coming- or large practice, or if you are the HIM or CIO or a local or large hospital, contact iData to assist you with resourcing a team of expert ICD-10 leaders and coders. iData will readily demonstrate the efficacy of our process, offer free pilot-scale tests, help your transition, and Go Live sooner than you can imagine.