Don’t Keep Hitting that ICD-10 Snooze Button

Just about a month has passed since CMS announced the delay of the deadline for implementing ICD-10.  Is ICD-10 transition still at the top of your organization’s to-do list?  With so many competing initiatives and projects, some organizations may be tempted to push ICD-10 aside to deal with later once their workloads lighten up.  Well, we all know things aren’t going to lighten up anytime soon.  Don’t let the delay of ICD-10 deadline sidetrack your efforts to prepare for the transition…stay the course!  If organizations wait any longer to prepare for the transition, they will not be ready by 2015.

The transition to ICD-10 is not just about implementing the thousands of new codes.  It’s about clinical documentation. Clinical documentation improvement (CDI) is paramount in capturing the specificity required to assign the correct ICD-10 codes. Providers will need to present a story of a patient’s visit from admission to discharge, and their documentation will be the key to sending out accurate claims and optimizing the revenue cycle.

There are steps you can take now to pave the road to ICD-10 documentation and coding improvement.  A critical first step is to perform an ICD-10 Readiness Assessment that includes looking at how and where ICD-9 diagnosis codes are currently used.  By evaluating your current documentation, you will discover deficiencies and identify education needs.  After completing this assessment, you will have a better idea of what work will need to be done, and use that information to help create your ICD-10 project plan.

There is no way to avoid the costs that will come with transitioning to ICD-10, but implementing a clinical documentation improvement plan now will result in savings in the long run.  An ICD-10 assessment serves a dual purpose, as it will also identify opportunities to improve your current ICD-9 workflows.  Improving on ICD-9 deficiencies such missed charges, improper modifiers and incomplete documentation now can improve your cash flow, putting you in a better financial position during the transition.  Having your coders and providers trained early will allow organizations to recoup their losses much quicker than waiting until closer to the deadline to get started.

Galen Healthcare Solutions is here to assist your organization in performing your ICD-10 Readiness Assessment and develop a detailed Roadmap and project plan.  Our experienced project managers are available to guide you every step of the way, while our CDI experts work with your providers and coding staff to optimize your documentation workflows.

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