“This change in the system will not be as easy as turning on a light switch and you are good to go,” continues Chung. “Physicians will need to take a look a big picture view of the practice and ask, Where do I start on this process?”
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Explore This IssueOctober 2011
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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, American Academy of Professional Coders, American Health Information Management Association, and Medical Group Management Association all have active programs to help guide practices through the maze of information. In addition, Chung heads up the ACR’s endeavors in providing resources for its members.
“We are the rheumatologists’ first-line source for specialty-related information,” says Chung. “We have information on the website [www.rheumatology.org/practice], and will sponsor a series of ICD-10 webcasts, as well as having ICD-10–specific seminars available at the ACR annual meetings and symposiums over the next few years.”
Early in 2012, the ACR will have an ICD-10 rheumatology code translator available on the website to help the transition of specialty-specific codes. The ACR is also working toward developing a suggested Superbill to help ease that burden on practices.
Information is what most practices are looking for at this time.
Byrnes’ practice started the information quest around the first of this year as she began acquiring books, participating in webinars, and attending workshops. Candice Brazeale, CPC, CRHC, an internal auditor and coder at Piedmont Arthritis Clinic PA in Greenville, S.C., has been doing much the same thing at her practice.
“Preparedness so far has been in training the trainer,” says Brazeale. “If we have any problems with 5010, it will not slow down our ICD-10 training and we will continue on as planned.”
Both groups are beginning to also look at how the instruction can be accomplished in a way that minimizes disruptions. Should it be a couple hours at a time over a few weeks? Would it be better to just close down for a day and do all the training at once? How much can be done in-house and how much has to be done either off-site or with an outside consultant? Where is the money for this coming from?
“They make it sound so simple; all you need to do is to download the new codes to your electronic medical record [EMR] system,” says Byrnes. “What is not so simple is getting those codes linked with the proper documentation, and sent to your clearinghouse and your payer. That is something that you want to start working on right away.”