HHS Makes it Official: October 1, 2015 for ICD-10

The final push to ICD-10 – here’s how.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a rule finalizing October 1, 2015 as the new compliance date to transition to ICD-10. And this time, they mean it.

We understand. We all thought HHS and CMS “meant it” last time (October 1, 2014) and now you’re having déjà vu all over again. We all are. Will the delays in ICD-10 transition keep happening? We don’t think so and 14 months – to October 1, 2015 – will be here before you know it. Take advantage of the new, and we think “final,” window to successfully transition to ICD-10.

If you’re already on track for your ICD-10 transition, well done. If not, start your transition now so you won’t have to scramble next year.

ICD-10 is a good thing. Really.  ICD-10 provides key advantages over ICD-9. The biggest ones:

  • ICD-10 detailed history coding can help to you better coordinate care delivery for your patients across providers and over time
  • ICD-10 codes can provide better support for your patient care, while improving disease management, quality measurement, and analytics
  • ICD-10 coding improves numerous areas crucial to your practice success
  • Quality measurement and reporting
  • Detection and prevention of fraud, waste, and abuse
  • Greater accuracy of reimbursement for medical services

The bottom line? ICD-10 granularity will improve data capture and analytics of public health reporting while providing detailed data to enhance health care delivery and your practice. It will provide the detail needed for collaborative, accountable care and getting paid for performance.

Drilling down can lead to improved patient care and population health

The move to ICD-10 reflects a dramatic change designed to improve diagnosis and treatment of chronic illness while identifying underlying causes, complications of disease, and conditions that contribute to the complexity of a disease. Additionally, ICD-10 captures the severity and stage of diseases such as chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and asthma. It can also be helpful for your population health initiatives.

What do I need to do to get ready?

Stay calm, for a start. Don’t panic. Because you still have time to do this right. Here are some important tasks that can prepare your practice to smoothly transition to ICD-10.

  1. Prepare a project plan
  2. Budget for time and costs related to ICD-10 transition and implementation, including expenses for system changes, resource materials, and training
  3. Assess role-based training needs for entire staff
  4. Identify your current ICD-9 systems and work processes
  5. Identify potential changes to workflow and business processes for ICD-10
  6. Talk with your practice management system vendor about accommodations for ICD-10 codes
  7. Discuss implementation plans with all clearinghouses, billing services, and payers to facilitate a smooth transition
  8. Conduct test transactions using ICD-10 codes with payers and clearinghouses
  9. Begin implementation several months prior to October 1, 2015; consider dual coding for several months
  10. Ramp up and cut-over to full ICD-10; monitor success and adjust as needed

Some solutions to ease your transition

NextGen Healthcare is dedicated to ensuring your practice is ready to answer the ICD-10 bell in the fall of 2015. The ICD-9/ICD-10 Comparison Utility, 3M ICD-10 Online Education Program, and NextGen Healthcare clients, our ICD-10 Readiness resources are examples of multiple resources ready for you now at nextgen.com. Also, visit CMS.gov’s ICD-10 resource page frequently to view and use CMS ICD-10 transition resources and to review the latest updates.