The grace period during which Medicare would not impose penalties for less-than-specific coding under ICD-10-CM* is expiring on October 1, 2016. The change from ICD-9 to ICD-10 diagnosis coding that took place on October 1, 2015 was a major adjustment for most physicians and their practice staff. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recognized some of the difficulties that were going to be faced in the transition, and in response they issued a document of guidance describing certain ‘flexibilities’ that would initially be allowed.
The Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Andy Slavitt, recently posted this blog article that describes the successful transition to ICD-10 diagnosis code reporting on October 1, 2015. In it, Slavitt writes, “For thousands of physicians and other clinicians around the country, the change to ICD-10 was a big undertaking, requiring time, planning and a period of adjustment. But on October 1, proper execution and good implementation made all the difference.”
This concludes our series of articles designed to assist radiologists with the task of preparing their reports for maximum compliance with ICD-10-CM reporting to Medicare. By fine-tuning your documentation you will be assured of the best coding and uninterrupted reimbursement under ICD-10. The complete series is available on our blog page, which also contains additional information to help radiology practices with this major change.
Healthcare Administrative Partners continues our efforts to help radiology practices make a successful transition to ICD-10 with this article, the third in our series focusing on how radiologists can fine-tune their documentation to assure the best coding and uninterrupted reimbursement. Our previous articles covered Documentation for Pain and Documentation for Fractures and our blog contains additional information to help radiology practices prepare for this major change.
This is the second in our series of articles designed to assist radiologists with the transition to ICD-10-CM, which will be used in place of ICD-9-CM for reporting diagnoses to Medicare beginning on October 1, 2015. Our goal is to help you fine-tune your documentation to assure the best coding and uninterrupted reimbursement under ICD-10. Our first article covered Documentation for Pain and we also previously posted other information to help radiology practices prepare for this major change. A large number of diagnostic imaging exams deal with the assessment of fractures and the documentation of these exams will require some pieces of information that were not always included in radiology reporting until now.
By this time, most people working in healthcare are already aware of the deadline to begin using ICD-10-CM in place of ICD-9-CM for reporting diagnoses to Medicare on October 1, 2015. Healthcare Administrative Partners has previously posted information to help radiology practices prepare, and this new series of articles is designed to help radiologists fine-tune their documentation to assure the best coding and uninterrupted reimbursement under ICD-10. One of the major areas of concern for radiologists is in the description of pain for proper diagnosis coding. A survey of historical coding by radiology practices showed that 17 of the 100 most commonly used ICD-9 diagnoses were related to pain.
Will you have to be ready to use ICD-10 coding by October 1, 2015? The answer is: "perhaps". Current law says that this will be the earliest date for its implementation. CMS, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has stated that there will be no further extensions. And, at the time of this writing, there is no indication that an ICD-10 extension will be included as part of legislation that would also extend the current Medicare fee schedule beyond its planned March 31st expiration, but this could change as negotiations continue in Washington this week.
As we have reported in a previous article, there are many good reasons to prepare for ICD-10 even if the Medicare program never requires it to be used! The key to readiness is to improve clinical documentation so that the coding and billing team can do the best job possible to maximize your practice reimbursement, and this approach will also help improve your billing immediately.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said unequivocally that October 1, 2014 would be the date for mandatory implementation of the ICD-10 coding system and that there would be no further delays. CMS was overruled, however, with the signing of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA) on April 1, 2014, which directed that CMS could not adopt ICD-10 any earlier than October 1, 2015. Now that CMS has confirmed this revised start date in the Federal Register, radiology practices should not delay their preparations for the transition. Here are four steps your radiology practice can take to keep moving ahead with plans to be ready for ICD-10.
HAP was recently named as the top medical coding company in this article by Medical Coding and Billing Online, a site dedicated to helping students explore education opportunities within the industry. In thanking them for this recognition, we also want to take the opportunity to recognize and thank our team of coding professionals for the excellence that they deliver to our clients on a daily basis.