The shift from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is not easy. It is surely going to cause problems as it was witnessed in the case of Canada when it shifted to the new system. However, while our implementation deadline is just over 8 months away now, it is important to learn from the mistakes of our neighboring physicians made and prepare ourselves accordingly.
Let’s give you a few tips through which you can incorporate into your ICD-10 changeover plans in order to keep the cash flowing.
- Don’t search for crosswalks: Recently I spoke to an ICD-10 consultant who said that the new codes are too different for crosswalks and mapping to work and recommended focusing on native ICD-10 coding.
- Prepare for productivity drop: There will be a permanent drop in productivity. Make sure you are focusing on boosting productivity now using automation so your practice can handle the downturn.
- Delays and cost overruns are inevitable: It is important to realize that there will be delays. You should start your project now to leave yourself enough time.
- Documentation issues: Make sure you are providing enough documentation for physicians in order to help them shift to the new system.
- Help understand the scope: It is important to realize that it is not an IT project, nor is it a billing one. Everyone must get on board for the change and can be helpful in explaining the necessary changes to their colleagues.
- Give coders time to learn: Coders need time to get comfortable with the new system. Once they become comfortable with ICD-10, they will be more energized and professional to work on the new system.
- Share information: It is important to share the knowledge a practice develops throughout its locations. Sharing of knowledge is crucial to ensuring complete success to the new coding system.