On February 16, 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a planned delay in the ICD-10 compliance date. The transition to ICD-10 was scheduled to occur on October 1, 2013, but as of July 18, 2012, CMS was still reviewing comments, including the letter submitted by the Academy, regarding the new date of compliance. The Academy will update members when the new date of compliance is announced, by way of a final rule. The Academy suggests members continue to prepare for the transition change and offers the following suggestions, including attending a recent educational session of the Coding and Reimbursement Series, dedicated to the ICD-10 transition:
- Conduct a patient registration-to-check-out assessment of how the new code set will affect your facility:
- This will include changes in documentation and new superbill/encounter forms (the Academy is currently preparing a superbill draft template for the ICD-10 codes most likely to be used by audiologists)
- Will the transition affect time and workflow of those in your facility? If so, accommodations may need to be made, especially early in the compliance process, for an increase in time and affected office procedures
- Will the transition affect your vendors, such as your billing clearinghouse? Do they have testing dates scheduled? You will want to contact them to see where they are in the process, to ensure your compliance.
- Review your ICD-9 systems to identify areas of documentation, revenue, and electronic medical records (if applicable) that will eventually utilize ICD-10 codes. For those third party payors with whom you are currently contracted, you will need to have a revised and updated fee schedule with the ICD-10 codes
- The number of codes and their specificity will increase, so current software systems will likely need to be upgraded or replaced
- Train and educate staff to become familiar with the new code set and the increased documentation standards.