Find-A-Code Focus Newsletter

ICD-10 Implementation Practices; Assign a Project Manger!

September 11, 2014

The new ICD-10 interim final rule is expected to be released in the near future by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).   It requires the use of ICD-10 beginning October 1, 2015. You will continue to use ICD-9 CM through September 30, 2015. Claims will not be accepted with ICD-10 prior to this date.

Be prepared! Create your implementation plan so your Go-Live date will be as stress free as possible; keep your cash flowing by doing your part. ICD-10 actually has the potential to increase your overall reimbursement if done properly and you are organized.

#1 Assign a Project Manager. If you already have a Project Manager, Congratulations! Hopefully this will help to avoid losses and negative impacts. Your Project Manager should be a part of the below team that is determined and motivated; they will be key to a successful transition and ensure training for the rest of your staff as they are integrated into the events. Your team should include:

Senior Mgmt • Compliance Officer • Coder • Billing • Revenue Mgmt • Info Technology

Communication and Strategies is the most important parts to ensure everyone is up to date on the implementation progress. Develop an action plan, set goals and determine which ones are realistic and in what time frame. Be sure they are measurable, expect accountability and follow up. Meet regularly; chart your goals and deadlines. I suggest you start with Pre-Implementation Preparedness. Begin with your team members evaluating their segment of their current tasks. Keep in mind your GO-Live date is non-negotiable. Therefore; there will be no such thing as a phased approach.

  • Get on top of your work flow processes to get everything as current as possible. Expect to pay additional salaries to get caught up on any back logs. This will help with the stress of working through the new processes without the pressure of back logs hanging over your staff.
  • Train and problem solve with your task force. This is the time to re-evaluate, train, acquire lost capital and manage with a new perspective.
  • Get assertive with your AR, work all denials to minimize occurrences. Don’t forget provider contracts and automate your front desk to ensure co-pays and deductibles are being collected up front, as well as possibly altering or re-evaluating your schedule for time sake (this will be imperative to ensure your patients are satisfied and work flow is not jeopardized).

ICD-10 is a huge shift of how conditions are described; so obviously there will be a significant impact on everyone involved, our technology, our processes and partners in healthcare. Everything will be re-defined. You must start with the element you have control of. Payers are working diligently to prepare for their part and if you are not ready, you will see a significant reduction on your reimbursements.



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