Tune in to this monthly online coding column from Melanie Endicott to learn about challenging areas and documentation opportunities for ICD-10-CM/PCS.
Unfortunately it was not an April Fools’ Day joke… On April 1, 2014, H.R. 4302, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, was signed into law. Section 212 of this bill included verbiage to delay ICD-10 until at least October 1, 2015. This delay came as a shock to everyone and the impact of this delay is far-reaching—and will potentially cost the healthcare industry billions of dollars.
With only six months to go until the anticipated implementation day of October 1, 2014, most healthcare organizations were gearing up for the change by implementing dual coding, ICD-10 documentation improvement initiatives, and ramping up coder education. The delay has forced organizations to take another look at their timeline (and budget) and reevaluate how to stay focused and motivated for an additional year.
Here are some ideas on how to stay on track during the delay:
- Continue with plans to do dual coding. Additional practice with ICD-10-CM/PCS will only make the coders more efficient, productive, and confident.
- Dual coding will identify any gaps in documentation that can be remedied prior to implementation.
- Consider instituting a clinical documentation improvement (CDI) program in your organization to assist with and identify documentation gaps. If your facility already has a CDI program, make sure that the documentation analysis is focused on both ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM/PCS to ensure a seamless transition.
While this delay was unexpected, unwanted (by many), and has sent a shockwave through the industry, it is very important to continue to anticipate the arrival of ICD-10 and be prepared with continued education.