In a letter to the American Medical Association, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said it will not grant another extension for ICD-10 adoption; the hard deadline is Oct. 1, 2014.
Still, the previous delay — originally adoption was to have been on Oct. 1 of this year — has bought practices time to get ready for the big changeover in coding language. You now have about one year and nine months to prepare.
The first thing to do, says Steve Arter, CEO of Complete Practice Resources (CPR), in a video interview with TMA Practice Management Consultant Heather Bettridge, is find out what ICD-10 coding means for your practice and specialty. For example, the number codes for some specialties actually will decrease under ICD-10, he notes, while other specialties will see a dramatic increase.
Next look at how the codes will affect documentation in the medical record. Mastering the documentation needed to support the new codes will be key to filing claims efficiently and successfully. CPR President Denny Flint suggests the following exercise: Take your 30 most commonly reported diagnoses and convert the ICD-9 codes to ICD-10. Identify the documentation elements required to substantiate the new codes. Then perform a chart audit to determine if your current documentation techniques consist of the required elements to support the most appropriate ICD-10 code.
Third, says Mr. Arter, identify all the points where coding touches your practice. Doing this will help you devise a transition plan.
TMA Can Help
- TMA Practice Consulting can help you assess your current documentation skills through a coding and documentation check-up or a more thorough review. For expert assistance, call (800) 523-8776 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- ICD-10 transition software. This easy-to-use electronic ICD-9 to ICD-10 GEMs mapping system will help you quickly and easily identify which ICD-10 codes replace the ICD-9 codes your practice uses now. It also can be a training tool for staff.
- Bookmark www.texmed.org/icd10 to stay abreast of news and resources. Watch this page and the TMA Education Center for our new ICD-10 Translation Toolkit (available March 2013); webinars; and two new seminar series: ICD-10 Now, How and Why (an introductory session beginning May 2013) and Achieving ICD-10 Implementation Success (beginning early fall 2013).
Published Feb. 26, 2013
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