ICD-10 Training Should Top Your To-Do List

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Karen Utterback By Karen Utterback 
Former Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, McKesson (Retired)
ICD-10 Training Should Top Your To-Do List

A last-minute amendment last year to legislation regarding the sustainable growth rate for physicians, delayed the implementation of ICD-10 coding for one year, with a new deadline set for October 1, 2015. But this year’s permanent fix, signed by President Obama in mid-April, contains no such language.

Nearly every aspect of your operations will be affected by the transition, notes coding specialist Sharon Molinari, RN, HCS-D, HCS-O. Molinari was the guest speaker at a recent DecisionHealth webinar for McKesson Homecare™ customers on ICD-10.

A change of this magnitude certainly takes ample planning and care to pull off successfully. Molinari suggests that organizations treat the transition as an opportunity to conduct a thorough assessment of agency operations, including:

  • Internal and external processes
  • Organizational policies
  • Staff
  • Technologies

Based on the outcome of that assessment, the organization can determine its current level of efficiency and compliance and develop an improvement plan. “Any operational or clinical weaknesses or inefficiencies that currently exist will be magnified with the transition to ICD-10,” Molinari says.

Because the home health industry operates on 60-day episodes of care, organizations should be prepared to dual code by August 3, 2015. Hospice organizations should be prepared to dual code by July 3, 2015 for a 90-day episode of care. According to guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), claims beginning prior to October 1, 2015, and ending on or after that date will use M0090 (Date Assessment Completed) to determine whether ICD-9 or ICD-10 codes should be used. ICD-10 codes will be required for claims reimbursement or patient discharges or services dates starting on October 1.

Organizations should be actively preparing for the changeover. They also should be checking with key vendors that also will be affected. McKesson Homecare™ and McKesson Hospice™ already feature the ability to dual-code, giving your coding staff ample time to practice in anticipation of the October 1, 2015, changeover date.

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