Where Are You on the ICD-10 Preparation Timeline?
Written by Jill Foote, Insurance Quality Analyst III   
Monday, March 31, 2014 12:00 AM
Recently, the Medical Group Management Association reported on ICD-10 that, "fewer than 10 percent of physician practices say they've made significant progress in their readiness for implementation."1 This  indicates that 90 percent of practices are not fully prepared to make the transition. In which percentage does your clinic fall? If your staff is relying on a clearinghouse or software company to handle preparation, there may not be a clear understanding of what is involved.
 
Other countries that have implemented ICD-10 have noted 40-60% drops in productivity and it is recommended to have between 3-6 months of revenue in reserve in case there are problems with claims or payers are not ready. You can mitigate problems and protect against potential reimbursement delays by analyzing your clinic's ICD-10 readiness with the help of the ACA ICD-10 Toolkit. This resource has an Implementation Checklist that will walk you through each step such as contacting vendors, making a list of where diagnosis codes are used in your office, etc. Effective and easy to understand, the Toolkit will keep you on target to be ready before October.
 
Test your readiness by answering the following questions:
  • Will your billing software be updated soon, so your clinic can begin testing immediately?
  • When exactly will the update be made? (It is important to obtain a fixed date.)
  • Is your software ready for the new 1500 Claim Form?
  • Has your vendor offered product support? If so, for how long?
  • Will there be a charge for these updates? Have you budgeted for the cost?
  • Will you need new hardware to accommodate the software updates?
  • Will your billing software provider offer free training? If not, what is the cost?
  • Do you have a contact person to whom you should report concerns?
  • Will your billing software provider offer support after October 1st?
  • Does your software have the capability to test with payers now? (It is important to obtain a fixed date.)
  • Will your software allow for dual coding in order to submit claims with dates of service prior to October 1, 2014, which will require ICD-9 codes?
  • Do you know the date each of the payers you do business with will start accepting test transactions?

The answers to these questions are vital to your clinic's success in the transition to ICD-10. Determine to protect your clinic from interruption in reimbursement and reduced productivity by checking your vendors' ICD-10 readiness with ACA's ICD-10 Toolkit Vendor Worksheet.
 
[1] www.healthcareitnews.com

Source:  ACA: In Touch - March 2014