Preparing for ICD-10

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By Angela Boynton

Here we are in the fourth quarter of 2011, and the ICD-10 implementation mandate of Oct. 1, 2013, is roughly 700 days away. Though it seems like a long time, it is approaching more swiftly than ever, especially given the number of competing priorities that most physician practices are facing: meaningful use, Medicarecuts, Medicaid cuts, healthcare reform, ACO regulations, HIE initiatives, and standard business operating priorities such as AR/AP, and ever-changing payor requirements.

The Jan. 15, 2009 final rule stipulated that all HIPAA-covered entities must comply with the federal ICD-10 implementation mandate of Oct. 1, 2013. Though the industry had been given almost five years to begin the implementation process, we are roughly24 months away, and the majority of the industry has not yet begun work on an ICD-10 implementation plan. ICD-10 will be a critical milestone in our ability as a nation to achieve true administrative simplification and value based purchasing, while also increasing the sophistication of our healthcare data collection systems. Perhaps many smaller practices have not begun work on ICD-10 is because they do not know where to begin.

There are five things that practices should do right now in order to secure their operational stability in late 2013 and beyond.

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