Compared to general practices and hospitals, specialty practices have a seemingly simpler task in transitioning to ICD-10, due to the luxury of dealing with a smaller set of codes. Despite this advantage, it is just as critical that specialty practices understand which codes apply to them to ensure a successful transition.
Specialty providers who have pursued meaningful use incentives can confirm that the program certainly was not designed for them. That’s not to say that the incentives aren’t worth the effort, however. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has paid out more than $25.7 billion in incentive payments as of Dec. 1, 2014. Any provider who has implemented an EMR and realizes significant revenue from Medicare or Medicaid billings, but didn’t take the time to seriously look into meaningful use, may have left money on the table — and may be subject to penalties that begin in 2015.
Federal healthcare initiatives tied to reimbursement, which invariably apply to all healthcare providers, tend to mean equal pain for unequal gain to specialty practices.