ICD-10 Challenges Behavioral Health Providers

I have had a difficult time getting started with blogging this year. I have been struggling with finding a topic that I really wanted to address. So I have been actively avoiding the reminder in my calendar to ‘write blog’, sticking my head in the sand just a bit.

Trust our customers to come to the rescue.

I was told by both Seth and Trish that several customers have called this week with questions about what we are doing about the transition to the ICD-10. That is in spite of the fact that our last two newsletters have been filled with information about just that topic.

Synergistic Update | December 2013 is primarily about the ICD-10 transition, while in Synergistic Update | September 2013, the ICD-10 is our lead story. 

Perhaps I am not alone in my ostrich-like tendency!

What worries me most about the fact that some of our customers have not noticed these stories is that it is possible that the cash flow of provider organizations will be affected by this move to ICD-10 codes, at least initially. While the process of implementing the codes is not likely to be a very difficult thing for behavioral health organizations, it is definitely a huge matter for 3rd party payers of every stripe. You may need to be prepared with a short-term loan or line of credit in case your payers really bungle the transition!

So, please inform yourselves about this migration, how it will impact you, and what you need to do to get your organization ready for the change. You can view a webinar that was provided by the National Council in late January: Transitioning to ICD-10: Why It’s Important to Behavioral Health Providers and How to Prepare. You can attend (online or in person) CMS’ eHealth Summit on ICD-10 on February 14. Or, you can read the volumes of material provided by CMS at their website. Feel free to access some of the links in our newsletter stories as well as previous blog articles.

We may not always be successful, but we do make an effort to communicate early and often about matters that affect the practices of those we serve and their ability to obtain reimbursement for their services. Please take advantage of some of the many resources available to learn about and help you prepare for this transition. If you do not use our software, communicate with your own software vendor to learn about how this affects you. If you do use our software, read the articles in our newsletters so you will be ready when the transition begins!

Please feel free to share how you and your organization are preparing for the move to ICD-10.




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