Jump-starting your ICD-10 transition in 2013March 9, 2013
The ICD-10 implementation deadline, Oct. 1, 2014, is a long way away. It’s still a good time to begin planning for the changes though.
Here are some things the doctors and staff in your practice can do now to ease the transition in 2014:
- Review ICD-10 resources from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other insurers.
- Be sure all doctors and staff in your practice know about the upcoming changes.
- Create an ICD-10 project management team for your practice, including doctors and staff.
- Begin to discuss how ICD-10 will affect your practice.
- Start working on an ICD-10 project plan for your organization, including scheduling staff training for choosing ICD-10 codes for diagnosis codes common to your practice.
- Ask your payers and vendors (software/systems, clearinghouses, billing services) about ICD-10 readiness and review contracts/proposals.
- Ask about systems changes, timelines, costs, and testing plans.
- Ask when they will start testing, how long they will need, and what they suggest your office should be doing to smooth the transition to ICD-10.
- Select/retain vendor(s).
- Review changes in clinical documentation requirements and educate staff by using Internet-based programs for converting commonly used ICD-9 codes to ICD-10.
Each health care practice is unique, so your ICD-10 implementation plan will be unique too. You still have plenty of time to get ready, which makes this an excellent time to do a little research, identify resources for ICD-10 information, and begin using staff meetings to gradually raise awareness of the required changes in diagnosis coding. Watch AOA News and other AOA and AOAExcel™ communications for more on this very important subject.