Preparing for ICD-10

The transition to ICD-10 is scheduled to occur on Octo- ber 1, 2015, and the cost to practice could be significant. While another delay could happen, it is unlikely and does not justify the risk of being unprepared. A study by Nachimson Advisors, that was commissioned by sev- eral specialty groups, estimated that the cost to small practices could be as high as $27,000 per provider. These costs included:

Increased Documentation Costs ………………$14,000 per provider General
Cash Flow Disruption …………………………..$6,500 per provider
IT Costs …………………………………………….$2,500 per provider
Process Analysis ………………………………… $2,300 per provider
Changes to Superbills ……………………………$950 per provider
Education …………………………………………..$800 per provider

Preparing for these changes will be important. Here are steps that providers should take to minimize costs and ease transition:

• Get organized and gather resources, including Training Presentations, Manuals,   ICD-10 Codes Sets, Quick Reference Guides, and Sample letters.

• Assess ICD-9 use in your practice and communicate with insurance payers,   EHR Vendors, clearing houses, etc.

• Inform and Train your staff – have a meeting with your staff, informing them   of the changes, explaining the new rules, and open a dialog for discussion and   strategy.

• Create a project team – put someone on your staff in charge of implementing  the transition, work with them, and regularly check progress.

• Budge for the change – consider the costs mentioned above and consider  setting aside some cash reserves or getting a line of credit.

• Improve your documentation – ICD-10 is much more specific, health plans   have spent millions preparing for the change, and will require more thorough   records.

• Update your superbills – look at redesigning your superbill and converting   your most commonly used codes from ICD-9 to ICD-10.

There are tools for this   like www.icd10data.com  • Test claim submission – check with your payers to see when and if they will   conduct ICD-10 testing and participate in that testing if possible. ICD-10 will be a major change to the way you practice, but taking some basic steps can make you much more prepared for the transition and help save your practice thousands of dollars in cost. OBS is ready to help and has materials available at: http://optometricbusinesssolutions.com/Products.html.

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