ICD-10 compliance date has been extended to October 2015 and while some doctors are disheartened with 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, readiness of vendors including practice management (PM), electronic health records (EHR), availing services or expert advice from billing companies.
Unprepared practices have got a breather with the extension of 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 into their advantage and be ready for the new codes. It will give them enough time to rethink of 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 facility 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 to 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 meanwhile. This will give them exposure to ICD-10 system details and ensure error free documentation in 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.com for their billing and coding requirements. This saves them the trouble of hiring or training existing staff, upgrading their systems, or worry 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.