Remember the Y2K scare? For medical practices, the anticipation around the ICD-10 transition has been just as tense.
See also Medical Practices
After multiple delays, on October 1st, the switch was flipped to the new medical condition classification list. The code set includes more than 14,400 codes and permits tracking of many new diagnoses. Hanson & Co works supports medical practices with accounting, tax and business planning services is following the ICD-10 transition closely.
ICD-10 Disaster Averted
Armageddon appears to have been largely avoided with most practitioners coping with the new set of codes. Most practices and medical companies have dedicated coders on staff. All practices must have continual training on billing codes as changes are ongoing. Although this doesn’t directly impact patient care, it is time consuming for all practices, and accuracy is a must. Accurate coding for procedures is the ultimate responsibility of the physician, and penalties can be extremely large—thousands of dollars. With ICD-10, one practice estimated that it now takes an extra 60-80 minutes per 12-hour shift to enter the appropriate codes. Many practices outsource coding with the transition to ICD-10, but ultimate responsibility for coding remains the same.
This extra coding time elevates provider concerns that they are losing the personal connection with patients by spending so much time on each visit staring at the screen. Time that used to be spent speaking directly to patients and patient care-givers is now spent entering codes which could have impacts on medical compliance and patient retention. In fact, SERMO, a social media network for doctors asked members if the ICD-10 transition was taking time away from patient care just one week after the cutover, and 86% of respondents said “yes”.
Administrative Burden Increased
For family practices, the breadth of conditions they treat is enormous. This can make the challenge of learning the new system seem overwhelming. The transition for medical specialists is somewhat easier as they often encounter the same types of codes over and over again, condensing the learning curve for the transition to ICD-10.
No matter where you sit within the medical ecosystem, the transition to ICD-10 is not an easy one. If your practice is struggling or looking for additional assistance, then Hanson & Co wants to help. For additional information on the ICD-10 transition, please call us at (303) 388-1010, or click here to contact us.