This article appears in the February 2014 issue of Managed Care Contracting & Reimbursement Advisor.
The move to ICD-10 threatens to create billing chaos for physicians, which could in turn create serious financial problems for practices. One of the best ways to avoid problems is to make sure your billing staff know the many, many new codes and how they are applied differently than ICD-9 codes, so you need a specific plan for educating staff about ICD-10.
But wait before you get the staff together for a PowerPoint®. Timing will be essential to an effective education program, so you might want to put your plan in place and then wait for the right moment to pull the trigger.
Educating your staff is crucial because the current 18,004 billing codes will expand to 155,000 codes with ICD-10 on October 1, 2014. In addition, the codes will be linked to disease processes and anatomy in a way they were not previously, requiring a more in-depth understanding by the biller. There are many education options already in the marketplace, including consulting companies, CMS, the American Health Information Management Association, and the AAPC.