While the deadline for ICD-10 was pushed back to October of 2015, that only means you have one more year to worry about getting all of your ducks in a row in order to keep up with the changes.
And let's face it - change is challenging. Especially with a change as big as ICD-10 that's going to affect all areas of your practice, including your optometry EHR. So let's take a look at some of the challenges you and your staff might be facing, and what resources are available to overcome these challenges to help you be as successful as you can be.
3 ICD-10 Challenges Your Eyecare Practice Might Run Into
Having the resources to make the transition.
If you're using a practice management and EHR system, is it going to be ready for the change to ICD-10, or is it only programmed with ICD-9 codes? Will you have to purchase any new upgrades or software to keep up with the changes, and to keep your workflow running as smoothly as possible? This is something you should be discussing with your software vendor now so that you have time to make adjustments if needed.
Are you going to need to hire more staff in order to maintain the same amount of work productivity while everyone learns and adjusts to the new system? Making sure that you have all of your resources lined up is going to help the performance of your practice throughout the change.
Training and resources for everyone.
The transition to ICD-10 is going to affect just about everyone in your office. So having the time and resources to successfully get everyone on board could be a concern. Everyone has been trained to learn ICD-9, and have been using this coding system for their entire careers, so this change could be a scary one. And, it's not like your staff can just take time away from helping patients during the work day to train on the new coding system, they will have to be learning it on top of doing their daily tasks. So how do you train your staff without making them learn outside of normal working hours, or disrupting daily workflow and patient satisfaction in your office?
Luckily, there is a lot of online training available for ICD-10. This is a convenient way to provide information, as your staff can work it into their schedules when they have time. A few minutes here, and a few minutes there between their daily tasks. And, online training like this typically comes with quizzes or assessments that will allow an employer to track the progression and success of their employees training. Which will help assure you that everyone is completing the appropriate training.
The chance of payment delays.
Because of the transition and learning curve that it's going to take for all sides to get accustomed to ICD-10, it's likely that your payments will take a hit. More errors and decreased productivity could have an impact on when you receive your reimbursements for certain claims that have errors or have to be redone. So be prepared for a potential delay in your payment reimbursements.