Our team of industry experts possess a deep understanding of healthcare IT as well as its practical application in physician offices. We are dedicated to providing our customers with expert support throughout the transition process.
The International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Modification or ICD-10-CM code set is used to classify and report diseases in medical records and on claims. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandated the replacement of the ICD-9-CM code sets used to report healthcare diagnoses with ICD-10 codes.
The transition will require a significant effort to implement.
October 1, 2015
ICD-10 introduces over 55,000 new diagnosis codes to clinicians. It increases the number of codes from 14,000 to roughly 69,000. The increase in codes will allow practices to code to higher levels of specificity.
ICD-10 diagnosis codes provide much greater clinical detail than it’s predecessor. The U.S. government hopes to improve health outcomes by providing healthcare professionals with a more specific and precise system for clinical documentation.
Their hope is that this will result in more efficient and accurate payer reimbursements for medical services rendered.
In addition, ICD-10 is designed to improve statistics that are used to determine healthcare costs.
Ambulatory providers will use ICD-10-CM, while hospitals will use both the ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS code sets.
Internally, work with your vendors to gain experience with their ICD-10 functionality. Find out what their testing process will involve and when testing will be available.
Practices will need to conduct ICD-10 testing with all external organizations with whom they exchange data. Some vendors (such as clearinghouses) may perform testing on your behalf. Check with your vendors on their plan.
Coders and billers need training to learn how to code correctly with ICD-10 and to understand changes to payers’ documentation requirements. Staff should crosswalk frequently used ICD-9 codes to ICD-10 codes to create cheat sheets in advance of the transition.
This will help them get familiar with both the mapping process and the ICD-10 codes they’ll be using most often. Mapping, however, only serves as a guide. Over 70% of the coding translations using General Equivalence Mappings (GEMs) need to be adjusted for accuracy.
Coders will need sufficient documentation and training to enable them to identify more precise codes.
While it is possible that ICD-10 might get delayed again in 2015, that doesn’t really seem to be the case so far. In 2014, multiple initiatives had been introduced early in the year to block the implementation of ICD-10.
In 2015, very few proposals have been introduced. It certainly does seem to be looking like ICD-10 could really happen this year. Either way, it is still wise to be prepared.
Your coder needs details. Here are some questions doctors should ask themselves when charting:
Azalea Health will provide many helpful tools that will enable a practice to implement ICD-10. As a software vendor, Azalea will provide the following:
The transition to ICD-10, with its expanded code sets, will have a significant impact on physician practices, payers and vendors. These coding changes will affect medical coding operations, software systems, reporting, administration, registration, and more. It is crucial that you stay on track with your transition so you don’t experience backlogs, denials, and impacts on revenue.
The most important step you can take to prepare for ICD-10 is using an ICD-10-ready solution. The Azalea Health team is focused on having its solutions ready to help you succeed in your transition.
Is your team ready for ICD-10? Take this online quiz to test your ICD-10 knowledge.
Azalea Health’s products are ready for this stage of ICD-10 preparedness. Our team of experts are also ready to answer your questions and help you to prepare for the transition.
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