6 Key Considerations When Revising Your ICD-10 Timeline

June 21, 2014
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ImageThere have been numerous delays to the implementation of ICD-10. These delays have caused frustration but they have also created windows ofopportunity for healthcare practices and businesses of every kind.

ImageThere have been numerous delays to the implementation of ICD-10. These delays have caused frustration but they have also created windows ofopportunity for healthcare practices and businesses of every kind. There are several issues to consider while you readjust your ICD-10 timeline once again.

Key Considerations for Your ICD-10 Timeline

  • Stay on Course

If you have already done a lot of work and have nearly prepared your practice to accommodate the earlier start date, then it is not necessary to change course.  You can keep on preparing and simply be ready early.  This will give you plenty of opportunity to make the minor changes that will certainly need to be implemented before the final date is reached.

  • Reduce Risk

Any transition of this magnitude, even in terms of paperwork, poses significant risk to your business.  Misapplication of the new coding not only threatens lost income but an assortment of other administrative and even legal issues.  Use this new delay in the compliance date to reassess your plan and ensure that everyone knows what is going on.

  • Create a Testing Phase

If your business is like most, you make big plans for preparation but often find yourself getting things done at the last moment.  This latest delay is an excellent opportunity to test your implementation before you actually put it to work.  You can no longer say that you did not have all the time that you wanted to prepare your staff for an ICD transition.  There are clearinghouse test exchanges set up to receive claims and provide feedback.

  • Train, Train, Train
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A major complaint of many people directly involved in preparing for ICD-10 compliance is the amount of training needed for staff to implement it adequately.  Computers will accept the new parameters almost instantly, but education always takes time with your personnel.  This latest delay should provide more than enough time to train everyone in a thorough fashion.

  • Adapt Your Technology

Obsolescent technology is a burden for companies both big and small, especially during such transitions.  Technology has a short lifespan and this compliance delay has probably eclipsed at least one cycle of technology replacement in your office.  This issue is problematic because you probably began to prepare for ICD-10 with a different set of computers or software.  A lot of businesses are just now beginning to integrate mobile devices into their work culture.  This delay gives everyone a chance to ensure that all their devices are in sync with regard to ICD-10.

  • Investigate Costs

The purpose of these codes is to enable you to communicate with CMS and bill them appropriately.  The costs of preparing for compliance have already eaten into your profit margin.  Use this extra time to analyze just how much this transition will cost before the compliance date finally arrives.  This will help you adjust your finances to the full expense.

The delay in ICD-10 compliance is simultaneously upsetting and liberating.  Use the freedom to prepare your business and be more than ready when it is time to initiate the new codes.