Start Small When Preparing for ICD-10 Conversion

James Smith
November 22, 2011 — 1,198 views  
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Familiarize yourself with the top 30 diagnoses which you think your practice sees and you'll get an edge towards compliance.

If you've studied the ICD-10 book, you know that it would be virtually impossible to remember all of the codes that it has. But preparing for ICD-10 won't need you to even learn the codes by heart.

Switching from ICD-9 to ICD-10 will not require practitioners to or memorize new code sets--in fact, most practitioners perhaps don't know many ICD-9 codes by heart, so they won't be expected to memorize ICD-10 codes either.

What do physicians need to do for the conversion? To prepare for ICD 9 to ICD-10 conversion, doctors will need to look at the codes they use most regularly in their offices and make novel job aids or superbills for those procedures.

Strategy: Use your list of the top diagnoses that your practice sees to find the corresponding ICD-10 codes, and you've got your cheat sheet. Then, make sure that your coders are well-trained, that your claims are necessarily form 5010 compliant, and also that your claim submission system supplier is ready for ICD-10. Besides, in case you have an electronic medical record or you are planning to get one, ensure that it can handle ICD-10. If you're planning to bring in an EMR, you want to convert to ICD-10 first, not bring one in under ICD-9 and then convert.

Physicians should tighten up documentation: As is the case under ICD-9, coders will be unable to bring together ICD-10 codes from a physician's documentation if it isn't detailed and comprehensive, so physicians should take this as an opportunity to enhance their documentation skills. Coders cannot code what's not present in the medical record. Because there are more opportunities for coders to choose from a list, they're going to be coming back to physicians early on to say 'Wait, I need more definition to help me pick A or B.'

Non-Medicare Payers, Too, Are Prepping for ICD-9 to ICD-10 Conversion

CMS has no plans of postponing the implementation of ICD-10 beyond Oct. 1, 2013. However, not all entities are prepared for the ICD-9 to ICD-10 conversion

Starting July 2011, 11 state Medicaid programs are at high risk for not meeting the ICD-10 implementation date, though 21 states are at moderate risk, 15 are at low risk, and four states have not told CMS as to where do stand in the process.

Interestingly, many non-required entities like workers compensation programs and property and casualty insurers are also working towards ICD-9 to ICD-10 conversion. Besides, keep in mind that CMS is very close to determining how to process claims that span the ICD-10 implementation date.

The above ICD-10 information is brought to you by Click here for more information on ICD-9 to ICD-10 conversion.

James Smith

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