The Boy Scout motto was to be prepared. Are you? It’s been my experience as a compliance consultant that when it comes to compliance the vast majority of doctors are completely unprepared for the increased regulation and scrutiny.
This may not surprise you, but according to recent surveys 80% of all providers will not be ready by October 2015, and the percentage is probably higher for chiropractors.
What is perhaps more shocking, is how few of the payers are ready or estimated they would have a finished product ready by the end this year. Only 40%.
I can understand the procrastination of most chiropractors in getting ready. They don’t have a lot of extra time and extra staff around to dedicate to the task.
It’s not time to “panic” yet, but to make a smooth transition
to the October, 2015 deadline, there are several things you can begin doing now.
Bear in mind that even though the number of codes will grow from 17,000 to 140,000, you only need to know the codes that relate directly to chiropractic.
You and your staff will need training in multiple formats. Compliance & Auditing Services’ members will get the codes with explanations and how to cross check for the appropriate codes. Members also have webinars and the training newsletter to make it easy, with unlimited email to get answers to any questions.
It will be too late to learn this new language once ICD -10 goes “live,” because you will be behind the curve.
First, identify how ICD -10 will effect your practice.
1. How will ICD-10 effect your people and processes? To find out, review how and where staff and doctors use ICD-9.
2. Ask your payers and vendors (software systems, clearinghouses, billing services) about ICD-10 readiness. Ask when they will start testing, how long they will need, and how you and other clients will be involved.
3. Develop a plan for communicating with staff and business partners about ICD-10.
4. Estimate and secure budget (potential costs include updates to practice management systems and government payment delays.
5. Ideally, have a cash reserve of at least 3 months operating expenses so your office will be able to continue to function normally.
6. Work on your documentation. ICD-10 codes are much more specific and your documentation will need to improve to match them.
➢ This is important because if the insurance carriers ask for documentation to justify the codes, poor documentation will slow the process down or result in all out denials.
So for now, focus on these first steps in preparing your office for the ICD-10 transition and don’t sweat it.
Together we will make it easy to stay on track. After all, you have better things to do with your time than worry about the constant changes.
Dr. John Davenport
Chief Compliance Officer