ICD-10 compliance deadline is nearing, making it necessary for providers to prepare for the transition. This will help them avoid any possible revenue or service disruptions post implementation.
|According to a WEDI survey in April 2015, 25 percent of surveyed providers had begun external testing with partners on ICD-10 claims|
|Small physician practices with one to five physicians might find ICD-10 testing more challenging compared to large healthcare facilities|
Through ICD-10 testing, medical practices will get a chance to make necessary changes to their processes and systems, rectify errors and mitigate the impact of coding inaccuracies on their revenue cycle. They will have to conduct testing with payers, partners and clearinghouses. It is important to know that their software is upgraded to handle the new codes.
What needs to be tested?
The entire practice and staff should be surveyed as part of ICD-10 readiness and assessment. Once practices have reviewed their budget and determined the training requirements for the transition, they need to start assessing readiness of their systems for utilizing the new code set. Providers need to test all systems that store, process, send, receive or report diagnosis code information. This should include but not be limited to practice management, clinical documentation system, accounting systems, marketing and prior authorization and so on.
It is also necessary to conduct a system inventory and ensure that all software and hardware is ready for ICD-10. This needs to be done because there might be areas outside of claims that make use of diagnosis codes regularly.
When to start testing?
According to the CMS, Medicare providers should start end-to-end testing as soon as possible. This should be the next important step for providers now that 141 days are left for the transition. Recently, CMS announced the final opportunity for providers to participate in ICD-10 testing session. Registrations are on (starting from 11th May till 22nd May) and from 20th July to 24th July 2015, volunteers will be able to test with Common Electronic Data Interchange (CEDI) contractor and Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs). Providers who had participated in the January and April testing session don’t need participate in the July session.
Is the Vendor Prepared for ICD-10?
Talking to the EHR or medical billing vendor about their level of ICD-10 readiness is equally important. If medical billing has been outsourced, it becomes necessary to ask readiness questions to the vendor and assess whether or not they are ready to take on the new coding complexities. Some of the important questions that need to be asked are: when will the systems be ready for testing and implementation? Will the system accommodate ICD-9 as well as ICD-10?
MBC’s Assistance in Ensuring ICD-10 Readiness
Many providers are relying on MBC’s expert coding and billing services to prepare for the complex transition. They are outsourcing their ICD 10 transition tasks to MBC as the company has a team of ICD-10 coding specialists who are experts at submitting error-free claims with ICD-9 and ICD-10. Providers are eliminating their worries of cash flow disruptions and focus on patient care by choosing MBC.