ICD-10 First Day is gone! How Stressed or Relieved are you?


As the date has finally come and gone, we were wondering if there would be a lot of action on October 1. By the 30th most of the practices must have submitted the pending claims and Thursday would see a fresh day. Although there are some practices that would have started assigning ICD-10 codes, it is for a fact that it will still be a couple of days until the ICD-10 codes would be used in full swing. The bigger problems of denials and coding issues would certainly not arise anytime soon. The first day would have seen a couple of ups and downs with providers having enjoyed the rather soft wave with sudden intermittent panic waves.

The stress hovers around because it has now finally, for real begun. The anxiety that set upon physicians will stay for a couple of weeks more at least until the first set of claims have been sent out. All will wait with bated breath to check on the number of denials that will come in. Physicians are highly relying on their vendors to take care of things but this does not mean they are relaxed. Dual coding has in a different way taken a toll on the physicians which will be putting an added burden on them. Providers will not have to do anything different if they focus on accurate documentation in the first few months for a smooth future. Medicare flexibility will probably not apply to private payers. The inconsistency stemming from this will definitely create a mix-up putting physicians in a position of utter confusion.

Whether productivity will be disrupted or not is too early to comment. But discouragement is not an option. Even if the stress and anxiety overcomes you, the best way to deal with it will be to have resources handy to ensure you falter nowhere and you have something to bank on. Staying calm is the ultimate key to any major change and this is what will help you survive the initial days. The first few days are the most taxing and with the relief of October 1 having passed rather smoothly, be sure the coming days too would be the same.