Steps to Assess How the ICD-10 Transition Will Affect Your Organization
Although the final rule on the proposed ICD-10 deadline change has yet to be published, it is important that agencies continue planning for the transition to ICD-10. The switch to the new code set will affect every aspect of how agencies provide care, from registration and referrals to software/hardware upgrades and clinical documentation.
A critical step in planning for the transition is to conduct an impact assessment of how the new code sets will affect agencies. Impact assessments should include:
Documentation Changes: Agencies need to consider the increased specificity of ICD-10 codes compared to ICD-9 codes, and ensure that patient encounters are documented with appropriately comprehensive clinical descriptions.
Reimbursement Structures: Agencies should coordinate with payers on contract negotiations and new policies that reflect the expanded code sets, since they can affect reimbursement schedules.
Systems and Vendor Contracts: Ensure vendors can accommodate ICD-10 needs. Find out how and when your agency's vendor plans to update existing systems. Agencies should review existing and new vendor contracts and evaluate vendor offerings and capabilities against the organization's expectations. Work with vendors to draft a schedule for needed tasks.
Business Practices: Once ICD-10 is implemented, agencies will need to determine how the new codes affect the processes for referrals, authorizations/pre-certifications, patient intake, physician orders and patient encounters.
Testing: Work with vendors to determine the amount of time needed for testing and schedule accordingly.
ICD-10 will affect nearly all agency operations, but with a thorough impact assessment, agencies can keep day-to-day activities running smoothly during the ICD-10 transition.
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