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November 3, 2015

How Are Providers Handling ICD-10 Implementation?

November 3, 2015

Medical Billing Services

ICD-10 implementation has come and gone with the October 1st deadline, and so far, providers are caught up with staying ahead of the formidable task of ensuring payments and accurate claims in the face of an unprecedented change.

ICD-10 brought with it 68,000 diagnosis codes and 76,000 procedure codes that are required for billing and coding. Even though ICD-10 has been delayed twice by the Obama administration – giving providers time to get up to speed – many providers didn’t attempt to prepare themselves until it was almost too late.

As a result, there are already stories of providers who weren’t prepared and were caught by the new changes, resulting in errors and delayed payments.

Dealing with the Expected Unexpected

Since ICD-10 implementation has been in the works for years, most providers were at least aware of the new changes.

However, the expected resulted in unexpected difficulties associated with handling such a large volume of new codes (even the silly-sounding ones like W59.22xS – struck by turtle).

Prepared providers are largely handling the transition in stride. At Athenahealth in Boston, for example, there have been fewer than 500 rejected claims out of over a million submitted. The agency chalks this up to fire drills that the company was able to run during the run-up to ICD-10, thanks to two delays in implementation.

Still, there are providers who are still struggling with the changes, primarily with getting used to the new codes and ensuring accuracy that is critical for getting paid on time by insurers.

This is the first time that health care systems, insurers, Medicaid, Medicare, and providers all had to go through such a widespread change all at the same time. There are bound to be inefficiencies and errors.

How many errors one encounters - and how they deal with the unexpected – depends on how one is equipped to handle the transition.

Handling ICD-10 Implementation the Professional Way

The most successful providers are those who turned their billing and coding over to professional vendors who specialize in the field, and thus have been prepared for ICD-10 implementation for some time.

Not all vendors have handled preparation the same way, of course; even some billing experts were caught unprepared. But at Medical Business Management, we have been preparing for ICD-10 for quite some time and are adept at catching mistakes before they turn into costly errors and delayed payments.

Contact MBM for more information on transitioning into the new world of ICD-10 with as little stress as possible.

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Birmingham, AL 35216
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