As you know, ICD-10 conversion is slated for Oct. 1, 2014. Most health care organizations are well underway in their conversion process; less than a year is really not that long to prepare for the conversion if you haven’t started.
Part of the preparation needs to be an end-to-end internal test to make sure you’re ready for the new standards. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, which is overseeing implementation of ICD-10, has provided information on how to conduct end-to-end testing.
Here’s an overview:
LEVEL 1: Twelve months from implementation
- Identify all the areas that will be affected by an ICD-10 conversion, and develop a project calendar that has all the deadlines highlighted. Put together a communication plan and project budget to ensure you have the funding you need to implement ICD-10.
- Identify all partners, vendors, processes and systems that use ICD-10 and review how you currently document clinical information. Develop a backup plan in case of any delays on either end. Schedule training for those who need it.
- Put together a list of “mission-critical” partners and determine when and how you will test readiness together. Testing must verify implementation of ICD-10. As you perform Level 1 tests, review the result, address issues and update your plan. Develop a timeline for system and hardware changes that may be needed for new software.
- Determine how you will monitor ICD-10 documentation of claims and reimbursements after the transition.
LEVEL 2: Six to 12 months from implementation
- Finalize training plans for staff members who use the coding. Upgrade and install any systems necessary for end-to-end testing. Then ensure that software is compliant with ICD-10 and that all ID numbers are accurate and you are connected with your vendors.
- Perform testing with mission-critical partners to identify any issues, gaps or problems.
- As you make changes, put together a process to make sure that employees are informed and trained in on new workflows, processes and upgrades.
- Keep project documentation updated as needed.
LEVEL 3: One to 6 months from implementation
- Work with internal teams or software vendors to finalize the switch to your new system and identify when all upgrades and installations will be completed. Wrap up any end-to-end testing as needed.
- If it looks like you or your partners are going to miss the deadline, document reasons for the delay and estimate a date when you will be ready for the transition. Put your backup plan into action as needed.
- Complete and verify any software installations still needed, and then run tests to ensure it operates as expected.
- Observe workflows and processes to confirm they perform as expected and make changes as necessary. Adjust your post-transition plan for monitoring ICD-10 claims and reimbursements if needed.
- Compile documentation of your end-to-end testing process, write necessary reports and implement a monitoring plan to ensure compliance.
As you know, ICD-10 conversion is a serious undertaking. For more information, check out the CMS page dedicated to end-to-end ICD-10 testing for a detailed look at how your organization should be approaching the transition.
If you're looking for more in-depth help with your ICD-10 preparation, we've partnered with Precyse University to offer training at a discount.
Logan Solutions uses a combination of clinical practice expertise and technological skill to help physician practices throughout the U.S. implement, customize and improve their ERM and Dragon Medical software systems. Contact us to find out how our clinical-practice expertise can help your practice with its clinical documentation software needs.