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Two more items for ICD-10-CM preparation: clearinghouses and coders

Getting ready for ICD-10-CM

Add two more items to the office’s ICD-10-CM checklist: the billing service and the office staff who will be doing the coding.

A checklist for the billing service

First the billing service or clearinghouse.

Medicare is telling offices to check with the services they use to make sure they are indeed up to speed in their preparation for the new codes.

Here’s what to ask them:

• Are you ready to meet the Oct. 1, 2015 deadline? Where are you now in your transition process?

• Can you give me the name of a contact person in your office whom I can call about ICD-10?

• Can my contact person and I meet regularly to make sure we both stay on track?

• How will you test your claims transmission with the new codes? Will we be involved in your testing?

• Can our office send you test claims to see if they are coded accurately? How soon can we do that?

• Will you provide training on how our documentation needs to change to support the new codes?

• Will your pricing change when you move to ICD-10?

For offices that don’t currently use a billing service or clearinghouse, Medicare’s advice is to contract with one now to use during the transition. When ICD-10 begins, offices will be slower getting claims out. A service can expedite the work and help keep the cash flow on a steady pace.

Get a good coder on board

The second item of ICD-10 preparation is planning for adequate coding staffing.

When the new system starts, qualified ICD-10 coders will be in great demand and as a result, both scarce and expensive.

Most consultants are recommending that offices provide full ICD-10 training for the current coding staff and then take steps to keep them on board.

Coder retention may require bonuses or salary increases or even employment contracts. But considering the cost of the training, and considering that good coders will be in demand, and considering too that the office will need to have an ICD-10 coder, the expense will probably be a necessity.









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