How Can your Practice Make the Best Use of ICD-10 Delay?

How Can your Practice Make the Best Use of ICD-10 Delay?Despite how you feel about the ICD-10 delay, make it work for you, not against you.  The ICD-10 compliance date has been extended to October 2015 and while some doctors are disheartened by the delay others are happy. This extension will help practices to prepare better for the implementation of the additional codes ready to be set next year. Due to health care reforms providers have been affected by – various regulatory changes, investment of significant amount of time and monetary resources for compliance and not getting paid on time. Since ICD-10 implementation has been pushed to 2015, unprepared practices will be able to utilize this period for making necessary changes such as upgrading technology and training their staff.

The delay was disappointing for practices and vendors who worked hard to meet the 2014 deadline. However, if they stop preparing for ICD-10 altogether it will have negative effects on their Revenue Cycle Management (RCM). The key is to utilize the delay and keep preparing; look for gaps if any in the staff training, system upgrades, and readiness of vendors including practice management (PM), electronic health records (EHR), availing services or expert advice from billing companies.

Strategies to Make the Best Use of  ICD-10 Delay?

Unprepared practices have gotten a breather with the extension of the ICD-10 deadline. It has provided sufficient time for unprepared and prepared practices to identify gaps in training, coding, and system upgrades. Providers should be able to convert this to their advantage and be ready for the new codes. It will give them enough time to rethink any changes that can improve claim submission post-ICD-10 implementation.

  • The delay should be used in improving quality reporting so that when ICD-10 is finally implemented the new set of codes can be used to its full specificity
  • This extension for implementing ICD-10 can also be used to meet goals related to financial outcomes and new delivery payment models throughout healthcare communities
  • Healthcare practices can also utilize this period to stay proactive with communities and nationwide programs in order to have a successful future in the healthcare industry
  • Physicians, hospitals, and all other healthcare facilities can organize and monitor the training and implementation process of ICD-10. This will help the staff understand the complexities of the same
  • Providers should contact vendors and double-check with the electronic medical record (EMR) system, management system, and clearinghouses to see if they are compatible with the new set of codes
  • The delay can be used for submitting ‘test’ claims to each payer; it will help determine if the systems are ready to submit claims post-ICD-10
  • Training for providers can be arranged in the meantime. This will give them exposure to ICD-10 system details and ensure error-free documentation in the future
  • The time gap of over a year now can be used to start improving the documentation requirements of ICD-10 because billing and collection can be enhanced only through complete documentation
  • Providers can focus on ICD-9 and ICD-10 guidelines to reduce the occurrence of medical necessity denials

To make sure ICD-10 does not affect reimbursements many providers choose billing companies like MedicalBillersandCoders for their billing and coding requirements. This saves them the trouble of hiring or training existing staff, upgrading their systems, or worrying about HIPAA compliance and other reforms. As a result, practices do not have to invest in health IT as experts in MBC make use of the latest technology and software to handle your RCM. Connecting with professional medical billing companies like Medical Billers and Coders (MBC) could help streamline your billing activities. Contact us at for more information.