APMA News - February 2011 - (Page 42)

I Coding Update I The ICD-10-CM Timeline: Your Checklist for a Successful Conversion By Paul KinBErg, dPM Chair, aPMa Coding Committee On October 1, 2013, ICD-10-CM will become the standard diagnostic code set in the United States. As you’ve read in previous issues of APMA News, you do not have the luxury of delaying until then all that you need to do to get your office and staff ready for what will be a major conversion from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Given the significant changes that will need to be made, at your earliest convenience you should contact your current software vendor or billing service to ask about plans to update software and train providers and their employees on integrating ICD10 into their practices. If your software vendor has not seriously begun laying out plans for the conversion, you might want to prod that vendor into action. There are many issues you need to cover. Previous articles in APMA News noted some of the changes in ICD-10 compared to ICD-9. ICD-10 diagnosis codes have a minimum of three characters and, more importantly, a maximum of seven characters. None of the ICD-10 codes look even remotely like ICD-9 codes. You need to ask your software vendor (current or future) if its software can handle the additional characters. Because ICD-10 implementation will be for dates of service beginning October 1, 2013, your software or billing service must be able to handle ICD-9 and ICD-10 coding sets through the transition period. Keep in mind your office will need to be able to file (or refile) claims with dates of service prior to October 1, 2013, using ICD-9 codes, while billing new claims after September 30 using ICD-10 codes. Will their software be able to handle more than 70,000 new codes integrated within practicemanagement and electronic health record (EHR) systems? Because ICD-10 makes wider use of alpha characters within its coding scheme, your software needs to be able, according to CMS, to handle and recognize those alpha characters in either upper or lower case because the codes are not case-sensitive. In addition, you should ask whether your vendor will integrate the ICD-10 codes into your system or require you to do so manually. Some key questions for your vendor are: • • How much does your vendor expect to charge for the change-over to ICD-10, or will the cost be included in your yearly maintenance fee? Will the accounts-receivable and EHR programs talk to each other and be compliant with one of the health information technology (HIT) certifying groups? There are now three HIT certifying groups: Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) of Chicago; the Drummond Group of Austin, Texas; and InfoGard Laboratories, Inc., of San Luis Obispo, Calif. If you want to know which HIT programs are certified, visit http://oncchpl.force.com/ehrcert. Early Staff Buy-in It’s not all about you, doctor. Your staff also will be using ICD-10 day in and day out. How do you plan on preparing your employees for the change? The conversion will be stressful for staff and doctors alike, guaranteed. APMA will continue to roll out articles aimed specifically at “do’s and don’ts” regarding preparation for ICD-10. With more than two years before the change, you have time to make ICD-10 training a programmed, gradual process rather than a radical immersion. Start the educational process by giving your staff copies of the APMA News ICD-10 articles to read. Discuss how the changes will affect your office—learning new codes, understanding how to bill using a new system, developing a new charge ticket, and interfacing with payers specifically about policy-coding changes using ICD-10. APMA and other credible organizations will develop lecture series, seminars, workshops, and webinars on ICD-10. Make sure your office is well represented at these events so your staff can follow the changes, ask the right questions, and be one step ahead of the curve. You might wish to check with your hospital, individual practice associations, and other management groups regarding what they plan to offer in the way of ICD-10 education. • • It Won’t Be Free, You Know Like all good things, there will be a price tag associated with your conversion to ICD-10, and you will need to budget for it. The costs will in all likelihood include a software upgrade (or switching to new software), possible hardware updates, staff training, and purchase of educational materials. Can the vendor comply with the total ICD-10 conversion process prior to the go-live date? By what date will the vendor have made all its necessary changes to accommodate ICD-10, and will that date be at least six months prior to the go-live change-over to ICD-10 (i.e., before April 1, 2013)? 42 APMA News l February 2011 http://oncchpl.force.com/ehrcert

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of APMA News - February 2011

APMA News - February 2011
Contents
In Short
President’s Message
A New Era in APMA Communications
Model Fee-Parity Law Now Available
Looking Forward to 2011 with ASPS
Nadia Sadeghi: A Long Road to Podiatric Medicine
Destination Boston: 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting
Annual Scientific Meeting Registration Form
Insurance Advisor
2011 Call for Awards Nominations
Members Who Know Media
CPME Update
Federal Advocacy Forum
Young Members Update
Coding Update
Talking Practice Enhancement
IT Consultant
New Members
Death Notices
In Memoriam: John Carson
Worthy of Note
Resolutions Submissions
Development Update
APMAPAC Update
Classified Advertising
Dates to Remember
Advertising Index

APMA News - February 2011

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