5 Ways ICD-10 Will Affect Your Practice

On October 1st, everyone in healthcare is required to make the switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10. The transition to ICD-10 will have a number of different effects on your practice. Here are five ways that ICD-10 will affect your practice:

1. ICD-10 will affect everyone

Everyone covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) will be affected by ICD-10. In other words, the change to ICD-10 is not just limited to Medicare and Medicaid providers. If you are a provider, payer, billing service, or anyone else that deals with the HIPAA, you will be required to switch to ICD-10. It is important for everyone, especially providers, to understand the impact of the transition on their documentation and coding.

2. ICD-10 is more specific

Unlike ICD-9, ICD-10 allows for more specific definitions of treatment, leading to better classification and diagnosis of a larger range of illnesses and diseases. ICD-9, on the other hand, is often ambiguous and does not have the available codes for new diseases. In order to reflect this and other improvements, internal policies may need to be updated to support the transition to ICD-10. Continue reading http://practicemax.com/

3. Additional staff training will be necessary

In order for your staff to fully understand ICD-10 and how it differs from ICD-9, they will likely need to go through training. Part of this training should include reviewing medical terminology so that all staff can understand the extended levels of descriptions within ICD-10. This process may include establishing a team that has experience with ICD-10 that can teach the rest of the staff what they need to know.

4. You will need to replace anything that has ICD-9 codes

It is important to know and identify everywhere you have ICD-9 codes. For example, if you have codes on paper, you will need new forms with the ICD-10 codes to replace the older ICD-9 codes. If the code is on your computer, be sure that your EHR will have the system ready for ICD-10 codes rather than the outdated ICD-9 codes by October 1. This includes reviewing and potentially updating the processes for eligibility queries, registration, and referrals. If everything is not updated in time and claims are submitted without ICD-10 codes, then these claims will not be paid.

5. Expect a temporary decrease in productivity

Transitioning from one system of coding to another can be difficult and may take a little while for staff to fully get the hang of it. While they are learning how to use ICD-10, it is likely that your practice will lose some productivity and thus experience a disruption in cash flow. Don’t worry though; this should only be temporary as your staff works to successfully transition and gain experience with the new system.

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While the change to ICD-10 will require additional staff training and may cause your practice to decrease in productivity for a little while, it is important to keep a positive attitude throughout the transition. Remember to breathe!