What Is Needed to Prepare for the ICD-9 to ICD-10 Conversion?

how-to-prepareIf you haven’t even started thinking about what you are going to do come October 1, 2015 when the ICD-9 to ICD-10 conversion officially takes place, then this article is for you! Ear Nose and Throat or ENT billing and coding will change drastically when the new medical billing system requirements take effect, just as it will for all other specialties, clinics and hospitals. While it may seem overwhelming with all of the training, education and changes that need to take place, there are always alternative options to explore.

If you are unable to get ready in time, there is always the option of outsourcing medical billing services to a competent, trained, certified and experienced otolaryngology service provider who can take over the task for you, train your staff and prepare them to eventually take over again, if that is what you desire. There is always a way to make sure that your ENT practice stays in compliance with billing and coding regulations to prevent any claim problems that could ultimately cause a stop in cash flow.

3 Steps to Readiness for ENT Billing and Coding
Believe it or not, preparation for the ICD-9 to ICD-10 conversion can be done in just three easy steps. Well, not totally easy because a lot of work will be required in order to make the October 1st deadline, but easy in that it really is not that difficult if you put your mind to do it. Remember, there is always outsourcing medical billing services if you are unable to get your in-house medical billing system in line ahead of the deadline.

  • Step #1: Identify & Analyze – Start by taking a look at your current ENT billing and coding practice. Figure out where ICD-9 is used in your current medical billing system process and figure out where you need to implement ICD-10 in its place, such as paper claims, superbills, electronic claims and more. Analyze the data you have collected to figure out what needs to be done by the deadline to identify any issues with documentation, technology, workflow and other systems within your practice.
  • Step #2: Select a Solution – Once you figure out what needs to be done, it’s time to figure out how to accomplish it all. There are a lot of solutions available to help ENT practices prepare for the ICD-9 to ICD-10 conversion and one of them is to get training and support through a professional service like MD Pro Solutions. Our team can help you to update all of your existing software to accommodate the new codes and get your front office staff and billing department trained to be able to handle the new medical billing system requirements.
  • Step #3: Outline & Implement – Once you choose a solution (or solutions), make sure to outline exactly what you need to do, what steps need to be implemented, how much it will cost and how long it will take. Begin to implement your plan right away, training your staff, making upgrades at the office, adjusting your medical billing system processes and testing out your claims. You should also establish a line of credit to ensure the security of your practice when the change takes place.

Why a Line of Credit?
Studies have shown that it could cost a practice with 10 physicians on staff more than $200,000 to prepare for the ICD-9 to ICD-10 conversion. Delays in reimbursements and reduced productivity, which are anticipated to occur once the new ENT billing and coding system takes over, could cause major problems for cash flow within your practice. Experts are recommending a secure line of credit should be acquired a few months in advance to ensure that your practice will not be caught off guard and without funds to pay bills or staffing costs.

Planning and preparing for the ICD-9 to ICD-10 conversion can be more than just a little overwhelming, especially for smaller practices that anticipate a lot of problems and adjustments for ENT billing and coding. Remember, you can always consider outsourcing medical billing services with a trusted, reliable and professional source, such as MD Pro Solutions. We specialize in otolaryngology and our team can help take over your medical billing services while training your staff and preparing them to get on board as soon as they are able.

To find out more about MD Pro Solutions and all of the services, training, education, support and resources that we can provide to help your ENT practice or clinic prepare for the ICD-9 to ICD-10 conversion, please give us a call at 508-946-1665. We can help you with account management, credentialing services, auditing and reviews, training and education, managed services, in-house support and much more. Call today and see why so many otolaryngology specialists trust and rely on our services.