The clock is ticking and as of this Tuesday ICD-10 conversion is a year away, which made the major change in medical coding a hot topic this week. Larger health systems are reported to have the resources to prepare for the conversation, while smaller systems and independent practices may face more of a challenge.
This week's Clinical Documentation News Roundup has the latest on preparation for the ICD-10 conversion.
ICD-10 Feature Story: Ticking Time Clock-or Bomb? from Health Data Management: "Experts concur that because ICD-10 reaches virtually every nook and cranny of the modern health care organization, its implementation needs the sponsorship - and budget - that only top executives can deliver. Even with that, industry progress on the transition is mixed at best. Among group practices, which lack the resources of larger health systems, the transition is well behind schedule, according to multiple industry watchdogs and associations. Even for those organizations that had set out to meet the 2013 go-live date, there are far more questions than answers. Here are some common concerns: Coder productivity, physician overload, insurers' payment plans, transition costs, cash flow impact, and perhaps biggest of all, trading partner testing."
Be a Winner in the ICD-10 Race from DotMed: "Cutting-edge and innovative IT solutions, powerful medical informatics, data analysis, and the increased diagnosis/procedure specificity with ICD-10, will assist in tracking disease patterns and clinical outcomes. This is most important as we move from the intervention model of care to a preventive population medicine model. The transition can be met with confidence with the right plan, responsive and prepared vendors, consulting services, and expert training, along with robust, well-designed electronic tools. Clinicians and provider organizations should begin planning and implementing a plan with hard deadlines and milestones in order to cross that transition finish line. Even then, the race is not over. Post-transition surveillance, evaluation, and interventions for problem areas will require additional work."
HRAA's Industry Pulse: One Year from ICD-10 Transition, Small- and Mid-Sized Hospitals Increased Staff Training Programs but Lag in Payer Preparations, Financial Modeling and Denial Strategies from Globe Newswire: "A recent survey of 200 hospital administrators, hospital health information professionals and compliance employees conducted by Health Revenue Assurance Holdings Inc., a leading provider of technology and revenue integrity solutions for healthcare organizations, found that exactly one year out from the transition, more hospitals are taking steps to prepare for the implementation of ICD-9 to ICD-10. While the results showed that hospitals are focusing on employee training, the survey also revealed that they are leaving their organizations exposed to massive claims denials when the transition takes effect. This is because they do not understand what ICD-10 codes will be accepted by the payers as it relates to reimbursement maps and diagnosis-related group (DRG) groupings. Additionally, they are lacking denial strategies and financial models to help them avoid what could be a colossal claims backlog post-transition."
ICD-10 to Take More than Hiring Consultants and Tech Vendors from Government Health IT: "The ICD-10 transition is more than just a wonderful opportunity for collaboration — the conversion will, in fact, necessitate collaboration. ICD-10 is a challenge that requires a great deal of changes. And it's going to take more than hiring a lot of healthcare vendors and consultants. They don't know everything. Here's the beauty of our healthcare industry. Someone has already made the mistake you're about to make. You can try to find those mistakes and learnings through social media. But separating the signal from noise will be tough."
Partner with Providers to Ensure ICD-10 Readiness from Fierce Health Payers: "As insurers prepare to switch to ICD-10, some are shifting their focus to coordinating with providers, particularly small to medium doctor offices, to ensure a smooth transition next year to the new code set, AIS Health reported. Particularly challenging to insurers is guaranteeing providers' ICD-10 systems are tested and ready to operate come the October 2014 compliance deadline. Insurers don't want the codes to cause them to pay too much for services, but they also want to ensure revenue neutrality for providers, David Barth, senior director of strategic development for Post-N-Track Corp., told AIS Health. Independence Blue Cross, for example, expects to be ready for the ICD-10 implementation despite the multiple changes to the rule, which as FierceHealthIT previously reported culminated in a one-year deadline extension, that affected its momentum. But the Philadelphia-based insurer is still concerned about whether its providers will be prepared."
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