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The light at the end of the ICD-10 tunnel

By: Brian Gennusa | March 27th, 2015

The light at the end of the ICD-10 tunnel Blog Feature

Regardless of how prepared your practice is for the coming implementation of ICD-10, you may be somewhat overwhelmed with the number of tasks you've completed to get ready. The October 1, 2015 deadline seems as though it is going to stick this year, so if you are not in the process of preparing your practice for the big switch, you should start immediately. No matter your stage of preparation, at times like these, it's often good to take a second, step back and reflect on the fruits of your labors. With that in mind, check out some of the surprising side effects of ICD-10 implementation:

Patient care and information
ICD-10 has the capacity to completely revitalize the way you interact with your patients. With more total code options, ICD-10 offers more in depth data than its predecessor, meaning that your coders can be more specific and effective in everything from population health hypotheses to illness severity grades. The implementation of ICD-10 will also allow for sharing of best practices and analysis of quality of care on an international scale.

Better revenue streams
ICD-10 boasts a more stringent data set than ICD-9, so your practice will be able to reduce under-coded claims. As a result of this, you should see an increase in reimbursement rates, meaning a stronger overall revenue stream for you and your co-workers. Best of all, the average estimated conversion cost to ICD-10 is much lower than previously projected - for small practices, the cost should only be around $2,000 to $6,000.

Smarter systems
As the overall intelligence of your systems increases, your practice will be better aligned with several ongoing initiatives in health information technology. Only 45 percent of practices are expected to attest to stage 2 of meaningful use in 2015, making it the perfect time to get ahead of the curve.

Avoid penalties while increasing information accessibility
HIPAA maximum penalty rates have risen higher than ever, with a maximum fee of $1.5 million each year. More detailed documentation will help you avoid audits and penalties, ultimately saving you money. Furthermore, ICD-10 will align you with global health standards, enabling communication with medical professionals from all across the globe.

Although it can be frustrating that ICD-10 transition plans might (and should!) be dominating your office agendas, be sure to keep sight of the benefits of ICD-10. The light is nearing the end of the ICD-10 tunnel, and with it comes improved processes and better patient care. Need more convincing? Download our infographic: Light at the End of the ICD-10 Tunnel: 6 Surprising Side Effects.

Just getting started? Click here to download our ICD-10 checklist.  

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