Every healthcare provider – large or small is gearing towards a successful ICD 10 implementation. It’s easier for some and challenging for others to go through all the system upgrades, meet all the training needed and take care of the cost involved in this process. Small practices especially have unique challenges when it comes to adapting to changes during healthcare reforms, given their size and resources limitation.
Here we are address 6 Critical ICD10 challenges faced by small practices and offering their solutions to help you stay on track –
Don’t Get Intimidated. Identify Top 20 Codes
First of all, most small practices are overwhelmed with the fact that there are 1, 40,000+ codes in the ICD10 system. Even though the number is huge, it shouldn’t worry you. For your specific practice, it might pay to invest your time and identify top 20 codes that you use in your practice. Most likely these codes will take care of 90% of the coding work you need. Make this a priority and you have set yourself up for success!
Training vs. Responsibilities
One of the main issues with in-house billing at small practices is that they have limited resource and time. The staff at office have multiple tasks to perform like answering phone calls, related billing tasks, managing office etc. With the additional work load, it gets increasingly difficult to manage billing efficiently. And, it is an additional challenge to find the extra time to do the necessary training required for ICD 10. It will help to create a schedule – an hour or two of ‘focused’ training to fill any gaps.
Its importance cannot be highlighted enough. Given the busy work schedule at any practitioner’s practice, there might not be daily communication on ICD 10 requirements and road map forward, which can leave gaps in the process. We recommend scheduling weekly meetings to discuss problem areas, gaps, reviewing practice specific ICD 10 codes. This will speed things faster and you will know specific issues to address before the October deadline.
Create Timelines & Follow Through
Resources at small practices are limited and areas to cover are a lot. Identify all the work areas like Testing, Training, Audit, Identifying ICD10 Codes or other specifics that might be needed for your practice. Create a timeline of completion for these in the balance 3 weeks – this will give your staff clarity and focus to complete pending tasks. Include all the team members on these timelines so everyone can follow up on their progress.
Motivate Your Staff
Small practices or, health care providers must focus on motivating their staff especially in the changing environment. Show commitment to them by investing in their training needs. Hire additional manpower to share the workload and, provide stimulating work environment. The last 2 weeks will be immense pressure and race to completion – and everyone will be working hard. Employ creative ways to keep your employees motivated, happy and appreciated. Even a small gesture, sometimes goes a long way like getting some Starbucks coffee for everyone at office and taking a little break with them!
Keep Outsourcing As An Option
Given the limited time and resources that a small practice has, it is best utilized for its patients and their well-being. Not to mention, the physician burnout with the stress of administrative work, ICD changes implementation and patient care. With all these reasons in tow, outsourcing might be a good option for small practices. It will free up the doctors’ time to focus on patients & their well-being. If you do, however, consider outsourcing, the time to act would be now than later. With less than 14 days left for ICD10 implementation, start now with your preferred partner to give them enough time to establish a robust system for your requirements.
Having taken care of these 6 critical steps, you are well on your way to successful ICD 10 Implementation!
We are offering complete audit of your systems for ICD10 + EMR checks + ICD10 Code mapping, if required. See details here. Call us today for a FREE consultation at 866-634-6327 or, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can make ICD 10 stress-free for you. Practice Forces provides medical billing outsourcing services for clients around the country, and has been partnering with physicians & practices to provide revenue cycle management, across all medical specialties.