ICD-10 Deadline October 1, 2015: Update Your Processes

Get Ready Now with the New CMS Quick Start Guide!

While ICD-10 is almost here, you still have time to get ready. But you must get ready now.

Each day this week we are highlighting 1 of the 5 steps from the new Quick Start Guide:

  1. Make a Plan
  2. Train Your Staff
  3. Update Your Processes
  4. Talk with Your Vendors and Health Plans
  5. and Test Your Systems and Processes. Today our focus is

Step: 3 Update Your Processes

  • It is crucial to update hard-copy and electronic forms (e.g., superbills, CMS 1500 forms )
  • Resolve any documentation gaps identified while coding top diagnoses in ICD-10
  • Make sure clinical documentation captures key new coding concepts:
    • Laterality—or left versus right
    • Initial or subsequent encounter for injuries
    • Trimester of pregnancy
    • Details about diabetes and related complications
    • Types of fractures


  • Create a documentation checklist for any new concepts that need to be captured for ICD-10 coding
  • Remember that ICD-10 does not change the requirements for good documentation, which is always about capturing the complete clinical picture in order to provide high-quality patient care
  • Review NCDs and LCDs with ICD-10 codes to ensure consistency with internal policies (e.g., coding, billing, and documentation processes)
  • Outpatient and office procedure codes aren’t changing—ICD-10 does not affect the use of CPT and HCPCS coding for outpatient and office procedures

To learn more about getting ready, visit cms.gov/ICD10 for free resources including the Road to 10 tool designed especially for small and rural practices, but useful for all health care professionals.

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