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.

Natale points out that what physicians really want are “innovations that simplify the business of healthcare for less money”. In other words, solutions that will allow physicians to keep up with the mandates being forced upon them, but in a way that is not completely disruptive to their everyday practice, established workflows or seemingly shrinking paycheck.

ICD-10 threatens one of the most simple, yet productive tools for physicians – the paper superbill. When it comes to the superbill, physicians have developed a strong muscle memory after decades of use.  Most can mark the form with their eyes closed – circle E/M code, circle procedure code, flip, circle diagnosis, circle diagnosis, circle diagnosis – done. Charges marked and submitted in a matter of seconds.

Given the sheer increase in the number of ICD-10 codes as compared to ICD-9 codes, unless physicians are willing to carry around a 10+ page superbill or a magnifying glass to read the small font, the trusted paper superbill is going to become virtually extinct. Just to further prove the point, an analysis of the ICD-9 codes on the average paper superbill (by specialty) and the subsequent conversion to ICD-10 codes yields the following results:

SpecialtyICD-9 CodesICD-10 Codes
Cardiology 178430
Family Practice229829

Have you started to consider how ICD-10 will affect the charge capture process in your office? 

White Plume offers solutions to help physicians re-think the charge capture process, while preserving their productivity and revenue cycle efficiency – all for a price that won’t break the bank.