With only 37 months left before the healthcare world transitions to the ICD-10-CM, the author of this article suggests taking a systematic approach, in order to make the transition as smooth as possible. The key elements in making this transition include:
All practices must convert to Version 5010 of the Electronic Data Transactions (EDI) by January 1, 2012. Those that have not made the conversion will not be able to send claims or receive reimbursement.
Identify an individual or team of individuals that will be responsible for organizing and overseeing the ICD-10-CM transition. The team should include at least one physician, as well as management and coding staff members.
Identify the areas of the practice that are going to be affected the most by the ICD-10-CM transition.
Conduct a system audit to determine which systems will be compatible with the ICD-10-CM. Identify changes that will need to be made before the ICD-10-CM conversion.
Get in touch with system vendors to identify who will be able to assist with the conversion.
Determine whether or not your current medical record documentation will be able to support the ICD-10-CM.
Coding and Billing Education
To an extent, everyone in the practice will require some level of ICD-10-CM training. Determine what kind and how much training employees are going to require (i.e. coders will require more training than nurses).
Identify which payers have transitioned to ICD-10-CM and make appropriate changes to your billing to ensure payment. Compare the current ICD-9-CM procedures for reporting to the ICD-10-CM. Determine which reports will be affected by the ICD-10-CM transition and make necessary changes.
Plan ahead and be prepared for the ICD-10-CM transition to affect every aspect of the practice. The transition will take place on October 1, 2014 but the effects of the transition will be felt long after that date has passed.