This article appears in the July, 2014 issue of Managed Care Contracting and Reimbursement Advisor.
With the ICD-10 transition delayed until October 1, 2015, physicians have more time to assess their switchover programs and look for weak points. Working with referral partners is likely to be a shortcoming for most physician practices, and the ICD-10 delay means you can fix the problem.
Coordinating with referral partners will be especially important for specialists who get their patients from another resource, says David Zetter, founder of Zetter HealthCare in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and a member of the National Society of Certified Healthcare Business Consultants. He is a certified coder and certified auditor for medical coding.
"Whoever is calling to make that referral or to transfer the care of that patient needs to provide the best diagnosis code," Zetter says. "The best strategy is to determine how each person in your practice now touches ICD-9 codes. The person in your office who is taking that phone call or referral needs to understand what information they need from that referral partner to make sure that diagnosis code is accurate as possible and includes all the information."