ICD-10 Implementation: How to anticipate what needs to change

Carl Natale
by Carl Natale

Hopefully I have persuaded you that the change from ICD-9 codes to ICD-10 codes is big. But it may surprise you to learn it may be less intimidating than you think.

For example, you're not going to have to be responsible for remembering thousands of ICD-10 codes. Your practice tends to deal with a subset of the possible diagnoses. "When you look at most practices, they deal with but a few hundred diagnosis and procedure codes," says George Eleftheriades, chief technological officer of MD On-Line.

[See also: ICD-10 Training: The good news is that mappings can help]

Start with the diagnosis codes that your practice bills 80 percent of the time. These are the diagnoses that you can start translating to ICD-10. And this is going to tell you a lot about how big of a change your office can expect:

Comparing the differences in the codes will also give you a better idea of the scope of changes that will require your attention in both your medical billing and in-office processes overall. These may include changes to clinical documentation, encounter forms, and quality and public health reporting. The business office of a practice or facility must identify potential changes to work flow and business processes. Pre-authorizations and treatment plans may require additional diagnosis documentation to specify the detail of the patient’s condition(s). Superbills may need a face-lift. Assess whether the documentation currently in your medical records system will support the level of specificity necessary for ICD-10-CM.

via Ramping Up For ICD-10 Coding In Your Medical Billing – Part 2: GEMS and More | Medical Billing Software | Kareo.com.