Do you have an independent practice? Did you have a smooth transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10? If the answer is yes to both these answers, then that is awesome news. Especially considering that nearly half of independent physicians are turning to retirement as a possible post-ICD-10 option, according to the (Texas Medical Association) survey. Many physicians have been discouraged due to the frustration of embarking on a serious transition in how they document and represent healthcare services. Some, however, have found a sense of relief after noticing that most of their claims submitted have not been denied post ICD-10. If you have been on the other side of post ICD-10 anxiety and relief, it is important to remember that the denial rate may change as the ICD-10 “Grace Period” comes to an end. To keep you on this side of things consider the following tips for maintained success and relief with ICD-10.
Three Tips to Maintain Success With ICD-10 for Independent Physicians
Teach Yourself New Tricks
There is a common saying that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” this may or may not be true. However, you can teach an established physician new tricks. As an established physician operating an independent practice coming to terms with the changes in healthcare can be frustrating and discouraging at times. To stay above that frustration learn the tricks and benefits of your EHR system. EHRs help guide users to the appropriate ICD-10 diagnosis, automates the conversion from one code-system to another, serves as the primary diagnosis entry point, and records all entries to memory. The trick is to simply understand your EHR’s complete workflow.
The ICD-10 coding specifications are challenging but necessary. The ICD-10 codes pushes the healthcare personnels to become more specific with their thinking and with their patients. The codes supports physicians records of patients in its entirety, covering all bases and making diagnosis more detailed. Independent physicians have to embrace and embody these specification. By doing so will only benefit the practice, patients, and the healthcare industry as a whole. Even Though, CMS offered a “Grace Period” informing ICD-10 users that they would not get penalized for coding specificity for a year, independent physicians should still treat specificity with severity. Taking specificity serious and embracing it will increase your care value and keep your practice competitive.
Be Open to New Methods
The healthcare community will continue to execute new ways to improve patient care and advance with technology. As an independent physician, it is in your best interest to adopt and progress onward, in order to stay competitive, maintain success, and provide constant quality care to your patients. Be open to the implementation of ICD-10. ICD-10 determines whether or not physicians will get paid. So, TAKE IT SERIOUSLY! Shy away from getting comfortable because denials rates are low or because you theorize that CMS will not enforce ICD-10 heavily. CMS has and will continue to enforce ICD-10 heavily, especially after the “Grace Period.” So, get onboard with this and be open to it. Educate yourself, staff, and patients continuously on all ICD-10 topics and news.
To maintain success with ICD-10 does not only rely on the physicians to learn tricks and stay educated, it is also up to your third party teams. If you have a RCM company on your team, keep a constant communication system going. Communicate with your RCM team to ensure that they are checking code specificity on a regular and make sure they are keeping you and your staff updated consistently on denials and changes. If you do not have a RCM company working seamlessly with you during this transition, then consult with IntuitiveRCM today!