In my travels throughout the country, I get asked a lot of questions. The hottest topic, by far, is ICD-10 and what it will mean to the average independent practice. To be candid, as Chief Medical Information Officer for MedcoData, it is my responsibility to speak with medical professionals regarding the various solutions we’ve designed to help practices transition to ICD-10. As such, I have a vested interest in making sure that you are properly forewarned of the implications associated with what could prove to be a very disruptive event for the average independent practice.
Regardless of my interests, though, you, as a medical professional, need to be acutely aware of how different your day at the office could be on October 1st if you haven’t taken the necessary steps to prepare. More importantly, you’ll need to be fully prepared for just how different the patient experience projects to be.
Here are just a few of the more significant implications of the roll-out;
- Physicians/clinical staff will need comprehensive training on coding
- Fundamental changes to templates, superbills, etc. will be necessary
- Interfaces may need to be re-written to accommodate codes
- Custom reports will likely need to be re-written
- Patient’s problem list & family-history must be updated to ICD-10 codes
- Cash flow may very well be a serious concern if you’re not prepared
As a physician, I understand the vital need for comprehensive and efficient processes when it comes to the management of a medical practice. As a business executive, I understand that no enterprise, much less a medical practice, can survive externally imposed changes to process without a plan. Likewise, no enterprise can survive a sustained downturn in receivables caused by the negative impacts of change, and this is likely the most significant issue of all. As you and your team adjust to the new ICD-10 reality, it is highly probable that fewer patients will be seen. Fewer patients equates to less revenue, of course, and so the need for preparation becomes clear.
For a great resource on all things ICD-10, please go to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website, cms.gov. Once there, you’ll have access to a number of great resources and articles on how to prepare for October 1st and beyond. There is a lot of information to dig into, of course, and very effective recommendations as well. If you’re curious or concerned about where to begin, or if you’re coming to the conclusion that perhaps you’ll need some expert assistance to get the job done, the following list of links will take you to the many solutions MedcoData offers to help the independent practice manage what may prove to be a truly challenging time.
As you’ll see when you go to the cms.gov website, the clock is ticking. If you think MedcoData may be able to help, give us a call today and breathe easier, knowing that our team of trusted advisors will be there for you every step of the way.
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