Last October, ICD-9 was replaced with ICD-10. The creation of ICD-10 had many financial resources directed towards it to make this past year a smoother transition for health care providers. Preparations prior to launching the system made for a fairly successful first year without the expected denials and rejections that normally come with implementing a new system.
While an ICD-10 grace period of one year was granted for all medical practices by Medicare and Medicaid, this has ended now that the anniversary month is upon us. In October, medical practices, billing services for hospitals, nursing homes, etc., medical transcribers, and many more in the medical profession will be receiving their updated ICD-10 books with new coding information. All within the healthcare profession will be expected to code efficiently and specifically in regards to their patients’ diagnosis. Unspecified codes will be looked at very carefully.
How can one ensure claim accuracy in the coming year now that the ICD-10 grace period has ended?
All forms and office templates need to be up-to-date with ICD-10 specificity. This means not just one form in your practice, but all forms such as patient intake forms, EHR templates, insurance forms, and superbills.
Code maps for ICD-10 need to be displayed and your ICD-10-CM Coding Guidelines need to be easily accessible so accurate codes can be looked up and used.
Your entire office needs adequate training in ICD-10. Providers need to be well informed and up-to-date when it comes to changes in coding and documentation. If you see that your office staff is having a hard time adjusting, consider a documentation improvement specialist to assist your office in succeeding with ICD-10.
Your office’s EHR and billing software vendor need to all be on the same page when it comes to ICD-10 and the new updated codes. Hit the ground running and code as accurately and specifically as possible with minimal errors.
After submitting claims, it is important to watch closely for any denials. A watchful eye on what’s causing denials needs to be monitored to keep them from reoccurring on a regular basis. Successful and prompt payment is the key to a successful practice and that can only come with proper ICD-10 coding.
Hopefully you and your staff have spent the last twelve months learning ICD-10. If you have, then you are well on your way for a successful year. If you see struggles due to your current billing company, now is a great time to re-evaluate that partner and their impact on your revenue cycle. The primary goal is to prevent your practice from having revenue problems. Everyone that works within or with your office needs to be on the same page with billing. Following the ICD-10 grace period, proper coding is now a must to be successful. This can be achieved by limiting denials and maximizing reimbursement through proper coding for your services.
If you have any questions or need help in getting your office efficient when it comes to ICD-10, call (844) 424-5537 or contact us here.