Happy First Birthday, ICD-10
This week marks the first anniversary of the implementation of ICD-10 in the U.S. The consensus opinion across the healthcare industry seems to be that year one wasn’t too bad. There is a nagging fear, however, that the proverbial “other shoe” may yet drop as CMS’s coding specificity “grace period” ends and claims denials potentially increase. An executive at a Texas health system, quoted in Healthcare Finance News, says, “Denials as a whole are a challenge. We’re expecting more when the grace period is done.”
As ICD-10 turns one, PatientKeeper product manager Lisa Nolan’s advice to provider organizations is simple. “It’s important for revenue cycle management executives to continue the education process with ICD-10,” she says. “The system will continue to evolve with time, so it’s imperative that they stay close to physicians and keep them apprised of new codes and coding requirements. The end of the ICD-10 grace period will trigger more questions and require more collaboration among all parties.”
Nolan also believes natural language code search on the front end (and greater flexibility on the back end) of professional charge capture and cleansing processes will become even more valuable as ICD-10 continues to develop.
It will be interesting to see what providers’ post-grace period experience is and how people are feeling a year from now, on the second anniversary of ICD-10.