A Deluge of ICD-10 CM/PCS Codes is Coming to All Healthcare Facilities: What to Do?

Jim Matthews  ICD-10 CM/PCS
Jim Matthews, Principal, Nearterm Corporation

On October 1st of this year, a deluge of over 5,000 new ICD-10 CM/PCS medical codes and other changes are coming to hospitals and clinics nationwide. The stakes are high so it is important to get it right the first time. Errors may lead to delayed or denied claims, negatively impacting the revenue cycle management process and, therefore, cash flow.

On top of that, complying with ICD-10 CM/PCS requires a substantial investment in education and technology, pushing the stakes even higher.

Below, Nearterm offers suggestions on what hospitals can do to mitigate the impact of ICD-l0 CM/PCS. The big one is to create a Plan of Action (POA) to uncover and address shortfalls and unpreparedness in all RCM functional areas.

HIM Management

  • Develop a POA. Determine the level of quality and sufficiency in current coding and documentation processes by doing a formal discovery and assessment. Research might reveal that a Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) program is needed or should be All relevant Changes to PracticeWork Flow and Business Processes should be covered in the POA.

Medical Coding & CDI

  • Ensure all Medical Coders and CDI specialists are trained on the new/revised codes and how they may impact current business
  • Update CDI and Medical Coding policies to include directives on the new codes if applicable
  • Follow up weekly with Coders and CDI specialists to discuss specific code sets/procedures that may require updating current Queries.
  • Ensure that you have a point person assigned to regularly check coding for quality

Physicians & Practitioners

  • Physicians must be vigilant and ensure that all documentation remains at a high level of specificity
  • For high impact surgeries and diagnoses, complete a 5-to 10-chart/ provider documentation review to ensure the documentation supports the highest level of specificity
  • Include the physicians and practitioners in the audit results and provide education on documentation opportunities that support the severity of illness of their patients.

Billers

  • Billers should also become familiar with expanded ICD-10 code sets for the specialty for which they bill
  • There will likely be snafus related to reimbursements. How to create referrals and order services IS going to change. Effective October 1, 2016, Medicare will no longer accept unspecified codes for Part B. Have the POA include ways to prevent these accounts from being billed before a second level coding review can be done.

Outpatient

  • In the outpatient hospital side, queries may have to be sent back to the ordering provider requesting specificity either before the patient is seen (at registration) or at the time of coding for final billing

Vendors

  • Do not forget to make sure that vendors are up to date and ready for the expanded codes on October 1, 2016.

About Nearterm

Established in 1997, Nearterm is an employee-owned, professional managed services company providing expert revenue cycle management (RCM) and financial management services to hospitals and healthcare organizations nationwide.

Nearterm specializes in the delivery of additional “horsepower” for implementing and supporting RCM activities and projects. These resources can work from remote locations and/or onsite, whatever hospital and the POA requires of them. Nearterm delivers only top notch talent;

  • Consulting (Discovery, Research, Analysis, Planning, POA, Implementation Support
  • Leadership (VP, Director, Manager, Supervisor, Team Leader)
  • Technicians (AR Specialists, Coders)

Nearterm is a recognized authority in Revenue Cycle Management

 

Posted By: nearterm-admin

Are you Ready for the ICD-10 CM & PCS Deluge?

ICD-10 CM & PCS Deluge Medical Coding

NEARTERM WILL KEEP YOU DRY

On October 1st, of this year a deluge of over 5,000 new CM and PCS medical codes and other changes are coming your way!

  • CMS opens the dam to release the five-year hold on these codes and a one year reprieve for unspecified codes.
  • ICD-10 CM will have 1,943 new codes, 422 revisions & 305 deletions
  • ICD-10 PCS will have 3,651 new codes and 487 revisions

This represents a formidable challenge for healthcare organizations as we approach implementation of these changes. Your organization should be prepared with coder training, clinical documentation policies and new query updates already underway.

In addition, it is important to ascertain that providers are included in educational opportunities to review the new documentation requirements supporting Severity of Illness, Risk of Mortality and Medical Necessity.

There are many risks associated with the coming changes that hospital and physician organizations must consider. Here is a summary:

  • Susceptibility to denials and loss of payment if coding reported does not meet the expanded coding standards
  • Presence of staffing adequate to sustain DNFB targets – it will take additional time to navigate through coding pathways to refine coding practices.

If you would like extra horsepower as you prepare for what’s coming and/or perhaps additional support post-implementation, we are available to talk about how we can help. Our professional staff and medical coders are led by AHIMA Approved ICD-10 CM/PCS Trainers. Our coders and consultants undergo continuous education via coding clinics and “hands on” training aimed at new coding guidelines and compliant query opportunities.

We can get you ready for the deluge and we’ll keep you dry.

Learn More about our Medical Coding Services

Learn about our RCM Project Staffing Capabilities including for Coding

Ask the RCM Experts

Posted By: nearterm-admin