Ready, Set, Go: The Race to ICD-10!

the race to ICD-10

Like most of the healthcare industry, a few months ago we started testing the ICD-10 waters. Our last webinar, Ready, Set, Go: The Race to ICD-10! had almost 1,400 registrants. Clearly this is a topic that the industry is interested in. However, of our polled attendees only 21% are 75% complete with their ICD-10 education. If that is representational of the industry as a whole, then we are in trouble.

ICD-9 has not kept up with medical terminology and services procedures — as those have improved and grown. Healthcare organizations are in the spot where they need to enlarge our specificity of being able to assign codes and then of course be able to follow into this new pattern of being able to diagnose patient outcomes. If you look at the reimbursement environment right now, there are more quality reporting indicators. You are tracking how your patients are improving, what is happening with chronic medical conditions — all of these needs will be met by ICD-10.

Now is the time to completely understand where you are with your particular implementation plan. And the one thing that is apparent is, regardless of size, regardless of the healthcare services being provided, there are fundamental basics that all facilities – all practices – should have carried out by this time.

It is important to understand why we’re making the change to ICD-10. If you look at the ICD-10 code set up closely, you’ll see it is better at describing current medical practices. It does give us flexibility to adopt new procedures into your coding system. It also gives you the ability to identify complexity of services and procedures. It allows you to compare your medical data or information on an international level, which is very important to the industry as a whole. When talking about all of the benefits for ICD-10, let’s keep in mind that you want to use ICD-10 to its fullest ability.

One of the questions our industry experts are frequently asked is, “Are we going to be able to code an unspecified diagnosis in ICD-10.” The answer is yes. The challenge is to be able to use your documentation of patient care and the quality of the patient care provided in order to code more specifically.

The disruption of change, often depends on how we take that change and adopt it. In the case of ICD-10, how successful you use the abilities or the parts of ICD-10 that are going to help you code more accurately. According to industry expert, Linda Corley from Xtend Healthcare, “I cannot think of a clinical or even a financial or administrative system that will not require some change for ICD-10.” That means everyone needs to get onboard the ICD-10 train and quick!

According to a recent article in Healthcare IT News, ICD-10 could cause a 200% increase in denials rates and a 40% increase in AR days. Maybe to a large hospital this is just a blip on the radar, but to a small doc shop this will be devastating. Door closing devastation! Not to mention the penalties that will be assessed for non-compliance. It seems spending the dollars on education now is the first step towards fighting this type of attack on your practice.

There is still 5 months to educate your staff on ICD-10. For the sake of your patients who rely on your services, start educating your organization today!

Industry experts best estimate is that there will be a six-nine month reduction of accounts receivables of about 50% for organizations who are not properly educated for ICD-10. So if you have that kind of cash laying around, by all means continue to wait.

If you don’t, contact us and learn how you an save up to 15% on your ICD-10 education.

Good luck!