The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has been sending out a newsletter on ICD-10 transition for over a year. The tone of that newsletter is beginning to change as we move into a countdown that is less than one year long.
What could possibly be the big deal? This is a question that many have asked, but until you assess your own practice or organization, you will not know. It is crucial that you begin to do this if you have not already done so. The impact in your organization may be minimal; on the other hand, it may be huge.
Here’s where to start. CMS has a large quantity of Provider Resources. This document is an Introduction to ICD-10: A Guide for Providers. Medscape has provided A Roadmap for Small Clinical Practices as well as a Small Practice Guide to a Smooth Transition. Both of these are continuing education programs aimed at small practices across many specialties.
If these resources do not appeal to you, or you think there is nothing for you to be concerned about in this transition, think about what happened earlier this year when we transitioned to a few new ICD codes that included compound codes for the first time for many types of providers. Did you experience an interruption in your cash flow? Now think about all the payers with whom you deal. How many of them will be completely ready to receive your claims with the new codes? How will you know whether to use the old or new codes? Can you count on your clearinghouse? your software vendor?
My take on this transition is that you must count on yourself. You must be prepared. No one else can do this for you. If you have not yet begun, now is the time to start.
Please share what your organization has done to begin the process of transition to the ICD-10.