October is a month of change. The temperature starts to drop, leaves change colors, and for those of us in healthcare, the ICD-10 code updates are rolled out.

Being unprepared for these updates will have a destructive impact on your revenue cycle, including increased denial rates and a decrease in cash flow. Here are our tips for having a smooth transition into the new ICD-10 code updates.

Review the list of code updates

The first step to breezing your way through these ICD-10 updates is simple: read through the list. Take note of which coding updates are applicable to your practice. Being aware of what coding changes have been made is the first step to implementing the necessary changes to your coding process.

Although the amount of ICD-10 changes this year is less than in recent years, it is still an extensive list. However, we have made it easier for you. You can download our ICD-10 Update Guide here to get a look at what you need to know.

Add practice-specific codes to a list of favorites

Not all of the coding changes may affect your practice, but there will certainly be some that do. It is important to find out which coding changes those are, and then add them to a list that is accessible for your physicians and coders.

If your practice uses a rules-based technology, like White Plume’s AccelaSMART, you should update the rules to include those important coding changes. Once you have updated the rules, you won’t have to worry about remembering those coding changes—the technology will do it for you. Using this kind of software is one way you can make the ICD-10 update transition easier for your practice.

Don’t forget about deleted codes

Along with adding more specific diagnosis codes, there are 51 deleted codes, as well as 143 revised codes. Using these codes after October 1st would be a mistake and lead to denied claims. Make sure you pay close attention to the details of these coding changes and stop using the deleted codes after October 1st.

Use analytics to review current code usage

Take this opportunity with new coding changes to review your current ICD-10 code usage. With insightful analytics, you can evaluate ways that your current coding process may not be giving your revenue cycle the full advantage you could have. As you implement the new coding changes, make other changes that will benefit your revenue cycle as well.

While it may take some time to adjust to the changes that this latest update brings, we hope your practice will be one that stays above the curve. Download our ICD-10 guide for an overview of all the updates, plus helpful hints and tips for improving your revenue cycle.