In less than a month, ICD-10 goes into effect. Is your practice ready for ICD-10? If not, Clinic Service is still available to assist you. Darla McClung, Clinic Service’s resident ICD-10 expert, shares what we’ve done to get ready for ICD-10 and what your practice should be doing.
Q: Darla, let’s start with what we’ve done at Clinic Service to get ready for ICD-10.
A: We have been working closely with our practices to ensure they are ready for ICD-10, and we’ve been also ensuring our staff is fully educated about ICD-10 as well. Our information technology staff has made all the updates necessary so that our computer equipment is also ready for the switch.
Q: What about our practices, what do they need to be considering on the ICD-10 front?
A: First, it’s helpful to know that the practices can start utilizing the new codes on October 1, but that they have a 30-day grace period where the old ICD-9 codes will still work.
Q: Can practices with EMRs expect them to automatically switch to ICD-10.
A: Yes, the vast majority of EMRs will make this switch automatically. So very basic systems might not, but they are in the minority.
Q: What about practices that still use paper records?
A: Those practices are going to have to manually convert to ICD-10. We have been working with practices like this to ensure they have a crosswalk that takes them from the old codes to the new ones.
Q: What is the biggest difference with ICD-10?
A: ICD-10 is more specific. For example with ICD-9 Type II Diabetes is coded as 250.00. With ICD-10 there will be various diabetes codes, including… Another example, pain in the knee, code …, will now have to specify which knee (right knee is code … while left is code …)
Q: How will this change impact physicians?
A: Doctors will have to be more specific in their record keeping so that their patient care can be coded accurately.
Q: What should practices do that are feeling like they are not ready for ICD-10.
A: They should contact me through the main Clinic Service switchboard, 303.755.2900 or by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.