October 1, 2015 – less than a month away and the ICD-10 transition will be one of the largest healthcare transitions ever seen in the US. The switch will affect all healthcare providers and patients – it is an across the board switch, so providers are all ‘in it together’ focusing on the switch and the planning the implementation. Despite many reports of ICD-10 being too difficult for physicians and staff to learn and too costly for practices, there are now reports surfacing from surveys showing that costs have been much less than anticipated and the new codeset easier to use than previously thought. One survey conducted by Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM) of 276 physician practices of fewer than six providers (published in the Journal of AHIMA) showed that total ICD-10 related costs for the entire practice averaged only $8,167.
One practice manager of a six-provider practice in Fredericktown, MO stated that since the delay on October 2014, she and her staff have been coding in ICD-10, using ICD-9 for billing only. She stated, “In fact, it’s probably simpler than ICD-9 because they are more clear.” And her experience matches other findings of PAHCOM’s ICD-10 survey. PAHCOM Director, Karen Blanchette, stated, “The PAHCOM survey is the most comprehensive and current data on ICD-10 implementation costs actually being incurred by small physician practices.”
Jim Daley, Director of IT at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and co-chair the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange says practices do not need to know all of the 68,000 ICD-10 codes as many of them are for hospital inpatient procedures, and that many offices may use as few as a dozen codes. Physicians don’t have near the expense that large medical facilities such as hospitals, and health insurance companies have due to the transition. And coding can be a snap with available codeset lookup resources.
With the deadline just over a month away and nothing appearing to be in the way of implementation, it’s crunch time for any offices still behind in transition preparedness. To get more information on making the switch 1,2,3 – read these handy whitepaper checklists. These whitepapers address training, hardware and software considerations, codes, lookup resources and more.
To view an ICD-10 checklist whitepaper for Lytec, please click here
To view an ICD-10 checklist whitepaper for Medisoft, please click here