How To Prepare Your Practice For Icd-10: Part 2

Aug 18 | , , , , , ,


ICD-10 is one of the most significant changes the U.S. health care system has experienced, and it is unlikely to be delayed again. The first part of this series discussed staff training for coding and coordinating testing schedules with your practice’s vendors. However, there will be more to do once these key steps are complete. Here is a potential timeline for the summer and early fall:

Integration testing
ICD-10 data needs to be able to travel smoothly through all internal systems. From registration to billing and collections, clinics need to ensure everything is integrated. Starting integration testing early helps your staff troubleshoot potential problems. Because a lack of integration with billing systems could delay reimbursements, practice owners may want to consider reducing the amount of internal testing they conduct in favor of testing their integrated systems. However, more testing may be necessary if issues arise during integrated testing.

Test scenarios you know will fail
While this may seem counterintuitive, ICD-10 Monitor suggested negative tests. For example, you can ensure ICD-10 codes are not accepted for discharges on Sept. 30, 2015.

“By July, your ICD-10 solution should be in place.”

Start using your solution

By July, your ICD-10 solution should be in place. Starting to code in ICD-10 then gives your physical therapy clinic time to make adjustments before the deadline. Certain areas may have been overlooked, so it’s important to address these gaps when they arise. After the solution is in place, run coding and documentation audits. During this time, you should continue to test with payors as often as possible.

Hire extra coders

Depending on the size and needs of your clinic, bringing on extra coders initially may help your clinic minimize the disruptions immediately after the implementation. Skilled coders can help your practice reduce claim backlog and prevent cash flow issues.

Prioritize claims and find ways to minimize revenue issues

Immediately after the ICD-10 transition, focus on the claims with the best chances of approval. In addition, consider offering automated payments to avoid cash flow interruptions, according to ICD-10 Monitor. While the transition has far-reaching implications for health care, early preparation helps. Not preparing on time could cause reimbursements to be delayed, disrupting your practice’s cash flow.

Your physical therapy practice needs to be prepared for the implications of ICD-10. Consider your staff’s level of readiness and determine the next steps for the coming months.


This article is brought to you by PREFERRED Therapy Providers Inc. PREFERRED is the nation’s leading payor management services network. Our expertise is working with physical, occupational and speech therapy practices – from single clinics to multiple clinic locations.