Overall ICD-10 readiness of the industry is not on par according to a recent MGMA (Medical Group Managment Association) report. The cooperation it will take to meet the October 2014 deadline for the ICD-10 readiness (International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision) is hampered by an overall lack of communication between clinics and their clearinghouses, electronic health records and practice management vendors. In fact, according to the report from 1,200 medical groups only 4.8 percent of practices reported that they have made significant progress when rating their overall readiness for ICD-10 implementation. On top of ICD-10 changes are other federal policies and programs, such as health insurance exchanges and EHR incentive programs; each of which must be considered in planning.
A significant concern during the ICD-10 transition for mid-sized practices is cash flow. A recommended first step is identifying, reviewing and testing the top 50 codes that your clinic relies on. This will help ensure that core areas of your practice that regularly produce cash flow will be less affected. Secondly, budgeting for cash flow shortages as well as expected and unexpected system upgrades is a must. These system updates can be expensive with MGMA reporting the cost of transition for an average practice of 10 physicians to be in the area of $200,000. If considering implementing an EHR system it is best to get started early to have staff familiar with the functioning of the new system well in advance of the ICD-10 transition.
ORI has been reaching out to vendors who support the systems we rely on for our client services. Each vendor is being evaluated for areas of impact and readiness. Next steps are reaching out to begin assessing the level of preparedness and difficulty for each client in the ICD-10 transition over the next several months. Having a plan in place and taking action early will help ease the transition and provide opportunities for overall process review and improvement, which we expect will lead to long term efficiencies and increased cash flow for the clinics we serve.
Download our ICD-10 Overview presentation which provides a high-level review of ICD-10. It provides the information to get your non-technical clinic staff engaged and informed on the forthcoming changes. Additionally, read the white paper provided by Zirmed, one of ORI’s clearinghouses, for another perspective on ICD-10.
Presentation: ORI ICD-10 Overview
Zirmed White Paper: Countdown to ICD-10: Prepared for Success? Or, Prepared to Fail?