Take Advantage of the ICD-10 Delay: Focus on these 6 Key Areas

The most recent delay just three months ago pushed back the ICD-10 compliance date to October 01, 2015. The delay places many physicians in a difficult position of deciding how much time to invest, the amount of financial and staffing resources physicians continue to dedicate to this process, and the ultimate transition as they press forward with their ICD-10 readiness.

The short answer is to absolutely continue with planning and preparation. To what extent varies based upon what each physician or practice has accomplished to date. The recommendation is to continue to prepare and to handle your due diligence as this transition will most definitely come to pass. However, you have been granted more time to prepare, which will ultimately prove to serve most practices well and allow time for better understanding and the ability to implement the necessary changes as well as educate your staff at a more highly informed level.

Capitalize on the ICD-10 Delay and Focus on 6 Key Areas

1. Training

Invest your time and assets with a reputable resource to handle an ICD-10 impact assessment. You will need to identify your staff that will require training, as well as  the specifics of what they need to focus upon.

2. Vendors

Talk to the software vendors you are currently using within your practice and evaluate their readiness and determine how this impacts the software. Obtain their plan, and ensure they will be in full compliance. In addition, speak with your insurance carriers to determine their readiness as well.

3. Systems

Identify the systems and applications in your organization that will be affected by the ICD-10 transition. Review each step from scheduling to billing and determine where ICD-10 will impact your practice.

4. Documentation

Be sure that your analysis includes a review of all internal office forms, super bills, encounter forms, charts, etc.  Physician documentation is an important component for a successful transition. Make sure your doctors are well trained and documenting with the granularity that is  required for success.

5. Cost

Be sure that you obtain a solid impact assessment; one that can be used as a guide in making informed decisions for your ICD-10 budget, for planning and preparation, and finally implementation.

6. Staff

Work with your staff that will handle and deal with the impact the most to ensure that they are a part of the process, understand clearly where the changes are housed and can ultimately carry out the changes necessary within their role.