Making the most of the ICD-10 delay

Here are a few suggestions for capitalizing on the ICD-10 delay.

Here are a few suggestions for capitalizing on the ICD-10 delay.

Earlier this spring, when Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a year-long delay for ICD-10 — from October 1, 2014 to October 1, 2015 — the healthcare industry's reaction was split. Some providers hailed the move as a necessity that would offer more breathing room, while others derided it as yet another hiccup in a long-delayed process that is only undermining efforts to bring chiropractic EHR software up-to-date. But regardless of which side of the debate you fall on, the fact of the matter is, ICD-10 implementation isn't due to occur for over another year — and that can't be helped. What can be helped, though, is how your practice does or doesn't take advantage of this extra time.

According to Healthcare Informatics, here are a few areas of ICD-10 adoption that your practice should continue to work on in the year ahead:

  • Dual coding: By next year, ICD-9 will finally be a thing of the past. But at the same time, you would be hard pressed to find a clinic that will be able to really hit the ground running with ICD-10's tens of thousands of new codes. Dual coding can keep your practice's recordkeeping on track while helping your staff become more comfortable with the new options provided by ICD-10.
  • Protect revenue cycles and workflow: As the source notes, over 80 percent of ICD-10 participants believe that ICD-10 is going to have a detrimental impact on their practice's revenue cycle. But being proactive in mapping out workflow diagrams and investing into the proper chiropractic EHR software can help ensure a smoother transition from one coding system to the next, with minimal effect on daily workflows and, consequently, revenue.

You don't have to like the ICD-10 delay, but you can use it to your advantage in updating your clinic's chiropractic documentation software to prepare for the coding upgrade next year.

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