ICD-10: T-minus 50 days and counting

ICD-10: T-minus 50 days and counting

Just 50 days remain for optometrists to prepare to adopt new coding guidelines—and the AOA offers a number of resources that provide guidance and support.

The compliance deadline for ICD-10 is October 1, 2015.

The compliance deadline for the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th revision (ICD-10) is October 1, 2015. Once in effect, this will serve as the new system for reporting medical conditions on insurance claims and in patient records.

In July, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance that grants doctors a one-year period to adjust to the greater specificity of ICD-10 codes. Starting Oct. 1, 2015, and continuing for one year, CMS will not deny mistakenly coded claims so long as they are a valid code from the correct ICD-10 code family. This leeway does not postpone ICD-10 implementation—claims must use ICD-10 codes starting on Oct. 1, 2015—but is intended to provide doctors a window to gain familiarity amid the major coding transition.

The CMS also released additional guidance in the form of an FAQ sheet that clarifies information regarding the first year of ICD-10 and the coding flexibilities, including "what is a valid ICD-10 code?" or "What is meant by a family of codes?" Review this information to learn more about CMS allowances in the first year of ICD-10.

10 steps for ICD-10 preparations
Consider these 10 steps to help prepare for ICD-10 implementation using AOA member resources.

  1. Equip your office. Purchase the AOA's 2015 Coding Bundle from AOA Marketplace, which includes the 2015 AOA ICD-10 Codes for Optometry, the 2015 AMA Professional Edition CPT Manual and the AOA Express Mapping Card-an easy crosswalk between ICD-9 and ICD-10.

  2. Refresh your knowledge. The AOA's 10-part ICD-10 webinar series covers everything from how to prepare for the ICD-10 transition to how to code for specific ocular conditions.

  3. Check your progress. Test your knowledge at the end of the webinar series, and access review material here.

  4. Query the experts. AOA's Coding Experts are available to answer your coding questions. Click here to submit your question to the coding experts.

  5. Review AOA Focus. 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.

  6. Use members-only coding resources. AOACodingToday.com is an AOA resource for ICD-10 and CPT information, with a library of ICD-10 codes and an ICD-10 crosswalk.

  7. Keep an eye out. Look for additional information and guidance in AOA Focus, aoa.org/news and the AOA alerts page.

  8. Register for CMS 'countdown.' Participate in the CMS' "Countdown to ICD-10" implementation call on Aug. 27 to get coding guidance, tips and updates from CMS. Click here to register.

  9. Make a connection. Use AOA's ICD-10 resources page as a gateway to other helpful links and resources from CMS, Medscape and other groups.

  10. Contact your AOA staff. 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. Please contact her at kcwebb@aoa.org.

August 11, 2015

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