Ten ICD-10 New Year’s Resolutions Worth the Commitment

Ten ICD-10 resolutions worth the commitment

We rang in the New Year last week, but with that celebration comes trepidation among the healthcare community. After all, we’re now less than nine months away from ICD-10’s Oct. 1 2014 implementation date.

Will it be nine months of struggle to prepare for the major shift?

In late 2013, the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) conducted a survey that found one cold, hard fact: the majority of the industry isn’t prepared to go live with ICD-10 this year.

Here are ten New Year’s resolutions that are worth the commitment as discussed in the latest ICD10Monitor.com Talk Ten Tuesday webinar.

These were presented by Laurie Johnson, MS, RHIA, CPC-H, FAHIMA, Senior ICD-10 Consultant and Educator for Peak Health Solutions:

1. First, in 2014, healthcare organizations should not be “planning” but “doing implementation.” The first order of business is your finance department needs to obtain a line of credit for emergencies post-October 1, 2014.

2. Ensure your organization does a thorough review of reimbursement processes and DRG assignment.

3. Your health information technology (HIT) department needs to test with at least one of your business partners, whether you’re a hospital and need to test with a payer or vice versa.

4. Secondly, your HIT department needs to ensure all hardware can handles the longer codes in ICD-10.

5. Ask your vendors if their software will be ready for ICD-10.

6. Is your health information management (HIM) department prepared for General Equivalence Mappings (GEMs)? Is your team is prepared it can relieve some of the pressure on your coders.

7. Start your code set training for physicians, CDI staff and coders. Best practices from AHIMA indicates this needs to start at least six months prior to the transition deadline.

8. Clinical documentation improvement needs to start now. Make this a priority, it takes time.

9. Ensure you have a competent ICD-10 steering committee that is fully prepared for the transition.

10. Have a contingency plan for ALL business processes in your organization. Remember, your number one goal is to submit accurate claims so your organization gets paid!