Transitioning to ICD-10 is an intimidating process, but it doesn’t have to be. Clear, concise instructions are available through several different resource avenues. To ensure that your practice is ready for the transition, you can utilize the following checklist that outlines readiness tasks.
Hopefully you and your staff have become acquainted with the ICD-10 and the many changes that will affect your practice. New, higher level documentation and reporting standards are required in order to properly code for visits and procedures. Appropriate ICD-10 codes used with CPT codes will optimize reimbursement and facilitate a smooth and profitable stream of revenue.
- Locate, and have at the ready, all ICD-10 resources. This should include resources from CMS, vendors, payers, AHIMA, and trade associations. Have any and all resources handy to reference when needed.
- Be sure that all essential personnel have gone through ICD-10 education and training. Anyone that has not received training should do so immediately. Check CMS resources for help.
- Physicians and Nurse Practitioners should meet to go over documentation standards and the need for increased specificity and the focus on laterality. In order for medical coders to accurately code claims, the documentation must be specific and complete.
- Make sure that your office has a plan of action that details responsibilities, expectations, and the need for open communication between office members.
- Designate an office ICD-10 implementation project manager. A chosen staff member can be a wonderful resource that monitors relevant websites (CMS, Trade Associations), similar specialty webpages, blogs, and Facebook pages, and any other newsletters or sites that may provide information on experiences and best practices that can benefit your practice.
- Share your own experiences and best practice conclusions with others. We are all in this together.
- Testing…Testing. Choose a day, or even a week, to test your compliance readiness through free testing resources found through CMS, vendors, payers, and trade association sites.
For guidance relative to claims processing and billing refer to the CMS website frequently asked questions for help. The CMS FAQ can be referenced at ww.cms.gov/Medicare/Coding/ICD10/Frequently-Asked-Questions.html.