ICD-10 is the 10th version of a medical classification index produced by the World Health Organization, or WHO, to denote medical conditions and procedures. ICD-10 provides for the use of more than 69,000 codes. The United States Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has imposed a deadline of late 2015 for the replacement of the ICD-9 code sets currently in use for inpatient procedures and medical diagnoses. Whether working at a large hospital or a smaller practice, there are three main things that Orthopedists today need to do to learn how to prepare for ICD-10 implementation.
Determine Where Your Firm Is On The Implementation Timeline
Use the timelines provided by the CMS online to determine how far behind or ahead your firm is on its implementation of ICD-10. The CMS offers checklists as well as timelines for all practices to use so that they can stay on schedule. Generally speaking, by this time both small practices as well as large practices should already have begun interior testing with ICD-10 codes. If you have reviewed the information about how to prepare for ICD-10 and have found that your practice is behind schedule, come up with a plan of action on how you can catch up to where you need to be so that you are on track to meet the deadline. Be sure that you also come up with a budget that takes into account the costs of software upgrade and licensing, staff training, and work flow changes during the transition phase.
Successfully Train Coders On Staff
This step is arguably the most critical in successfully completing the switch to ICD-10. You need to determine which of your staff members will be handling the bulk of your coding work and give them the training that is necessary. The American Health Information Management Association, or AHIMA, suggests that training should start no later than six months prior to the date of compliance. When seeking out training for your team, ensure that you obtain the particular ICD-10 modules that account for your firm’s specific needs. For example, those that code only for physician practices need to learn ICD-10-CM diagnosis coding, whereas those that code for hospitals have to learn ICD-10-PCS inpatient procedure coding as well as ICD-10-CM diagnosis coding.
Determine Which ICD-9 Codes Are Used Most Frequently
To efficiently consider how to prepare for ICD-10 transition, it is an excellent idea to think about the top ten ICD-9 codes that are currently being utilized by your office. You should then think about the ICD-10 equivalent for each of these codes in at least three patient care scenarios. This will help medical coders pinpoint their focus on the particular codes that they work with most often, allowing them to reduce the time they spend learning the required codes so that the practice as a whole can reach compliance more quickly.
For further assistance with how to prepare for ICD-10, professional consulting is very valuable. The experts at Healthcare Information Services, L.L.C., are happy to provide assistance to help medical firms stay on track with the latest changes to the healthcare world. Keeping on top of these changes will not only increase profitability, it will enhance the quality of care rendered to patients.
Image courtesy of: Praisaeng/ Freedigitalphotos.net