In our last post, we looked at how providers can develop an implementation strategy, including an assessment of the impact of ICD-10 on their organization. This post will explore other key ICD-10 transition steps after your initial assessment.
Start by contacting your business associates periodically to follow up on their readiness status. This includes payers and system vendors. Ask them for updates regarding their ICD-10 transition process and any changes to their readiness timeline. Also, along with your coding staff, continue to increase your familiarity with the ICD-10 code sets and the associated coding guidelines. Inpatient coders should start familiarizing themselves with ICD-10 definitions, such as root operations and approaches.
Next, complete any tasks identified during your impact assessment, including implementing system changes and completing internal testing of system changes. Once vendors, payers and other business associates are ready for testing, begin the testing process and modify or develop policies and procedures from your initial assessment.
Also, start to educate other individuals in your organization (besides coding staff) identified during your assessment. Educate these individuals about differences in the classification of diseases and procedures in ICD-10 and what their role in the ICD-10 transition process will be. Continue to modify the ICD-10 project plan and timelines as needed and assess the quality of medical record documentation. If medical record documentation is lacking, implement documentation improvement strategies and monitor the impact of these strategies. Lastly, this stage should include assessing the potential reimbursement effect of transition; communicate with your payers about these anticipated changes.
Stay tuned to the ICD-10 Implementation Is Less Than A Year Away: What You Need To Do To Be Ready series to learn more tips for a successful transition to ICD-10.