are-you-preparedEar Nose and Throat doctors or ENTs are not exempt from the coming ICD-9 to ICD-10 conversion on October 1, 2015. The changes with the ICD-10 implementation will affect everyone across the board, including those in Otolaryngology management. Depending on who you talk to about ICD-10, you will find those who have already learned the billing and coding requirements and are unconcerned about the change, and those who are panicked and wondering how they will ever be able to make the change.

With any type of change in the healthcare industry, which seems to be happening more and more frequently these days, it is important to plan and prepare ahead of time so your practice can just ease into the switch. Education, training and even testing of your in-house staff is what you need to make sure that everyone is on board and properly prepared for what they need to do with regard to billing and coding for Ear Nose and Throat doctors and their practices.

A Brief History
The US Department of Health and Human Services released the new standards for ICD-10-CM back in January 2009. ICD stands for International Classification of Diseases, the number ten reveals that it is the tenth revision and the CM stands for “clinical modification”, which will be used here in the United States. In addition to ICD-10-CM, ICD-10-PCS, which stands for Procedure Coding System, will be used in an inpatient hospital setting and is not of concern to the average Otolaryngology management in practices and clinic settings. The former ICD-9-CM codes will no longer be allowed to be used for billing after September 30, 2015.

The code expansion with the ICD-10 implementation will greatly increase the amount of codes available for medical coding and billing in Otolaryngology and other medical specialties throughout the healthcare industry. Once the ICD-9 to ICD-10 conversion is complete, the code spectrum will expand from 17,000 codes to more than 140,000. The new codes will require more specific data from Ear Nose and Throat doctors for documentation.

The changes were made for a number of reasons, however the most important was to provide more data about the diagnosis, treatment and conditions of patients. The three to five digit structure associated with ICD-9-CM made it difficult to add new codes or make modifications to the system. As more conditions and diseases have been identified and named, many of the ICD-9-CM categories have become full. This has made it impossible to include all of the diseases within specific categories. The ICD-9 to ICD-10 conversion will now include seven digit codes, making it easier to expand categories and provide more complete information about a patient’s condition.

Are You Prepared?
When it comes right down to making the change in the coming ICD-10 implementation, it is important to know whether or not your Otolaryngology management department is prepared and ready to make the change. Training and education are an important part of making sure your practice will be able to handle the ICD-9 to ICD-10 conversion. Chances are that if you are properly prepared for the change, you already know you are good to go. If you aren’t sure, chances are you are not ready and that you will need some help getting prepared.

MD Pro Solutions is a professional healthcare consultant service that works specifically with Ear Nose and Throat doctors within the Otolaryngology management field. Our team can help evaluate your staff and your current medical billing system to ensure that you are prepared for the ICD-10 implementation. If your staff is not ready, we can help you to become prepared through a series of online and in-office training, education and testing. Our team can also help you to prepare for the ICD-9 to ICD-10 conversion in other ways.

Beyond the ICD-10 Implementation
MD Pro Solutions can also help your ENT practice or clinic to work more effectively and efficiently, beyond the coming changes to ICD-10-CM in 2015. We also provide account management services, auditing and reviews, credentialing services and can help you to improve your reporting and communications. We can provide you with a complete evaluation of your current medical coding and billing practices for Ear Nose and Throat doctors and clinics so you can evaluate your current system and make improvements. A majority of our clients have seen an increase in revenue by as much as ten percent in just the first year alone after working with our team of experienced healthcare industry professionals.

To find out more about MD Pro Solutions and all of the services we provide, give us a call at 508-946-1665. We can help you get through the ICD-9 to ICD-10 conversion and find solutions that will increase the effectiveness of your Otolaryngology management and billing system. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment for a complete audit of the healthcare management services within your ENT practice or clinic.