October 1, 2014 is an important date in the healthcare industry, and it is approaching fast. Physicians eligible for participation in the EHR Incentive Programs will face Medicare payment adjustments if they haven’t demonstrated meaningful use of certified EMR technology by that date – and it is also the deadline for medical professionals to start using ICD-10 codes. Working with a Minnesota billing service is one way providers can tackle the transition without feeling overwhelmed.
Many billing companies help ease providers’ strains by helping to establish conversion plans, conducting testing prior to the October 1st deadline, and even offering continued ICD-10 support. To ensure that that your practice’s revenue cycle management processes are not affected once the new codes go into effect, be sure to talk to your billing service or clearinghouse. Find out whether their systems can accommodate ICD-10 codes, when their upgrades will be completed, and when you can start sending transactions for testing.
In order to accommodate ICD-10 diagnosis and procedure codes, healthcare organizations will also need to make adjustments of their own. This includes conducting assessments of all health IT systems that might be affected by ICD-10 and carrying out necessary upgrades to ensure that the new coding system will function properly. Coding and billing staff will also have to be trained on working with the new codes in order to avoid cash flow interruptions.
The tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) includes:
- ICD-10-CM: the diagnosis code set that replaces ICD-9-CM Vol. 1 and 2
- ICD-10-PCS: the inpatient procedure code set that replaces ICD-9-CM Vol. 3
ICD-10 features 68,000 diagnosis codes and 87,000 procedure codes – a significant increase from ICD-9, which includes 14,000 and 4,000 codes, respectively. For many physicians, just looking at the numbers can be overwhelming. However, the good news is that many of the codes are only slightly different. For example, the only difference with approximately one-fourth of ICD-10 codes is that they specify the side of the body. Meanwhile, another fourth of codes differ in how they distinguish between:
- Initial encounters (i.e. initial fracture)
- Subsequent encounters (i.e. follow-up of fracture healing normally)
- Sequelae (complications or conditions that arise as a direct result of an injury, disease or event; i.e. follow-up of fracture with malunion)
Is your healthcare organization looking for a Minnesota billing service that is ready to start working with ICD-10? Contact us online or call 480-821-1371 to speak with one of our expert representatives.