Small medical practices will be facing tremendous pressure once ICD-10 is implemented. Due to lack of sufficient budget and skilled billers and coders, diffusing the burden of a new coding system will certainly make things difficult for them.
Why small practices will be worst hit?
- It is being anticipated that the transition to ICD-10 will cost $80,000 or more to each healthcare provider which is a huge amount for small practices. This budget will have to be secured well before 2014 and every required upgrade in IT, data and reporting, clinical functions, HR and revenue cycle will have to be done
- In order to adopt ICD-10, small practices will have to implement and fulfil the requirements of HIPAA-5010 because the new codes will not operate on HIPAA-4010. Time and money will have to be spent on training staff for accuracy in documentation and for making changes in health plan contracts, super-bills and IT. Approximately 16 hours of training will be required for coding staff, 8 hours for admin staff and 12 hours for providers, leaving very little time for provision of patient care
- Business processes of small practices will also get affected with ICD-10. Since health plan contracts will be modified for inclusion of specific codes, payment schedules will also get altered. This will affect the cash flow of practices in general
- Money will have to be spent on software modification to comply with the new coding system. This will not just cost money but the time to implement these changes will make ICD-10 transition period lengthy for small practices
- Small practices will have to increase documentation activities by 15-20%, requiring 3-5% of a physicians’ time on a permanent basis. Since workload will increase due to limited staff with no expected increase in payment, it will impact the productivity of employees, creating room for coding errors
Considering the above mentioned factors, impact of ICD-10 implementation is going to reduce cash flow and increase pressure on small practices as they lack finance and a skilled team of coders and billers. Striking a balance between internal testing of ICD-10 and provision of quality care within a limited time span has pushed small practices to outsource their medical billing and coding requirements.
Medicalbillersandcoders.com has a large team of expert billers and coders who offer assistance to small practices in a smooth transition to ICD-10. We not only help such practices find loopholes in their medical billing processes but also offer effective solutions to strengthen their revenue cycle management. Our team makes use of latest technology to handle your daily operations and offers vital services such as research, consultancy, payer interaction and HIPAA compliance.
MBC also assists in placement of well-trained coders and billers to mid-sized and small medical practices to increase their bottom line and enhance quality of care. Our aim is to ensure that small practices don’t lose out on their revenue due to pressure of ICD-10 and other stringent requirements.