Practices: Stop stalling on ICD-10

Although the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) set October 1, 2015 as the official compliance date for providers and payers to transition to ICD-10, many physicians have not taken advantage of the extra time to get ready, according to an article from MedPage Today.

With the original deadline extended and CMS waiting months to set the new date, physicians are "saying, 'Why should I invest because they're moving the date every year,'" Robert Tennant, senior policy advisor for the Medical Group Management Association, told MedPage. "And then there is the problem of vendors not being ready--the vendors don't want to invest much either, thinking the date may never stick. It's a terrible situation."

But the idea that the deadline will move again is a myth, according to CMS, which recently announced three different testing weeks designed to validate providers' ability to meet "technical compliance and performance processing standards" during implementation.

In addition, Tennant suggested practices conduct the following inexpensive forms of in-house testing to determine their readiness:

  • Review your current documentation of several cases--either before or after claim adjudication--to assess whether it includes enough information (e.g., whether an injury is to a patient's right or left side) to assign an ICD-10 code.
  • Evaluate "from stem to stern" which of your IT systems will be affected by the switch. Examples of systems that may need to be replaced or upgraded include practice management systems, electronic health records or clinical trials software. As part of your selection process, seek systems that may further automate certain office functions.

To learn more:
- read the article