Ready or not, massive changes are coming to the world of ENT billing and coding due to the transition between ICD-9 and ICD-10. It has been in the works for many years, but now the October 1, 2015 deadline is upon us and many practices, clinics and hospitals are scrambling to make sure they are ready for the change. One of the most overwhelming aspects of the impending ICD-10 changes is the large number of new codes that will be added in order to improve the way that billing coding and management are handled.
While some physicians welcome the changes as a way to improve their records and billing practices, others are opposed to it and see it as nothing more than a nuisance. However you feel about the ICD-10 changes, the fact remains that they are coming – ready or not! This article will focus on some of the common mistakes associated with preparing for the new system. Learning from the mistakes of others is often a great way to avoid making them yourself. We hope that this article will be helpful to you in that way.
Mistake #1 – Hoping for Another Delay
The upcoming ICD-10 changes have already been delayed many times and the last delay was a welcome reprieve for many practices that had put off learning the new requirements for ENT billing and coding and weren’t properly prepared. While delays are always possible, as it gets closer and closer to October 1st, the chances are less and less likely that it will be delayed again. If you haven’t started training and preparing your billing codding and management department for ICD-10, you may want to consider consulting with a professional and outsourcing billing ENT services while you train and get familiar with the changes.
Mistake #2 – Not Setting Aside Money to Cover the Cost
One of the reasons why many practices have neglected to make the changes to their billing coding and management is due to the investment required in order to become compliant. Brand new software or upgrades to existing software, training for your billing staff and other changes related to the ICD-10 changes will be substantial, as much as thousands of dollars depending upon how many upgrades, training or new programs you need to purchase.
Mistake #3 – Not Preparing for ICD-10 at All
You cannot be an ostrich and just stick your head in the sand, hoping that it will all go away. Putting it off until the last minute will only make it more difficult and will increase the costs required for training your ENT billing and coding staff. If you have not made any preparations at this point, contact a professional billing coding and management service that specializes in otolaryngology clients, such as MD Pro Solutions, to talk about outsourcing billing ENT services to ensure that you are prepared and compliant.
Mistake #4 – Not Being Realistic
If you run a small practice or clinic and your staff is already stretched to its limit, consider hiring a professional team to help you with ENT billing and coding instead of forcing your staff to crash study all of the information regarding ICD-10 changes. You can hire a team to take care of your billing coding and management while your in-house staff takes the time to be properly trained in all the changes. This will help you to avoid billing errors, a loss of income and a bottleneck of claims that need to be processed.
Mistake #5 – Assume Your Staff Can Handle It
Even if you have the time and the resources available to pay for training and upgrades to prepare your office for the ICD-10 changes, don’t just assume that your staff can handle it. Consider bringing in a qualified, experienced consultant to work with your billing coding and management team to ensure that they are able to adapt to the coming changes. There will be a lot of additional work required even after training in order to remain compliant, so make sure that your office will be able to keep up with what is required for ENT billing and coding in the coming months.
Mistake #6 – Not Communicating With Your Staff
It is important to keep the flow of communication open between you and your staff throughout this entire process. If any of your team members aren’t sure about their ability to handle the coming ICD-10 changes, if they feel that they need extra training or if they discover that additional software upgrades are required, they need to be able to communicate that to you effectively. Consider outsourcing billing ENT services consultants that will be a source of information flow between you and your staff during the training and implementation phase.
Mistake #7 – Wasting Time on Codes You Won’t Need
The number of codes that are coming with the impending ICD-10 changes will exceed 150,000. While you might have been able to have at least a familiar knowledge of all the codes in the past, there is no way that you will be able to memorize 150,000 plus lines of code. Don’t waste time learning codes that you will never use. Focus on the codes that are relevant to the work that you do in ENT billing and coding and study them carefully. Consider making a list of the codes that you know you will be using the most to keep them handy during training and when the ICD-10 changes go into effect.
To avoid making these or any other mistakes with regard to billing coding and management or the upcoming ICD-10 changes, contact MD Pro Solutions. Our team of knowledgeable, highly trained and experienced billing and support specialists can help you take control of your ENT billing and coding once and for all. Hire a consultant to help you get through the process or consider outsourcing billing ENT services for complete coverage. Choose to upgrade your current software or switch to another option that might be more suited to your practice. Give us a call at 508-946-1665 for a FREE estimate on any of our professional services.