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ICD-10 is Delayed – What Now?

On April 2, the ICD-10 compliance deadline was officially delayed until at least 2015. What does this mean for physicians?

ICD-10 is Delayed – What Now?

by Vlad Hurduc

On April 2, the ICD-10 compliance deadline was officially delayed until at least 2015.  What does this mean for physicians?  For one thing, it’s not yet clear if the new deadline will be October 1, 2015 or later.  The big question on physicians’ minds is what to do about training and conversion – should they go ahead with their original compliance plans, or put them off because the conversion now seems less urgent?  No doubt the ICD-10 delay offers more breathing room, welcomed by those who were less prepared, but we still encourage our clients to continue with plans and preparations in full force. 

What does a good ICD-10 preparation plan look like?  There are some important factors to consider, like validating favorable contracting and protecting yourself against revenue cycle delays.  At a high level, you may also want to:

  • Ensure proper training is being administered across the revenue cycle
  • Kick-off a dual coding plan to monitor coder productivity, so you can estimate potential delays
  • Ensure all IT systems are properly updated and tested from end to end
  • Be aware of updated payer policies as they come up, like new medical necessity rules, and update your IT systems and internal processes accordingly
  • Remove obstacles that may create confusion, such as out of date paper forms, process flows, and other artifacts 

We also recommend you ask your EHR vendors if they can provide the following:

  • Free training
  • Dual coding
  • Updated data and alerts specific to ICD-10
  • “Stops” at the clearinghouse

The ICD-10 conversion is a question of ‘when’, not ‘if’.  Despite this sudden delay, there’s no substitute for good preparation and staying ahead of the curve.

Better data ... better decisions ... better care