2 weeks remain to prepare for ICD-10

2 weeks remain to prepare for ICD-10

Excerpted from page 16 of the September 2015 edition of AOA Focus.

After years of discussion, preparation and deadline extensions, the ICD-10 compliance deadline is almost here. On October 1, all providers covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) must adhere to the new codes. AOA Coding Experts Doug Morrow, O.D., Harvey Richman, O.D., and Rebecca Wartman, O.D., offer advice on what you need to do before October 1.

Use AOA resources to help ensure a smooth transition.
  1. Become familiar with the nomenclature and code structure.
    Dr. Wartman recommends always starting with the alphabetic index to look up a code because not all codes are in chapter 7, where many of the H series of ocular codes are listed. "Use the general descriptive term," she says. "For example, for dry eye syndrome, start with 'syndrome,' and for macular degeneration, start with 'degeneration.'" Dr. Morrow adds, "Be thoroughly familiar with the alpha and tabular indices and how to use them. Understand the excludes rules."

  2. Know your practice's top conditions.
    Dr. Richman recommends developing a top-50 list of codes commonly used in your practice. ICD-10 includes all diabetic eye codes in one subgroup, which will be helpful to optometrists. But there will be more coding detail required for trauma and injury cases. And ODs will need to pay close attention to laterality when applicable.

  3. Practice.
    Optometric offices can use the month of September to practice coding, including both typical and not-so-typical cases. "While the system is complex, don't be overwhelmed," Dr. Morrow says. "Take small sections at a time." Dr. Wartman reminds ODs that ICD-10 will not change the way they practice, but they will need to be as specific as possible with their documentation. The good news is that minor mistakes won't hurt you for the next 12 months. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced in July that during the first year of ICD-10, it will reimburse for wrongly coded claims as long as the erroneous code is in the same family as the correct code.

  4. Double-check with your vendors.
    Make sure that all of your vendors—electronic health records vendors, insurance plans, clearinghouses—are prepared and you know what to expect from them. Run internal and external testing to ensure the system will run smoothly on October 1.

Use AOA resources to prepare for ICD-10
With just two weeks until the ICD-10 implementation date on Oct. 1, AOA members can ensure a smooth transition using these resources.

  • The AOA's 11-part ICD-10 webinar series, covering everything from preparing for the transition to coding for specific ocular conditions, with an interactive test to ensure proficiency. Click here to submit coding questions to the AOA's Coding Experts.

  • AOA's ICD-10 resources page is a gateway to helpful links and resources from CMSMedscape and other groups. And AOACodingToday.com offers members ICD-10 and CPT information with a library of ICD-10 codes and an ICD-10 crosswalk.

  • From May to October this year, AOA's Coding Experts are discussing frequently asked ICD-10 questions as part of their recurrent Ask the Coding Experts column in AOA Focus (member login required). Look for additional information and guidance on aoa.org/news and the AOA alerts page.

  • ·AOA's Associate Director for Coding and Regulatory Policy, Kara Webb, is available for guidance on resource use and welcomes any suggestions for additional ICD-10 tools and resources doctors may need. Contact her at kcwebb@aoa.org.

September 17, 2015

comments powered by Disqus