The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced on April 9, 2012, that they will delay the implementation date for ICD-10 from October 1, 2013 to October 1, 2014. This will give providers and other covered entities an additional year to prepare for ICD-10.
Many industry groups had fought the October 1, 2013 implementation date citing the undue hardship it will place on provider offices. ICD-10 is not just a set of numbers that need to be placed on a claim in order for the claim to be paid. ICD-10 will impact every aspect of the provider’s office, from documentation to billing. Providers and their staff will need to refresh their anatomy skills to be able to document the specificity that is required by ICD-10. Billing and coding staff will also have to be able to choose the correct diagnosis code from a code set that is expanding from approximately 13,000 codes to over 68,000 codes with ICD-10. EMR and practice management software will also have to be updated to handle the expanded code set of ICD-10.
All of the issue that are associated with ICD-10 implementation will put a burden on provider offices financially and time wise. There will be the added expense of education, updating software, training of staff and loss of productivity during the transition.
Providers will have to take the added time to be very specific in their documentation, billers and coders will also have to take added time to determine the correct ICD-10 code to use. Even if the provider’s office is coding and billing correctly, the insurance carriers could cause a delay in payment if they are not up to speed on the changes.
Here at Superior Medical Billing Solutions we are in agreement with CMS’s decision to delay the implementation date for ICD-10 by one year, but we are not delaying our training and education. We are still educating our billers and coders in anatomy and physiology and are training with the draft of ICD-10 to make sure we are prepared for our providers when ICD-10 is implemented. If you have questions about ICD-10 and would like honest answers, please give us a call at 888-520-9330. We are always willing to help you to make sure your medical practice is up to date on all changes affecting your practice.