ICD-10 Implementation Is Coming

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have released the new ICD-10 Implementation Date: October 1, 2014.   There are currently 17,000 ICD-9 codes; ICD-10 will increase that number to 140,000.

How does your practice/facility prepare for this change?   For a smooth transition, an ICD-10 implementation plan needs to be established. Consider the following key elements and timelines:

Third Quarter 2012 – Fourth Quarter 2013 

  •  Educating the key decision makers of the practice/facility with a high level overview of ICD-10 Implementation
  • Assigning a Steering Committee of individuals/teams to oversee ICD-10 Implementation
  •  Performing a practice/facility assessment to determine areas that will be affected by the change
  •  Creating the Implementation Plan: Cover budget, training, readiness of vendors and payors, timetables and policies/procedures

First Quarter 2014 – Third Quarter 2014 

  •  Determining IT testing times and schedules to prepare for ICD-10 Implementation
  •  Educating staff and providers on changes in documentation requirements
  • Training of staff and providers for additional changes for the practice/facility (i.e., software)
  • Testing software, internally and externally

Fourth Quarter 2014 – Fourth Quarter 2015 

  •  Performing post-implementation maintenance, addressing issues such as system errors, reimbursement denials and additional training for coding and documentation

Since the ICD-10 implementation plan alone can take up to six months to put in place, most practices/facilities should have already started the process.   If you haven’t, now is the time to start meeting with the key decision makers and assigning your steering committee.

Maureen Doherty is a Health Care Services Group Consultant providing coding, billing and insurance claims processing services to a variety of multi-specialty practices.

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