Columbus, Ohio (PRWEB) April 02, 2014
There are just over 180 days left until October 1, 2014, and that rapidly shrinking number isn't doing providers any favors as they scramble to meet the deadline for ICD-10. While the HIMSS14 conference in February gave organizations a chance to catch up on education and listen to CMS make a final pronouncement that the deadline is sticking firm, it also gave attendees a chance to hear from experts and their peers about readiness and best practices – and not everything was as positive as maybe it should be.
“It is terrifying to see some of the quotes,” admitted Brian Dean, President of iMAX Medical Billing. “I attended a presentation that included a physician’s survey, and one physicians said, ‘ICD-10? What’s that?’ another quote was, ‘Just send me a list – make sure that you send me a list of the codes.’ Okay. We’ll send you a list of the 170,000 ICD-10 codes, and then you’ll be ready, right?”
"We surveyed the small one and two mom-and-pop shops, maybe 20 percent have even thought about it,” Dean added. “So that leaves roughly 80 percent. They've got a big hill to climb.”
Unfortunately, not just the small providers are falling behind on their preparations. Many healthcare organizations operate on tightly stretched resources and even tighter financial margins, and are at risk for serious payment disruptions if they can’t get on track by the time the leaves start to fall. “Some organizations don’t have enough cash on hand to withstand even a blip in their payment cycles,” warned John Melling, President of the Arizona Chapter of HIMSS at the conference. “You may want to talk to your banks” to arrange the six months of financial coverage that HIMSS suggests as a minimum.
Although the main focus is on physicians and practices, the ICD-10 transition affects payers and vendors as well. Practices should ensure that outside vendors are ICD-10 ready well in advance of the October 1st deadline. iMAX Medical Billing has been ICD-10 ready since early 2013. “Our systems have been tested for ICD-10 usage and we are prepared for the transition,” said Dean. “We will ensure our clients are prepared by suggesting ICD-10 replacement codes to the out dated ICD-9 codes that they frequently use, as well as giving them the opportunity to test the new codes in advance of the October 1st deadline.”
Like it or not, the deadline is here to stay, and providers need to prepare for these transitions if practices want to continue to get paid. Everyone in the healthcare market wishes that magically there’d be more hours in the day, but reality proves that won't happen this year. What providers have to recognize is that if they haven’t started yet, they have to start today. There’s no more room for waiting. There’s no more room for talking. It’s time to start doing.
Have questions regarding ICD-10 or electronic health records in Columbus, Ohio? Please contact iMAX Medical Billing at 614-706-5206 or you can visit them online at http://columbusohmedicalbilling.com.