Six Essential Items for ICD-10 Revenue Cycle Readiness

ID-100134419It seems no sooner have you finished preparing and implementing the ICD coding changes, than a new set is knocking on your door.  If those being implemented in 2015 have you wondering how to prepare for ICD-10, you are not alone.  Healthcare Finance News has drawn up a list of six things that absolutely must be done before, to ensure every area of your revenue cycle is ready.

Training and Evaluation

It is absolutely vital that your coders and the rest of your staff are well versed in the new codes and other changes.  If they are not, your facility will most certainly see a delay or loss of revenue due to incorrect coding.  This means you should start training early and evaluate regularly through the process to determine areas or employees that need additional review. 

This intensive training schedule may mean you have to schedule overtime hours or even consider bringing in temporary hires, or outsourcing, to complete the current filings while your staff train on the new.  Struggling to figure out how to prepare for ICD-10 may leave you considering outsourcing your revenue filing and collections tasks on a permanent basis.  This is a viable option for many healthcare practices and facilities.

Ensure the Readiness of your Vendors

Although you are not responsible for the training of your vendor's employees, it is important to check for their readiness.  It will not matter how prepared your staff are if the companies you do business with do not know how to prepare for ICD-10.

Inquire about integrated testing and if your current vendors prove to be unprepared, encourage them strongly to rectify this situation or find vendors that have taken the time to train their employees properly.

Plan Interface Testing

As soon as you are able, you need to begin testing the interfaces to be sure they are ready for the transition.  This may take a bit of planning so the faster you set the ball rolling, the more likely you will be able to count on everything running smoothly.

Set-Up and Implement Physician Training

The physicians must be well versed in the coding changes but focusing more on the documentation rather than memorization of the codes.  The physician must learn proper documentation to show medical necessity and include the proper information for coders to be able to choose the appropriate diagnosis(es) codes.

Prepare for Revenue Interruption

No matter how well you have prepared your staff and physicians, there is the likelihood that the implementation of the new codes will cause delays.  Prepare your practice or facility for the perhaps inevitable slowing down of revenue returns.

Begin Dual-Coding

The changes are to take place next year but there is no guarantee that all of the payers, clearinghouses and other vendors you deal with, will be ready on time.  Minimize payment delays by preparing your staff for dual-coding both before and after ICD-10 implementation.

Figuring out how to prepare for ICD-10 and ensuring your revenue cycle readiness may be more than any one person can effectively accomplish.  If you are feeling overwhelmed, contact us at Healthcare Information Services.  For more than twenty years we have been helping physicians increase their revenue through accurate coding and billing and our 60 on-staff coders are ready to meet the challenges of ICD-10.

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