Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced there will be no delay to implementation for ICD-10-CM and PCS, which is scheduled October 1, 2014. She then encouraged everyone in the industry to work diligently toward a successful transition.
Tavenner made the statement at the annual Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference, a year after she announced a 90-day comment period to determine if and how long a delay would be. The comments at that time ranged from killing ICD-10 completely to making no change from the originally planned date of 2013. Ultimately, the implementation was postponed by a year. Many providers and payers are using the extra year to better prepare.
Several organizations hoped Tavenner might announce another postponement at the HIMSS gathering, and some still advocated shelving the code set, but it looks like implementation is a done deal.
March 21st, 2013
AAPC is now accepting nominations for its Member of the Year Award. This annual award recognizes an individual member of AAPC for his/her outstanding contributions, leadership and achievements in service to AAPC and its members. The award is given for significant participation in and support of AAPC and member activities. The recipient will have advanced the mission, goals and purposes of AAPC and will have positively impacted AAPC’s programs, activities and /or services. (more…)
September 25th, 2012
Ready or not, ICD-10 is happening. Implementation of the expanded diagnosis code set may be two years away, but at least one insurer isn’t letting the grass grow under its feet. UnitedHealthcare is hard at work updating its medical and drug policies and coverage determination guidelines with applicable ICD-10 codes in preparation for the transition from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10 medical coding on Oct. 1, 2014. (more…)
September 10th, 2012
The October 2012 update to the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) includes added coverage, two new drug/biological codes, and three corrected payment rates. Providers and suppliers paid under the OPPS should take note of these changes to ensure proper reimbursement.
A New Date
As many of you know, CMS just announced that ICD-10 will indeed be delayed one year. You can read the full announcement here. The implementation date is now set for October 1, 2014 (the same one year delay originally announced last Spring). This gives all providers a good amount of time for implementation and preparation.
A Second Chance
For those of you who have started preparations (Congratulations!), this one year delay should not interrupt your plans but you might slightly adjust your benchmarks schedule. To assist you, we’ve updated our ICD-10 Implementation Tracker to reflect the new 2014 implementation date. For those of you who have yet to begin preparing for ICD-10, you are fortunate enough to have another year to get caught up. During the past few months, we have heard much discussion regarding preparation testing. The recent switch to 5010 standards for billing highlighted the need to properly test. As a result, we have updated our benchmark tracker to recommend some testing time prior to October 1, 2014.
What You Should Be Doing Now
Where should you start? That depends on your role. If you are part of implementing the new code set in your office, facility or practice, we believe you’ll need to fully understand all the necessary steps to implement this change. AAPC has prepared special implementation boot camps that show you all the steps necessary to accomplish a full ICD-10 implementation. These 2-day boot camps are held around the country for you to attend. We will soon add more sites and provide a schedule of implementation boot camps in early 2013.
If you are a coder and you feel you might need more anatomy and pathophysiology knowledge for the increased clinical specificity requirements of the ICD-10 codes, then you should brush up on that now. AAPC’s online ICD-10-CM Anatomy and Pathophysiology training is approved for 14 CEUs and is only $149.95.
If you are a coder who only needs to learn the codes – relax for a few months. AAPC will have general ICD-10-CM code set training available online (2nd Quarter, 2013), at a Boot Camp (July, 2013), at one of seven ICD-10 Conferences held across the country (beginning January 2014), or at our 2014 National Conference (Nashville). Specialty code set training will also be available online or at one of the seven nationwide ICD-10 Conferences and our 2014 National Conference in Nashville, TN.
An ICD-10 proficiency assessment will be available from October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2015. It is required passage for all AAPC certified coders/auditors, and recommended for anyone else with coding responsibilities within their organization. It will have 75 questions, be open-book, online, and un-proctored. Coders will have two attempts at passing for a $60 administration fee. AAPC will provide an online proficiency tool (available in September 2013) to help you prepare.
What Your Provider Should Now Do
The most important thing that can be done early is to ensure the providers document sufficiently for the increased specificity in ICD-10. Many have heard the EMR systems will handle this, but we are skeptical. AAPC, through its Physician Services business can provide a low cost documentation assessment and if there are weaknesses, education and training on proper documentation can be provided early. This will help now and in the future as it prepares each physician for the changes in ICD-10. The assessment includes a preliminary assessment of 10 dates of service, a detailed report of findings, 1/2 hour of webinar or telephone training based on those assessment results and then a follow-up assessment a few months later of another 10 dates of service to measure the results. The cost is $395 per provider. View a sample report.
Additionally, AAPC will provide a 3-hour online course (by specialty) to train providers on ICD-10-CM documentation and coding. We will have one for 20 different specialties. This will be moderated by a physician expert in ICD-10 and will address physician needs and concerns in their own ways of thinking and processing. These will be available in the summer of 2013.
ICD-10 is a significant change, but for coders without responsibility over ICD-10 implementation, it will NOT take years to prepare nor huge dollars. Our code set trainings will be hundreds of dollars. Our conference prices will be in their normal ranges. Our help to providers is also hundreds of dollars. And for those that desire a full training solution, we’ll have ICD-10 Code Set Bundles beginning at $645 and available beginning 2nd Quarter of 2013.
We think 16-24 hours of training and some personal practice prior to October 1, 2014 may be all that is necessary. Of course, you’ll want code books and AAPC will have those at great prices. At AAPC, we want to help you learn all you need and have all the resources necessary, but not for more money or time than is necessary. We repeat, don’t learn the codes too early – you still have to apply the ICD-9 codes until October of 2014.
For more information, free resources, and help with any of the above, please visit the ICD-10 section of our website.
Reed E. Pew
AAPC Chairman and CEO
August 30th, 2012