Vendors are key partners who can help you prepare for ICD-10. Assess a vendor’s capabilities by answering these questions:
Does your current vendor contract cover your practice’s ICD-10-related needs?
- What is the vendor’s timeline for the ICD-10 transition?
- Will your vendor install products well before the Oct. 1, 2014, deadline, so you can begin testing them in 2013?
- Has your vendor scheduled with you to test your system with your trading partners?
- Will your vendor update all its current products and applications for ICD-10?
- Has your vendor scheduled training for your staff on the ICD-10 system updates?
- Do products give you the ability to search for codes by the ICD-10 alphabetic and tabular indexes? By clinical concept?
- Will the product allow for coding in both ICD-9 and ICD-10 to accommodate transactions with dates of service before Oct. 1, 2014, and transactions with dates of service after Oct. 1, 2014?
Communication During Your Transition
After assessing your vendor’s capabilities, continue to communicate with its representative throughout the ICD-10 transition:
- Include your vendor in planning the transition. Communicate your needs and goals, and ask for assurance in writing that products and testing plans will fulfill your requirements. Ask your vendor to share some strategies other clients have used successfully.
- Work with your vendor to update and test clinical, financial, actuarial, and reporting processes. Vendors should offer technical support and guidance during and after installation of new software.
- Find out how your vendor will provide support as you begin testing ICD-10 transactions with payers and other business trading partners. Allow up to a year in advance of the Oct. 1, 2014, ICD-10 deadline for testing with trading partners.
- Determine what role your vendor will play in resolving any testing failures.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has created checklists with ICD-10 transition tasks and estimated timeframes for:
Under these recommended schedules, testing with your business trading partners such as payers, clearinghouses, and billing services should begin October 2013 and will take 10 months minimum to complete.
Be sure to bookmark TMA’s ICD-10 resource page for news, tools, education, and updates. TMA’s new on-demand webinar, ICD-10 Now! How and Why? takes a detailed look at everything physicians need to know and do to prepare for ICD-10. For additional ICD-10 education opportunities, go to the TMA Education Center.
Published July 9, 2013
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