Since 1977 healthcare practices have been using ICD 9. It’s become familiar and habitual. Everyone knows exactly where on the superbill the appropriate diagnosis is for the patient just seen. The prompting box is checked along with the procedure and off the superbill goes into the billing process. Most perform this task almost without thinking.
Enter ICD 10. Depending on the specialty, a nonspecific code which was paid by insurances could be replaced by 10 or more codes. How do you fit all those codes on a new superbill? How do you design the new superbill to be used by physicians and allied providers to expedite coding and begin the billing process? How much time will be needed to find and key the right codes? What codes will be paid by insurances and how much? What can your practice expect to lose in revenue during the first 60-90 days after October 1, 2014?
Right now your practice regardless of specialty uses certain codes every day. While you may be reeling at the prospect of ICD 10, take a breath and think about what you do now. In fact, it would be to your advantage to draw out the current workflow as it concerns coding, superbills and the billing process. This will allow you to see where changes need to take place as you migrate to ICD10.
Using your current coding resources, crosswalk the ICD9 codes you are using now to ICD10. Some will convert easily, others might have multiple options, and some will not cross at all. That’s where you must begin. If you have an orthopedic practice, you have been used to indicating laterality via a modifier….now it becomes part of the code itself. Learning those codes will come in time. Good documentation will lead to good coding. This has always been the rule, it is no less the rule now. Specificity is the hallmark of ICD10 codes. You don’t have to learn all the changes in coding, just the ones your practice uses. Focus on those codes your practice uses day in and out. There are many tools out there to help you crosswalk codes, plan testing, and work with payers.
If you have not begun to think about how you are going to deal with ICD10 superbills, then you are behind. Don’t wait until your cash flow is at a standstill to fix it. Need a readiness evaluation and practical hints on how to avert an ICD10 crisis? Give Medical Management Services a call at 877-521-3198. Our team of experts will give you the leadership and assistance you need to be ready for October 1.