The healthcare industry is moving full steam ahead on implementing ICD-10, now just a little over a year away from its October 2015 deadline. While adding the upgrade's tens of thousands of new codes to a practice's chiropractic EHR software will undoubtedly help improve patient care experiences and even reduce costs, it's not an easy undertaking by any means — which is partly why ICD-10 has been delayed so often already.
Clinics looking to successfully make the jump to ICD-10 next year without causing any serious disruptions to their workflow should consider these three suggestions from Medical Economics on how to best prepare for the new coding system:
- Address staff needs: Make sure to thoroughly train staffers on the ins and outs of the system. Submitting the wrong diagnostic codes or incorrectly filing claims forms can spell a number of logistical headaches for your practice otherwise.
- Focus on the most pertinent codes first: No one is going to master all 155,000 of ICD-10's new codes right out of the gate. Spend the bulk of your preparations on just getting down the most essential codes first, and then work out from there.
- Start now: Since the deadline is set for October 1, it may be tempting to think that you can put off ICD-10 preparations until maybe next summer. But as Kevin de Reginer, president-elect of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, points out, ICD-10 is "such a radically different coding system from what ICD-9 is. There's going to be a pretty steep learning curve." The more time you give yourself and your staff to learn the ropes of ICD-10, the better equipped you'll be to integrate it into your administrative duties come next October.
The best chiropractic EHR software can help bring any practice further into the 21st century and facilitate a smooth transition to ICD-10.