ICD-10: Mitigating Risk for Doctors

ICD-10: Mitigating Risk for Doctors

With the required implementation of ICD-10 finally occurring on October 1, 2015, after years of delays, medical doctors find themselves having to deal with a mountain of new codes. It’s anticipated that mistakes will occur in coding, as there are not only new codes for procedures that did not exist back in1978 when ICD-9 was put into use, but there are often numerous physicians billing servicesub-codes that need to be selected when an injury or illness occurs and services are performed and procedures utilized.

The new codes are very specific regarding treatment in terms of what type of service is rendered and, also, concerning what part of the body is being treated, what type of condition is being addressed, and how often treatment has been adminstered. This new system is so detailed and expansive that it is bound to create confusion amongst those utilizing it for the first time. For any medical practice or associated business that is required to use such codes, lessening the risk associated with misappropriation of ICD-10 codes is important to the fiscal health of their enterprise. Here are four strategies that doctors can use to help facilitate proper reporting and documentation in relationship to the ICD-10 coding system.

Special Training Sessions

Even if you have taken your medical billing and coding out of house, doctors, nurse practitioners, and anyone in the practice who deals with medical coding will need to be trained. Trying to implement the new coding system without training will lead to delays in your ability to communicate the correct information your medical billing and coding personnel and that will hamper their capacity for successfully filing a claim. That can result in a major slowdown in terms of the processing of payments from insurers that you need.

Document Specifically and Habitually

It is very important that those who interact with patients take the time to properly document that interaction. Documentation with ICD-10 is much more specific that it used to be with ICD-9, which means that physicians will need to make major adjustments regarding how much information they record. Also, it’s essential that information be recorded in a timely manner for the sake of accuracy and completeness. Some areas of reporting which doctors now need to concern themselves with include identifying injuries or conditions as to how often they are treated, the severity of such, what stage of care is being administered, and specific cause and effect scenarios.

Communicate with Coders

ICD-10 ConsultantsDoctors can greatly limit their risk in the implementation of ICD-10 by communicating in a timely, clear, and consistent manner with those performing the billing and coding duties. If there is a problem, often direct communication can save time, effort, and money. Ongoing and habitual errors need to be discussed with the focus on solving the problem in order to facilitate processing and receive payment from insurance providers.

Test Runs Are Important

It is very important that doctors and those on staff try numerous test runs utilizing the new codes. If this is done, potential problem areas, possible basic mistakes, and simple solutions may all be identified before the October 1, 2015 implementation deadline for ICD-10. Taking the time to learn about ICD-10, adjust your procedures for recoding information, and communicate with all involved in this new system will greatly lower your risk of having to endure slow payments, file appeals, and deal with possible audits.

Not only is MPMR an expert medical billing an coding company, but they also provide expert ICD 10 consulting and implementation services. The company will help you increase both revenue and efficiencies. Call us today!

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