ICD-10 Can Be Predicted

ICD-10Bill Spooner’s comments in today’s CHIME SmartBrief reminded me that ICD-10 can be predicted. While we may not be able to forecast every issue or outcome, we know the date of the impact, the primary areas of impact, and many of the tools that should be in our toolkit. Depending on how far along you are with your ICD-10 remediation initiatives, you probably know a few additional factual impacts that are specific to your organization.
What are the tools in your toolkit? Here’s a few of our suggestions:

  1. Money: Whether this tool is in the form of a cash reserve, line of credit, or contractual agreement, there is no denying that one of the known impacts for which we can prepare is cash flow. ICD-10 will critically impact reimbursement activities and you should have a tool on-hand just in case issues surface.
  2. Back-Out Plan: We’ve all experienced last minute delays and grace periods with previous government initiatives. Although I believe October 1, 2014 will remain a solid date for ICD-10, there’s nothing wrong with having a tool that can help you “reverse” your data (i.e. re-generate claims in ICD-9 for a brief period) should you experience an “allowable” fallout due to a delay or grace period.
  3. On-Call Staff: There are many points in the process where delays can, and will, be experienced. If you are able to predict exactly where your delays are likely to be experienced (i.e. coding, charting), then you can put specifically skilled on-call staff in your toolkit. If you can’t predict where your delays will be experienced, flexible on-call staff or contractual arrangements may be in order. Whatever the case, we know we’ll need additional folks to help complete the process.
  4. Data Analysis: The general impact of ICD-10 on diagnostic categories and specialties is known. Your billing and documentation challenges with ICD-9 are likely known (or reasonably surmised). As a result, you should be able to forecast the additional data analysis necessary to monitor your risk after go-live. The bottom line is you’ll need to complete data analysis, and you should have a tool ready to assist.

As you continue down your ICD-10 path, don’t forget to keep your eye on tools you need in a foundation toolkit. Best of luck with your efforts!