ICD-10 Transition Tips Your Home Health and Hospice Agency Can Use
Assembling an ICD-10 Project Team
Assembling an ICD-10 Project Team to oversee your organization's shift to ICD-10 is instrumental to a successful transition. This team will be responsible for overseeing the ICD-10 planning and implementation process.
Select Your Team
Since ICD-10 will affect nearly all areas of your practice, project teams should consist of representatives from key areas of your organization, including:
- Senior Management
- Health Information Management/Coding
- Revenue Cycle Management
- Information Systems and Technology
This multi-disciplinary team provides the cooperative environment necessary to address your organization's needs. If you run a small business or practice, several of these functional areas may rest with the same individuals, making your transition team smaller.
Appoint a Project Manager
Once members of the project team have been selected, appoint one team member to serve as the project manager. As the manager, he or she will be responsible for establishing accountability across the ICD-10 implementation team and making business, policy, and technical decisions.
Your Team's Initial Tasks
With an established project team and a designated project lead, you'll be ready to begin planning for ICD-10 implementation. Project teams should:
- Establish regular check-in meetings to discuss progress and address any issues.
- Conduct an ICD-10 impact assessment to help you determine how the transition to ICD-10 will affect your organization, and allow you to schedule and budget for all ICD-10 activities.
- Plan a comprehensive and realistic budget. This should include costs such as software upgrades and training needs.
- Identify and ensure involvement and commitment of all internal and external stakeholders. Contact vendors, physicians, affiliated hospitals, clearinghouses, and others to determine their plans for ICD-10 transition.
- Develop and adhere to a well-defined implementation timeline that makes sense for your organization.
Remember to communicate regularly with your entire ICD-10 project team. Keeping the lines of communication open will help make sure everyone is kept up to date on the implementation progress. It may be helpful to establish and circulate a calendar of internal tasks, milestones, and deadlines to help keep day-to-day activities running smoothly and on schedule.
Tips for Home Health and Hospice Agencies to Plan for the ICD-10 Transition
Although the final rule on the proposed ICD-10 deadline change has yet to be published, it is important to continue planning for the transition to ICD-10. The switch to the new code set will affect every aspect of how your organization provides care, but with adequate planning and preparation, you can ensure a smooth transition for your practice.
You should consider the following checklist to help keep your efforts on track with your transition:
- Educate staff and leadership about ICD-10
- Appoint an ICD-10 coordination manager and delegate a steering committee to manage the transition
- Train staff on changes in documentation requirements from health plans and how this will affect work flow
- Perform an impact assessment
- Examine existing uses of ICD-9 codes in order determine aspects of work flow and business practices that ICD-10 will potentially change. Be sure to evaluate planned and ongoing projects as well
- Create a list of staff members who need ICD-10 resources and training, such as billing and coding staff, clinicians, management, and IT staff
- Plan a realistic and comprehensive budget
- Estimate a budget that includes costs such as software, hardware, staff training, and any initial change in patient volume
- Coordinate with external partners
- Contact system vendors, clearinghouses, and billing services to assess their readiness and evaluate current contracts
- Ask your vendors how they will support you in the transition to ICD-10 and request a timeline and cost estimate
- Analyze existing health plan trading partner agreements
- Get ready for testing
- Request a testing plan to schedule from your vendor
- Conduct internal testing within your clinical practice as well external testing with payers and other external business partners after you have completed the planning stages
Keep Up to Date on ICD-10.
Please visit the ICD-10 website for the latest news and resources to help you prepare.
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