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ICD-10 Survival: Five Tips to Weather the Transition

    • ISSUE-brief-4-Patient-Lab-Reports

      The much anticipated – and much resisted – transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is scheduled to take place on Oct. 1, 2015. Although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other payers have expressed their willingness to help physicians during the transition, the deadline remains in place.

      ICD-10 use is mandatory, and claims for services provided on or after Oct. 1, 2015 must include ICD-10 diagnosis codes. Claims will be rejected and you will not receive payment if you use ICD-9 codes for services provided on or after October 1.

      Much of the anxiety about the ICD-10 transition involves the potential for significant disruption to physician practices while they learn new coding and documentation requirements, make sure their billing and medical record systems can accommodate ICD- 10 codes, and update their workflows. Unfortunately, some disruption is inevitable, but there is still time for practices to take steps to manage the transition and minimize negative impacts to cash flow and revenue.

      1. Know your codes and get ready to document for a new level of specificity.

        The most important step you can take to prepare for October 1 is to be ready to use ICD-10 diagnosis codes. Although 68,000 separate ICD-10 codes may seem overwhelming, any individual practice will use only a fraction of those codes, and most practices will use an even smaller subset of codes on a regular basis.

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