ICD-10 ChecklistWe’ve given you a lot of ICD-10 info to process this month. And in case you haven’t noticed, our main mantra has been “prepare, prepare, prepare.” Because like Confucius, we firmly believe that “success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” (And considering he’s the man behind one of the most influential movements in Asian history—not to mention the author of all five Chinese Classics—we’re thinking this Confucius guy gives pretty good advice.)

To help you organize your efforts, we used the timelines CMS released a while back to create the following checklist that you can reference as you schedule out all of your important ICD-10 prep work. Plus, it just feels good to check things off of a list, doesn’t it? (Click here to download a printable version of this checklist.)

Things to Do Now (in 2014)

  • Designate your clinic’s ICD-10 leader or team
  • Amass an arsenal of ICD-10 information and resources
  • Educate all staff members on the upcoming changes
  • Pinpoint all the ways ICD-10 will affect your practice
    • Ask all of your staff members how and where they currently see and use ICD-9 codes
    • Make a list of your practice’s most frequently used codes so you can focus on finding and learning their ICD-10 equivalents
    • If you’re shopping for any new vendors (e.g., billing services or EMRs), factor ICD-10 into your buying decision
  • Come up with an ICD-10 transition plan for your practice
    • Include a list of specific tasks, along with deadlines and responsible parties
    • Contact any business partners affected by the transition
  • Crunch your numbers and make a transition budget (costs include updates to practice management systems, new coding guides and superbills, and staff training and overtime)
  • Double-check with your payers and vendors (e.g., softwares, clearinghouses, billing services) to ensure they’re equipped to handle the new codes and to learn about any potential system changes, timelines, costs, and testing plans

Things to Do in the Future (before September 2015)

  • Provide high-level training sessions for clinicians and coders and gradually move to more detailed training
  • Start testing ICD-10 codes and systems in your practice
    • Use ICD-10 codes along with ICD-9 codes for diagnoses you see most often
    • Check your data and reports for accuracy
  • Keep a pulse on your vendors’ and payers’ readiness
  • Begin testing ICD-10 codes in external operations (e.g., with partners such as payers, clearinghouses, and billing services)

Things to Do When the Deadline Hits

  • Fully transition to ICD-10 on October 1, 2015, to stay compliant
    • Report ICD-9 codes for services provided before October 1, 2015
    • Report ICD-10 codes for services provided on or after October 1, 2015
    • Identify and correct errors as necessary
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