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CMS Suggests Making Vendors Part of the ICD-10 Transition

By: Kathy Claytor | March 4th, 2015

CMS Suggests Making Vendors Part of the ICD-10 Transition Blog Feature
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Integrating ICD-10 software is an overwhelming task for even the largest healthcare enterprises; however, it is especially daunting for small- and medium-sized practices that have limited resources. For that reason, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which requires that all providers covered by the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act comply with ICD-10 requirements by October 2015, provides the "Road to 10: The Small Physician Practice's Route to ICD-10."

This manual serves as a guide down the path to ICD-10 implementation. One of the most important steps along the way is coordinating your efforts with your healthcare IT vendors, according to the CMS guide.

"Coordinating with your EHR vendor is essential for ICD-10 integration."

The importance of coordinating with your vendor
Many providers may be putting off preparation for ICD-10 implementation due to the string of delays that have pushed back the actual deadline date. Right now, implementation is set for Oct. 1, 2015; however, some lawmakers who have been vocal about their opposition to the change have been attempting to have the ICD-10 transition deferred yet again, spurring public response through various social media outlets. For example, Twitter users such as Melanie Endicott, an HIM professional, have been directing tweets at Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who argues that the new coding system is overly specific and therefore too complicated.

Rallying cries such as this and overwhelming support for the October 2015 implementation is prompting many experts to predict that 2015 will in fact be the year of ICD-10. With that in mind, now is the time to take the first step and develop an implementation plan with the help of your EHR vendor.

ICD-10 implementation requires that providers work with EHR vendors to ensure complete compliance.ICD-10 implementation requires that providers work with EHR vendors to ensure complete compliance.

CMS suggestions for vendor coordination
The ICD-10 transition will affect practice management and EHR software, so it's essential to work closely with your vendors to make sure that you are in full compliance with the new coding requirements by October 2015. The CMS suggests following these steps when engaging with technology vendors:

  • Contact: Reach out to your EHR vendor to find out if the company's program will be impacted by ICD-10. Ask about the vendor's plans for compliance.
  • Evaluate: Determine if there are any additional fees for ICD-10 compliance actions on the part of the vendor.
  • Review: Look over the technology assessment provided by the vendor and follow up with any concerns and questions.
  • Verify: Make sure your key systems are ICD-10 compliant or that they will be in the near future.
  • Arrange: Set up plans with your EHR vendor to upgrade to ICD-10 software.
  • Select: If your current EHR vendor cannot comply with the ICD-10 requirements by the deadline date, change to one that can, such as Nextech. Click here to request more information on our ICD-10 ready solution.  
  • Complete: Finish the set-up and configuration that your practice is responsible for (these actions should be outlined in the technology assessment provided by the vendor).
  • Obtain training: Get training on ICD-10 coding and functionality.
  • Conduct: Conduct external testing with vendors.
  • Perform: Perform internal testing for upgrades and solutions deployed for ICD-10 integration.

Don't wait for October 1 - Start coding in ICD-10 today - Click here to request more information