Mitigating Delays When Using ICD-10

Mitigating Delays When Using ICD-10

When the new medical billing coding system, ICD-10, goes into effect, it is expected that there will be delays in processing medical claims on both ends. That is by those companies submitting them to payers and by payers reviewing them and possibly rejecting them due to errors. The new medical coding system is highly refined, exacting, and complex.

Massive efforts are underway to try to make the transition as smooth as possible. What can your medical practice do to help lessen any possible delays in the processing or your claims and in your appeal of claims that are at first rejected?

Know the New System

It’s important that you and anyone who will be dealing with the new system understand how it works and the manner in which the new coding system is so exacting. It’s been expanded for two major reasons. One has to do with the fact that there are so many new medical procedures that have been developed in the almost 40 years that ICD-9 was instituted. They had to be added.

The other reason as to why there are so many additional codes is connected to the refined manner in which ICD-10 works. It is now used to define in detail diagnosis and procedures, with the numbers to the right of the decimal being associated with this new exactness. These numerals may describe a specific location of the body being treated, a detail regarding an injury, or another detail of a condition or treatment.

You can’t know every code or everything about the new system, but understanding how the codes that you are most likely to use work will go a long way towards helping you provide the information necessary to properly complete a claim.

Training, Training, and More Training

When it comes to understanding ICD-10, the more training you can get the better off you will be. Also, with that training, any practical experience that you can garner in using ICD-10, the more competent you will be when it goes into use on October 1, 2015. Here are a few examples of what people are doing in terms of training:

• The World Health Organization (WHO) is offering a ICD-10 free training tool
• Enroll in ICD-10 Training Classes online
• Hire a Consultant to work with your practice
• Begin filing dual forms that use both ICD-9 and ICD-10

Check Your Work

Once you begin working with ICD-10, you should triple-check your work. If you have outsourced your medical billing and coding to an independent company, you should still have your information checked in-house before sending it to them. Whatever leaves your office and is to be used in completing an insurance claim form must be checked carefully and numerous times.

Hire Experts

If you are handling your medical billing and coding in-house, you may want to consider going with outsourcing. This is especially true if you feel as if the transition will be too much. The other option is to hire more people in-house. You’ll need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each option. The fact is when October 1, 2015 comes along, you want to be as ready as possible for the transition, and that means working with medical billing and coding professionals who are ready for the challenges.

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