Assess Your Readiness
We are keeping the below content available for reference purposes, particularly for providers who may not have been ready as of the Oct. 1, 2015, compliance deadline.
It is important to designate an ICD-10 lead or point person to develop a plan and help keep you and your staff on track. How do you use ICD-9 codes now? Identify commonly used codes and where they are used currently, such as for eligibility and benefits requests, preauthorization, electronic health records, referrals and billing. What changes to your practice are needed to make ICD-10 business-as-usual? Don't wait to schedule training and refresher training. Get connected with available resources if you need help.
Talk to Your Vendors
Who submits claims and conducts other transactions on your behalf? Talk to your electronic trading partner(s) — this may include your practice management software vendor, billing service and/or clearinghouse. You need to confirm their ICD-10 readiness. Ask questions!
- Have all applicable systems been upgraded, as needed? If not, when?
- Are there any associated costs to you?
- Did your vendor support ICD-10 testing transactions?
If your electronic trading partner cannot confirm ICD-10 readiness, you may need to consider finding a new electronic trading partner who will be prepared to submit compliant electronic claims on your behalf.
Improve Your Documentation
Before your claims can be coded, your medical records documentation must support the new, more specific requirements for ICD-10, such as documenting laterality. Here are some quick tips:
- Validate the accuracy of your documentation. Check it against your coding manuals. Have others in your practice review and offer suggestions.
- It may take time to get in the habit of thinking in terms ICD-10.
- Review coding principles and focus your documentation on meeting the granular demands of ICD-10.
- Remember: Use of Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) and HCPCS codes will not change with the transition date.
Prepare Your Staff
Everyone in your practice needs to become familiar with ICD-10.
- Make sure your coding source (internal coders or coding services) can code in both ICD-9 and ICD-10.
- All certified medical coders must take a minimum number of ICD-10 specific Continuing Education Units (CEUs) before the compliance date to maintain their certification.
- Remember: Claims cannot contain both ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes.
The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) offer many training resources. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) offers training modules for CEUs and other provider resources. In particular, small and medium provider practices should consider visiting the CMS Road to 10 website.
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