August 14, 2014

New ICD-10 Implementation Deadline Allows Time to Prepare

On July 31, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a rule finalizing Oct. 1, 2015 as the new compliance date to transition to ICD-10. The additional year allows health care providers time to become proficient in the use of ICD-10 before the transition date.  Prior to 2014, ICD-10 resources for providers were only in development.   Now there are many resources such computerized coding systems (encoders) and billing software that can utilize the ICD-10 codes to calculate payment under the Medicare Severity Diagnosis Related Groups (MS-DRG) system.  

ICD-10 is very complex and requires additional knowledge of human pathophysiology and surgical techniques to identify the most appropriate and accurate codes to submit on the claim.  Because of the high complexity, learning this new system will take education and practice. 

All health care providers are encouraged take this additional time to educate, practice and audit using ICD-10 codes at least a few accounts per week by each coder until July 1, 2015.  Beginning in July next year, health care providers are strongly encouraged to dual code (in ICD-9-CM and in ICD-10) 100 percent of all encounters.  Audit the accuracy of the ICD-10 codes assigned by the coders at least quarterly and provide feedback to the coders.  Any unresolved questions regarding ICD-10 should be submitted to The Editorial Advisory Board of Coding Clinic for ICD-10-CM/PCS to resolve. 
For those who have not begun ICD-10 training for coders and clinical documentation improvement specialists, FHA has a series of nine webinars on the use of ICD-10-PCS (AHIMA approved for 9 CEUs) and a series of 10 webinars on the use of ICD-10-CM (AHIMA approved for 20 CEUs), which may be licensed to a provider for internal education.

These basic to intermediate webinars provide clinical information, the official coding guidelines, and practice exercise in the use of ICD-10.  Additional educational resources including on-site seminars and ICD-10 coding audits and mentoring are available from FHA.  For more information, contact Barbara Flynn, vice president for health information and denial management services, at (407) 841-6230.