The transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 will commence in the near future. It is something that all providers need to make peace with. Rather than fighting it or protesting against it, it would be better to embrace it and prepare oneself for the inevitable change that the onset of ICD-10 will bring.

The worrying aspect is that many radiologists are still trying to determine the impact this will have on their particular field. ICD-10 is set to be implemented on October 01, 2015 and it includes a comprehensive list of new codes. Hence, it would make sense to start implementing those new changes slowly but steadily so that when the new ICD gets implemented the practices will be ready.

ICD is extremely essential because of its detailed nature and is likely to reduce denials while sending claims, if coded accurately. Hence, it plays a crucial part in the RCM process. This new introduction needs to be managed tactfully else it could throw the RCM process out of gear.

As per the CMS this change will benefit patients, medical institutions, businesses and the government too. ICD-10 codes will be more specific and will have more details like, which side of the body is an injury in - the left or right body part, etc.

Impact on Radiology Specialty

Radiologists depend on the physicians to give them the reason or purpose of an exam. Furthermore, they depend on them for information related to the ordered exam. With the onset of ICD-10, the amount of information that is shared by the referred physician will have to be extremely detailed.

Secondly, radiologists too will have to be detailed and specific about the documentation of the completed exam. As mentioned earlier, inappropriate coding and slipshod reporting will lead to a loss of revenue with the new ICD scenario. The challenge radiologists will face is that they will have to prevent the referring physicians from hindering their work as they might not be ready for the new codes and reporting requirements. Imaging facility managers will have to work closely with the referring physicians and help them prepare for the ICD-10 transition on which radiology’s billing depends.

Things Radiologists should Do

Strategic planning will be required on the part of radiologists to make the conversion to the new system a smooth one. A few steps they can take to get ready for the implementation are:

  • Devour the CMS website for ICD-10 information
  • Develop a training plan for the employees
  • Work with the referring physicians and make sure they are ready for transition

October 01, 2015 may seem to be far away now but it will arrive sooner than expected. The wise thing to do would be to prepare for it in this meantime. A smart move would be to offload this to a billing partner. can help radiologists in getting ready for the commencement of the new ICD and prevent any probable loss of revenue.

Published By - Medical Billers and Coders
Published Date - Feb-02-2015 Back

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