In 2008, Nachimson Advisors published a landmark paper projecting the cost of implementing ICD-10 in physician practices. On February 12, 2014 an updated study was published with additional details and revised projections. The study projects total ICD-10 costs to range from $21,000 - $82,000 per provider.
Given the letters CMS sent to AHIMA and AMA last month, it seems clear there is no intention to delay the ICD-10 conversion again. With less than 7 months before October 1, 2014, the time to prepare is now. Preparation involves more than just system upgrades. Practices need to consider how physicians will be impacted, specifically in the areas of charge capture and documentation. Then take the next step to determine how changes in those two areas will impact the revenue cycle.
Carl Natale of ICD-10 Watch wrote an article recently discussing the trends to watch in 2013 when it comes to preparing for ICD-10. He makes the point that one of physician’s greatest complaints about ICD-10 is surrounding the time and money it will take to make the conversion to ICD-10. A physician’s time is money, so as with most things, it comes down to the cost as compared to the benefit (be that literal or perceived). Most physicians would argue, from their perspective, the benefit does not outweigh the cost.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) announcement of a proposed rule that would delay ICD-10’s implementation compliance date by a year—to October 1, 2014—has allowed the industry to sigh with relief. However, there are reasons for the delay. If indeed the industry was unprepared for the 2013 transition, perhaps as a result of the unfortunate yet educational 5010 transition difficulties, action should be taken now.
CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner hinted at a delay in ICD-10 implementation when speaking to an AMA meeting on Tuesday, February 14, 2012. Rather vaguely, Tavenner said CMS would “reexamine the timing” of ICD-10 implementation. Two days later Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius removed all doubt when she stated that HHS “announces intent to delay ICD-10 compliance date.”
As you prepare for the ICD-10 changeover on October 1, 2014, what will you do with your paper superbill?
Rhonda Buckholz, vice president of ICD-10 training and education for the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), addressed the American Academy of Otolaryngology (AAO) last week during the Annual Meeting and Expo in San Francisco. Ms. Buckholz explained that the forthcoming change from ICD-9 to ICD-10 will have a substantial impact on the entire practice.