The American Medical Association and special interest groups have been lobbying efforts to delay the compliance date; however, it seems that ICD-10 won't be delayed again. Recently Congress refused to extend the deadline until 2017. Even CMS has conducted the first phase of end-to-end testing successfully with the providers, confirming the readiness of the healthcare industry to move forward.
Considering the large amount of data gathered from the providers during the internal and acknowledgement testing by the CMS, it seems that 2015 will not be a repeat of 2014. Here are a few predictions for ICD-10 that medical practices need to be aware of. Being prepared for these predictions will not just ensure a smooth transition but also reduce the risk of claims denials and revenue disruptions.
- It is being predicted that successful, end-to-end testing of the new coding system will create a momentum, ruling out potential attempts to halt ICD 10. Currently there are plenty of pro-ICD-10 interest groups including the federal government and health insurance industry that are in favor of implementing the new coding system in 2015. Last year, the lack of end-to-end testing performed by the CMS went into the favor of ICD-10 lobbyists. However, the first round of end-to-end testing has been successfully done this year and practices will have to prepare for the second round which is scheduled from April 26, 2015 to May 01, 2015
- ICD-10 will push the demand for experienced and certified coders. In order to survive revenue disruptions, resources need to be spent on hiring or training the existing coders and billers. With the approaching ICD-10 deadline, salaries for certified coding professionals have increased at an average of 8.4%. To hire a CPC-I certified coder; practices may have to pay a salary of approximately $76,021 annually
- Since ICD-10 will get implemented as per the schedule, practices and hospitals that relaxed their implementation efforts in 2014 will have no choice but to ensure readiness as soon as possible. Small practices that have been the slowest in getting onto the ICD-10 bandwagon will have to ensure a smooth transition by addressing issues such as reduced coder's productivity
- ICD-10 will have a positive as well as negative impact on medical practices. Providers who haven't yet performed an analysis of their processes and systems at their practice are likely to face negative consequences
- According to the industry experts, majority of payers will be ready to receive ICD-10 claims; however, practices will start experiencing revenue disruptions from early November
Thus, taking a note of these ICD 10 predictions may help in streamlining your billing and collections process along with preparing for the expected revenue loss.
About the Author:
Jessica Parker is a Consultant & Healthcare expert at MedicalBillersandCoders.com
. Her 10 years of expertise in the said field makes her a well-informed professional.
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