Have You Talked To Your EHR Vendor About ICD-10?

 Vendors are key partners who can help you prepare for ICD-10. You can assess an electronic health record (EHR) vendor's capabilities by answering questions. 

  •  Does your current EHR 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, 2015, deadline, so you can begin testing them in 2014?
  • 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? 
  • Will the EHR give you the ability to search for codes by the ICD-10 alphabetic and tabular indexes? By clinical concept? 
  • Will the EHR allow for coding in both ICD-9 and ICD-10 to accommodate transactions with dates of service before Oct. 1, 2015, and transactions with dates of service after Oct. 1, 2015?  

For a more in-depth list of questions to discuss with your EHR vendor, view the American Health Information Management Association's  ICD-10 Readiness Questionnaire for EHR Vendors.

Communication During Your Transition
After assessing your EHR 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. Your vendor 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. Begin testing with trading partners as soon as possible in advance of the Oct. 1, 2015, ICD-10 deadline. 
  • 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 time frames for large practices and small and medium practices

Under these recommended schedules, testing with your business trading partners such as payers, clearinghouses, and billing services should begin immediately 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 on-demand webinar, ICD-10 Now! How and Why? examines everything physicians need to know and do to prepare for ICD-10. For additional education on ICD-10, go to the TMA Education Center.

You can direct questions related to EHRs and other office technologies to TMA's Health Information Technology Department by calling (800) 880-5720 or by email.   

Action, Nov. 1, 2013

Updated: Apr. 2, 2014