How Will ICD-10 Affect Patient Satisfaction?
There’s one thing that will never change at your practice or organization. That is patient satisfaction is critical to your success. As ICD-10 preparation activities occur, it’s important to recognize how your transition plans impact the patient’s experience.
Prior to implementing ICD-10, pay special attention to the tests or procedures that are scheduled for October 1, 2013 and after. Both the physician office and scheduling staff need to ensure the correct coding system is used based on the patient’s date of service and the payer. There may be situations where both an ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM code will need to be provided. If the appropriate codes are not provided, it could cause multiple delays in scheduling the service and have a negative effect on patient satisfaction.
Wait times may become longer if patient intake must review the order and third party payer to determine which coding system is applicable. Additionally, patient satisfaction may be further affected if intake must contact the physician’s office to clarify the diagnosis code.
As payers receive claims on or after October 1, 2013, there may be delays in the business office and/or as the payer processes the claims. This may result in slowed payment by payer(s) before a patient receives their portion of the medical bill. This may also bear negatively on patient satisfaction.
Even today, prior to implementing ICD-10, if eligibility determination is delayed or not completed prior to a patient receiving service — and ultimately the payer determines it wasn’t a covered benefit — a patient may be understandably upset. This is why it’s important to ensure any eligibility determination processes and procedures, including dual-coding situations, are reviewed and revised to help minimize patient dissatisfaction.