ICD 10 Update

One of the issues that some people don’t realize is the complexity of going from ICD 9 to ICD 10 and what actions to take.

October 1st, 2013 is the day where all claims must use ICD-10 codes if you wish to get paid. The way I normally explain some of these codes is that Current Procedural Codes (CPT) reflects what services you provided while International code of Diagnoses (ICD) reflect why. For the last several years we have been using ICD – 9 as our standard for the Healthcare Professionals in the USA. However In October 2013 all of that will be a thing of the past. Reality speaking is not that the world is going to end but more like you won’t get paid unless your claims reflect the right codes. Just consider that in September 30, 2013 all claims will use ICD 9 and the next day they will use ICD 10. Make a mistake between date of service and code and you won’t get paid. One of the issues that some people don’t realize is the complexity of going from ICD 9 to ICD 10. The other issue may be better reflected by a phrase I learned in the military; “no plan survives contact with the enemy”. In this case my concern is cash flow or the lack of the same due to mistakes in the billing process. Not that is going to be anyone’s fault but I’m pretty certain that everyone will encounter issues and that the magnitude of the same will be based on the preparation. Therefore, while you still have time consider the following steps: 1. Make sure you have enough cash reserves to operate for at least 60 days without any new money. a. Start putting money aside for this eventuality or consider a line of credit. 2. Start training on ICD 10. a. Do a random check of 10 claims per month. i. Code them using ICD -10. Chances are that you don’t have all the information needed to select the proper code for which the next step is very important. ii. Identify the information needed to code properly. Make a list of the information missing and inform the Provider/healthcare professional in the Practice. Request that future notes include this information. b. Have members of the staff take medical terminology and anatomy courses. 3. Consider an Electronic Medical Record that is easy to customize. Whatever you are doing now and however you are doing it is going to change. Also the number of codes will make it almost impossible to have a pick list that fits in one page so take the plunge and make sure your system will be able to handle the codes. Note: Remember that any system you select must be able to run using ICD 9 and ICD 10 simultaneously for a period of time. For more information if you have questions contact me at [email protected].