CMS just announced the final official” ICD-10 implementation date for chiropractors and other physicians. (Click link to read the full announcement). The implementation date is now set for October 1, 2014 (the same one year delay originally announced last Spring). What this means to chiropractors is that we all will have ample time to prepare for the ICD-10 transition.
Start ICD-10 Training – Or Wait?
Some in the chiropractic community have started preparations early and seminars to train staff on ICD-10 changes already exist. Personally, I think this is too soon as you now have an extra year to wait to implement your new knowledge. On the positive side, you now have an extra year to understand how ICD-10 changes will affect your chiropractic practice.
What You Should Be Doing Now
Depending on your role in the chiropractic practice, there are several things you can begin doing now. If you are the doctor/owner, be aware that BOTH you and your staff will have to learn ICD-10 changes. Since the ICD-10 represents a completely new diagnosis code set that does not at all resemble the former, you will learn how diagnosis codes are structured in ICD-10. Many chiropractors have heard that their EMR systems will take care of this. Certainly, if you are on EMR, it should make the transition easier, but I wouldn’t totally depend on your EMR company to provide you with training sufficient to master ICD-10 coding.
If you are a staff member, billing person or office manager, you need to plan when you and your staff are going to be trained on ICD-10 coding. Once ICD-10 goes “live” it will be too late to learn this new language, as you will be behind the curve.
As far as how the training will be conducted, you will have many options. Because this transition is huge in the healthcare arena, it’s likely you will be given a variety of formats for training – even as chiropractors. Be on the lookout for seminars, webinars, CDs and other information products designed to educate you on ICD-10.
When to Start Training
Assuming the October 2014 deadline stays intact, my recommendation for all chiropractic personnel would be to begin training anywhere from 3-6 months before the deadline. Even billing industry experts in the medical fields (who have much more to implement than chiropractors) admit that ICD-10 training will not take years to master so it’s important not to start training too soon, as you will not retain the information.
For now, I hope you can take home a few key ideas from this article.
- ICD-10 implementation has been delayed (again) until October 2014
- All chiropractic personnel (staff and doctors) will need to learn the ICD-10 codeset
- Look to start training 3-6 months before the October 2014 deadline