Hospitals and medical practices have less than a year to get ready for ICD-10. And, that time is going to pass quickly. There’s no reason to be sitting around in denial, hoping to somehow avoid it.
Here are five major reasons that now is the time to start preparing for ICD-10 if you haven’t already.
ICD-11 is Based on ICD-10
ICD-10 is not the final coding change coming. Someday, you'll be preparing for conversion to ICD-11. But ICD-11 is based on ICD-10, so consider ICD-10 a kind of preview for an even bigger change coming down the line.
ICD-10 is not based on ICD-9 -- it's a total conversion, not an addition or enrichment. You need to prepare for the switch now.
ICD-9 is Out of Room
It can be easy to forget that ICD-9 is actually several decades old. Because of the way it’s set up, there isn’t any room to expand or create a more granular level of data. It’s simply not as useful as it used to be. Changes in technology, reimbursements, diagnoses, disease research and treatments have all made it necessary to add more information to an aging system that's now simply too small to be useful.
Conversion Will Take Time
Denial means delay -- if your practice is dragging its feet on conversion, it needs to snap out of it now. It’s vitally important that you have plenty of time for training and practicing coding claims in ICD-10. Even doing a few charts a month can help everyone make the switch when the time comes. Have someone analyze results to see where your employees need more training throughout the coming months.
Data Will Become Useless Without ICD-10
The longer you go without converting to ICD-10, the less useful your data will become. Not only is ICD-9 out of room, it’s out of date. Keeping records in an outdated system will hold your practice back and can even put your patients in harm’s way if doctors and nurses are making decisions with inaccurate data.
You Could Face a Cash Crunch
When ICD-10 is implemented on Oct. 1, 2014, there are likely to be glitches. There may be delays in reimbursement, so your practice may need to have some savings built up to make sure it can absorb any shortfall while things get sorted out.
You’ll want to do as much work as possible on the front end with training and education to make sure you’re ready for the switch, but after you’ve become compliant, keep an eye on the books, too.
Remember, it’s impossible to extend the life of ICD-9. You have to make the switch. If you haven’t started, you really should now.
You still have time to prepare for ICD-10, but the latest HIPAA regulations have already gone into effect. To find out all you need to know sign up today for our Nov. 13 webinar on HIPAA risk assessment.
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.