- ICD-9 contains approximately 14,000 codes.
- ICD-10…69,000 codes.
Tip 1 – Prepare for the Learning CurveGetting on the inside track with coding as soon as possible saves a practice money and aggravation. There’s a steep ICD-10 learning curve which can lead to a productivity drop of up to 50%. That equals a double financial blow.
- The billers will be working slowly as the they learn the system, and the loss of speed will be felt as a loss of money.
- At the same time, billers will be making more errors, which will cost them significant income.
- Practices need to hire and pay for more billing staff
- Those staff will be working in beginning months at 50% capacity, and reach a maximum capacity of 80%
- 70% are going to conduct more training and help staff
- 62% are working to update their clinical documentation
- 33% are closing gaps by outsourcing to code companies
- 32% are buying coding IT software that is already ICD-10 compliant
Tip 2 – Follow the Testing Recommendations of the AHIMA
- Begin testing your processes early and often. Ideally you’ll want to test every step of your implementation program. If you’re working with a reputable software company, they’ll have clearinghouse partners who can help you. Here at PracticeAdmin, we are making sure to test and often with our clearinghouse partners to ensure the smoothest transition for our customers.
- Communicate with local practices and organizations to get ideas and assistance about what they’ve learned in their implementation process.
- Get strategies to curtail ICD-10 risks
Tip 3 – Put Together a Project TeamHelping you reach these goals is a team that is dedicated to emplacing and monitoring all of your ICD-10 strategy. This team should include dynamic people in different areas of your practice, depending on its size, including seasoned billing personnel, doctors, and administrative or executive staff. With every part of your business represented, the more prepared you are for any challenges. Any technical or financial bumps in the road will be seen as soon as possible by the appropriate people, which will help your practice stay above water.
Tip 4 – Make a Communication PlanTo help in this venture, you’ll need a strong communication strategy. Everyone in your practice will need to have regular updates about what to expect, and what is expected of them.
Tip 5 – Create a Manageable TimelineThe timeline will help you stay on top of the changes throughout the ICD-10 transition. Despite the fact that IDC-10 isn’t in use until October, you need dates laid out for training and implementation. If using a software vendor that isn’t ICD-10 ready, you need to have your codes updated and a possible software release before the deadline. Remember that every goal needs to be:
Tip 6 – Let Everyone Know About ItWhen you have open communication with your entire staff about such systemic change as the ICD-10 transition, you create a more empathetic and cohesive practice. You also increase the opportunity for people to participate, which can help you if you’re pressed for more resources.
ICD-10 – Where Your Practice StandsAccording to a report by the American Health Information Management Association and the eHealth Initiative:
- 17% don’t know when they’ll attempt testing
- 10% have no plans to test at all