As the ICD-10 deadline inches closer, it is important that providers are using the resources available to them to ensure that they are well-prepared for the implementation process. Just a couple of months away now, the deadline seems as if it will take place on Oct. 1 like it is supposed to. With the number of codes being greatly expanded compared to the original number of ICD-9 codes, health professionals should be well into the preparation process to avoid potential setbacks. There are a few resources in particular that providers should take advantage of if they have not already.
What are the best ways to prepare for the ICD-10 deadline?
All aspects of the health care industry, from health providers to payers, will be impacted by the introduction of the new codes. A recent white paper entitled “Data Impact Across the Enterprise” written by consulting firm Kiran Consortium Group emphasized the fact that to meet the compliance date, the entire sector will have to effectively prepare for major changes to their practices’ data.
As the switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 will affect the way health information is handled across the industry, the report discusses the importance of having an efficient Data and Information Task Force to establish effective plans to help providers transition to the new codes. The task force should focus on the areas of patient registration, administration, reporting, billing, health information management and clinical data entry. The white paper also highlighted that health professionals should have already completed basic training and preparation. They should be well on their way to testing their electronic health record systems to identify any bugs.
To do so, there are several resources available to guide providers. For example, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ ICD-10 Implementation Guide offers essential suggestions on how to design, plan, analyze, test, develop and implement EHRs that are compliant with the ICD-10 codes. Similarly, the World Health Organization’s ICD-10 Training Tool Translation Guide will provide tips for the preparation process.
Organizations provide testing methods and readiness tools
Advancing the Business of Healthcare is another organization that has provided resources for the industry. Online training courses that take around 16 hours to complete are available for providers who can take them at their own pace to increase convenience. The course involves case studies, evaluation exams and tools designed to assist health professionals in meeting the certification requirements before the ICD-10 implementation date.
For a more interactive experience, the Massachusetts Medical Society has offered its ICD-10 Toolkit featuring videos and tutorials as well as guides and checklists. The combination of tools may be one of the best options for providers who feel that they are a little behind in the preparation process. Similarly, Emblem Health, a medical insurance company, has made several podcasts, training courses and preparedness assessment guides available for those looking for some extra assistance during the preparation process.
“As time compresses, you have to cut back on the things you’re doing,” Jim Daley, the past-chair of Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange and the co-chair of the WEDI ICD-10 Workgroup of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, told RevCycleIntelligence.com. “The first thing you’d better be doing is making sure your own shop is ready. Don’t worry about what the other people are doing.”
The Navicure infographic called “Sink or Swim” offers a step-by-step approach to preparedness for providers who may prefer making a checklist of important tasks to complete as the deadline approaches. There are eight steps, including creating an effective team, establishing a firm budget, conducting a gap analysis, assessing all relevant documents for accuracy, updating EHR systems and other health IT, training staff, generating support and performing tests to ensure overall success.