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help doctors receive proper payment and ensure that their reputation remains in good standing, wrote Mike Patel, CEO of Meditab Software, in an article published on the Advance Healthcare Network website. With the importance and significance of this transition, Patel said, it’s crucial that providers are amply prepared.

TIPS TO ENSURE ICD-10 READINESS AND MAXIMIZE INCOME

Here is a checklist of 14 tips from the experts to get on track with ICD-10 compliance and maximize revenue along the way. Experts include Patel as well as Robert Tennant, Health IT policy director for the Medical Group Management Association, and such online sources as Physicians Practice and Peoriamagazines.com. 1. CREATE AN IMPACT CHART: Practices should create an

impact assessment chart and capture key information in a spreadsheet including the area impacted, needed changes in workflow, how the new system will impact assigning of code, vendor information, and contingency plans. 2. TRAINING: To maintain their certifications, all medical coders must take a minimum number of ICD-10-specific CEUs before the compliance date. To ensure that your staff is adequately trained, the experts suggest conducting a gap analysis to determine your team’s knowledge of medical terminology, pharmacology, pathophysiology, anatomy, and physiology and review samples from different types of medical records to see whether the current level of documentation contains enough detail for ICD-10 coding. Physicians also have a learning curve, and those with specialty tools will be in the best position to make sure they aren’t negatively impacted financially. 3. TEST, TEST, TEST: Make sure your staff is up to speed and practices with active claims by coding them in the old system and the new to see if they are getting the right information. 4. CLEAR DOCUMENTATION: Ensure that your patient records are clear and complete in order to submit accurate claims and avoid delays in payment. 5. COST-EFFECTIVE RESOURCES: Visit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website as a resource. cms.gov/Medicare/Coding/ICD10/index. html?redirect=/icd10

Consultants advise doctors to keep three months of cash flow in reserve to prepare for any delays in pay as ICD-10 implementation gets closer.

6. SOFTWARE: In addition to impacting practice systems and electronic health record software, the move to ICD10 may require that practice software needs to be updated or replaced. To do this takes time and resources. 7. REGULATIONS: Know and identify all other regulations and changes so you won’t get behind as you approach ICD-10 implementation. 8. FILTERING: Filter out the codes you will be using the most for greater efficiency. 9. COMMUNICATE: Ensure clear communications with payers and clearinghouses to ensure that the system is ready to go, and ask if they are ready for the transition as well. 10. PAYERS: Find out if payers have adopted contractual changes regarding coding specificity that could affect how you process claims.

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