A number of healthcare providers were expecting to implement ICD-10 code this October. ICD-10, the vastly expanded system of diagnosis and insurance billing codes, has been designed to provide a better way to track and study disease trends, reduce coding errors, use more innovative payment methods, and improve care and quality management. Software systems were being upgraded; different systems were being checked for ICD-10 compliance, doctors and workers were getting trained, and a lot of other activities were performed by healthcare organizations to ensure compliance to the ICD-10 implementation deadline.
And, BOOM! ICD-10 implementation date gets once again delayed! Yes, United States Senate passed HR 4302, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act to shift the ICD-10 deadline from October 01, 2014 to October 01, 2015.
Whilst a number of healthcare providers were dismayed at the news, there were many who decided to go with the flow. There are a number of entities that are hurt by this delay, yet waking up to the reality of ICD-10 delay and doing what is required now is the need of the hour.
How ICD-10 Is A Blessing In Disguise?
Organizations, who were lagging behind in their preparations, can utilize their time wisely instead of waiting for the arrival of a new standard. The costs and risks associated with ICD-10 implementation have left several healthcare organizations baffled. Yet, ICD-10 delay proves to be a blessing in disguise.
While you were actively preparing for ICD-10, a year of delay has given you ample time to address all the aspects of the new coding system. You can use this additional time to fine-tune revenue cycle operations. ICD-10 delay has blessed your practice with more time to build a cash buffer via improved revenue cycle management, financial modeling and engaging high-volume payers to alleviate any ICD-10 related disruptions.
Another benefit associated with the delay is the time to implement other health IT transitions such as Meaningful Use. Such incentive programs can help off-set the costs associated with ICD-10 compliance. Organizations can heave a sigh of relief and prepare for ICD-10 at ease. They needn’t rush to meet a deadline while ignoring other important tasks such as emphasizing on patient care, and poorly implementing their EHR system.
The extra year offers you the time to fix any gaps in the system that may have been created in expediting to meet the compliance deadline. Utilize this additional time to adopt a meticulous approach towards implementing ICD-10. The healthcare industry might not be prepared for this change, yet we are!