The Data Scientist - the WPC Healthcare Blog

Ready, Set, Go — ICD-10 is right around the corner!


posted by Ray Guzman
Are you ready?

In a recent webinar — related links below — WPC Healthcare’s ICD-10 expert Larry Watkins shared some truth from the team’s efforts in working with more than 80 healthcare organizations to ensure readiness for ICD-10. With just a few months to go, an important factor to consider is the readiness of community physicians.

Technology takes a critical role, and of course coders must know what they are doing, but the most important facet of ICD-10 readiness centers squarely on physician preparation. The support systems and care team are precisely that needed backing.

This transition is a challenge for healthcare in general as physicians are often independent to the objectives of the organizations where they serve. And yet, they are the very sources of revenue. This process requires a team approach and a dedication to training to reap the benefits that ICD-10 represents to more completely document the care that’s being delivered and to enhance the opportunity for insights gleaned from Big Data capturing millions of care interactions nationwide.

So, the keys to ICD-10 readiness include a structured program that addresses the following checklist:

  • Risk Management. Create an ICD-10 risk registry and focus on high-risk ICD-10 codes as well as audits to access readiness from a business and financial risk analysis perspective.
  • System/Vendor Readiness and Testing. Let’s face it, you’re dependent on your vendors so monitoring their readiness will be critical to your success. You know what they say about assuming anything?
  • Effective Communication. Ensure that everyone stays on the same page including both internal and external audiences. That’s mission critical.
    Clinical Documentation Readiness. Detailed documentation is the foundation of a successful transition to ICD-10. This is where the rubber meets the road in regard to physician involvement.
  • Coder Readiness. It’s true: education and practice make perfect.
    Training Management. ICD-10 affects everyone, so a comprehensive training for all staff that focuses on their specific involvement is not negotiable.
    Code Equivalency. Understanding the language of ICD-10 includes knowing how ICD-9 relates to ICD-10—what’s similar and what’s different.
  • Artifact Updates. Any reference in documents, forms and policies must be updated to ICD-10.
  • Payer Engagement Testing. This is the single most important facet of ICD-10 readiness, especially for hospitals. Your revenue is dependent on communicating with payers by making them your most critical stakeholder in the move to ICD-10.

Now, after reviewing that checklist, are you really ready? With a complete list of training options and ICD-10 services, (Link to the Compliance page) WPC is the right partner to call. With reimbursement at stake, now is the time to make sure you’re ready.

Ready? Set? Go!

Related Links