The transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 has been thirty years in the making. The United States is the last major world leader to implement the new system for Medical coding. Larger providers types such as hospitals have readily embraced the timeline for ICD-10 implementation and appropriated resources to help ensure that systems are in place for the conversion from ICD-9. Many resources abound and not a day goes by that one does not receive an email announcing yet another webinar, toolkit, etc. to help with readiness. Some have speculated that the October 2014 implementation deadline would be delayed yet again due to the recent focus on the implementation of ACA requirements. But it appears that the ICD-10 implementation is on track and that providers need to board the train.
Facilities that have not established an Implementation strategy and timeline need to take the following steps:
• Establish an ICD-10 Implementation Team, including leadership of your organization
• Empower members of the team for decision making authority in managing the implementation project
• Establish an ICD-10 Implementation Timeline for your organization and then monitor progress in meeting the deadlines developed as part of your timeline
• Develop a budget that addresses expenses for items such as software upgrades, training and resources
• Sign up for list servs and newsletters which provide the latest information regarding the implementation requirements and timeline
• Engage your partners, vendors, physicians and clearinghouses to determine their preparedness for ICD-10 Implementation, including testing of hardware and software
• Review and revise internal policies and procedures related to the transition
Identify commonly used ICD-9 codes and begin to explore related ICD-10 codes.
Identify and update paper and electronic forms to accommodate the ICD-10 code structure.
Schedule ICD-10 training for clinicians, office managers, billers, coders, and other key staff.
The transition to ICD-10 is expected to happen as planned. Will you be ready? If your organization follows the guidelines above, you should be ready to embrace the transition with minimal angst or anxiety, unlike the preparation fears for Y2K.