Today is the day many healthcare professionals have been preparing for and dreading, the ICD-10 Deadline. It has been a long road for many and a short, fast, hectic road for many others. If you’ve been ignoring every piece of ICD-10 advice and guidance for the past three years, this is the post you want to read. If you are close or have made all preparations for today’s deadline, there is valuable information for you as well. One of the first things we all should do is take a deep breath and press on with today. Everything will be okay.
If you have done nothing or are far behind:
If you have done nothing or are far behind it is obviously time to get serious. The great new for you is that there are many tools out there to help you along the road. Maybe there will be some sort of grace period, but the expectation is that healthcare providers will need to use ICD-10 codes for all procedures starting today.The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has a quick start ICD-10 guide for procrastinating physician practices that’s worth downloading. It covers the following:
- Make A Plan: Assign target dates for completing steps. Most important, obtain access to ICD-10 codes. The codes are available from many sources and in many formats.
- Train Your Staff: Train staff on ICD-10 fundamentals using the wealth of free resources from CMS and many other sources.
- Update Your Processes: It is crucial to update hard-copy and electronic forms (e.g., superbills, CMS 1500 forms ).
- Talk to Your Vendors and Healthcare Plans: Call your vendors to confirm the ICD-10 readiness of your practice’s systems.
- Test Your Systems and Processes: Verify that you can use your ICD-10 ready system.
In addition, Medical Management Services is offering a FREE resource to help with your ICD-10 readiness and transition as well as a FREE phone call with one of our ICD-10 consultants. In this resource you will find information about ICD-10 and how it helps, 7 Steps to Conversion, a conversion timeline, and money saving tips. You can download this FREE resource by CLICKING HERE. If you would like to speak with one of our ICD-10 consultants, please call us at 877.521.3198 and ask for our ICD-10 Consultant Team. Or email us at email@example.com and we will schedule a time for us to call you.
If you have made all preparations and have transitioned:
CONGRATS! But the journey is far from over. Today and even in the weeks to come, there will be issues, miscommunications, mistakes, and much more. But there will be successes, too. Here are a few greats tips for you as you navigate this new journey.
- Understand What is Expected. Everyone needs to learn what they need to do. From this point on, all procedures should be coded in ICD-10. Not everyone will get it right and there will be incorrect coding and submissions. The great news is that CMS and the AMA have collaborated and designed a 1 year grace period stating “claims won’t be rejected for payment simply because the ICD-10 code submitted isn’t specific enough.”
- Admit What You Don’t Know. This is a tremendous opportunity for learning. Not just for one person, but the entire practice. Odds are, they are not alone. However, it is always good to refresh and make sure you are all jiving on the same page.
- Prepare for Failure. There will be failures. Some will call them glitches and other will call it a catastrophic breakdown. Just remember to breathe. It also helps if you have a plan in place for various failures that could happen. It is always a good idea to have a contingency plan ready to go that fits your practice and processes. If you need some help coming up with the possible failures, feel free to give us a call. Our team is ready to help you identify those trouble areas and what to do about them.
- Share Information. The healthcare community is in this together. It is important to share information about what is working and what is not working. Sharing this information with other practices can help save money for both you and others that are in the transition and learning processes. CMS has setup an ICD-10 Ombudsman to help. Dr. William Rogers can be reachedat his Baltimore ICD-10 coordination center by email: ICD10_ombudsman@CMS.HHS.gov.
- Change. It is hard at times, but must be done. There will never be a time that the healthcare industry is not changing in some way or another. That is the way it is with every profession, but more so with healthcare. Technology has effected healthcare in major ways. Some see it as good, others not so much. The reality is that there are always new mandates or regulations coming down the pipe. Be open to the change. Help each other with changes. It’s not easy and there are things that can be done to ease the problems.
As a company that has guided many healthcare organizations through ICD-10 conversion work, we recommend that you develop specific goals and objectives no matter what stage of the transition you are in. We are here to help. Contact us if you have any questions, concerns, or issues that you need help resolving. Our team of ICD-10 professionals are well versed and have the experience for all kinds of specialties.