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CODING

Leave no stone unturned; get an ICD-10 vendor timeline – with the cost

ICD-10 success rests to a great extent on the office’s system vendor.

Right now is the time to pin that vendor down on what it will and won’t do and make arrangements to cover the blank spots, Medicare says.

Also get the cost of every item.

And get it all in writing.

Here are the points to cover

These are the items to verify with the vendor, Medicare says.

Get the timeline for everything.

  • Set a date for the installation.
  • Set a date for complete staff training on the new system. The vendor should provide that, and it needs to be on the timeline.
  • Set dates for testing with payers and trading partners. That should ideally begin a full year before the Oct. 1, 2015, start date.
  • Find out what updates the vendor will make in the clinical, financial, actuarial, and reporting aspects of the system, and set a time for testing each one.

  • Identify the holes in the agreement.

  • Make sure the vendor will update the office’s current procedures and applications to accommodate ICD-10.
  •  Make sure the system will allow the office to search for ICD-10 codes by both the tabular and alphabetic indexes as well as by clinical concept.
  • Make sure the system will be able to accommodate ICD-9 and ICD-10 coding simultaneously, because dates of service before Oct. 1, 2015, will require the old codes, and dates of service after Oct. 1, 2015, will require the new.
  • Make sure the vendor will provide technical support and training on all new and updated software.
  • Find out how the vendor will resolve any issues or failures that occur during the testing. Also find out if there is any cost involved.

  • Get everything in writing.

  • Be sure the contract lays out all of the above.
  • In addition, make a list of any additional products, testing, and training the office wants the vendor to provide, and put those items in the contract as well.

  • And look for ideas.

  • Ask the vendor what other practices are doing to make the changeover easier and whether their ideas will work in the office’s situation.

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