The official deadline for adopting the newly expanded ICD-10 is quickly approaching. By Oct. 1, 2015, medical offices will be required to adopt the expanded system of codes, or face the possibility of penalties, and delayed claims. Here at Health Care Partners, we are positioned to help you make this transition as smoothly as possible by providing important information and tools you need to make the leap.

The more comprehensive ICD-10 is designed to accommodate future expansions as well.

With more than 55,000 additional new codes the ICD-10 system is essentially a more complete medical language that will be used to collect and compare medical information from around the world. Over 100 countries utilize this uniformed system of codes to report mortality rates, as well as to track research and health trends.

Despite the attempts to delay the move from the antiquated ICD-9 system by smaller medical firms, and the AMA, it looks as though the transition to ICD-10 is inevitable. It is important for your practice, and your patients that you are prepared to handle the conversion without too many hiccups. The more comprehensive ICD-10 is designed to accommodate future expansions in the code, as well. You will find the codes are longer in the new format, which is an upgrade from the current system allowing room for new codes to be added as required.

If you are a solo physician, or part of a smaller medical group and you haven’t already done so, it is vital at this point to get your team trained in how to use and understand the ICD-10.

HealthCare Partners has outlined some simple steps to help you get up and running with the new system

We are here to help you in any way we can to make this transition with as little down time as possible. Start by access the ICD-10 codes in order to determine if you would like to use a clearinghouse for your transformation. After this decision is made begin training your staff. Begin by locating the ICD-9 codes your practice uses most often and begin replacing these codes with the new ICD-10 codes for your current cases. Now you will need to update your processing methods to include the new information that will be found in the ICD-10. Check around with vendors and health plans to ensure that they too, are preparing for the transition.

Now it’s time to put your processing to the test to discover and repair any failures in the system. It would be a good idea to have a back-up system in place to submit claims during any down time. Although we often bulk at the onset of change, we inevitably must embrace it, and learn to progress as the world around us evolves. Once you have made the move to the new ICD-10 you will most likely find that your life has actually been made easier.

If you are a small practice operating under tight scheduling, and resources, please consider allowing Health Care Partners to show you how to increase the profitability of your practice.


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