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How 5010 Will Enhance Practice Profitability

By now everyone in the healthcare industry has heard about the Version 5010 transition that will take place on Jan. 1, 2012. However, I am sure some people may still wonder exactly what this transition is—and how healthcare practices will benefit from the transition.

To understand how 5010 will help your practice, just imagine traveling to a country where everyone speaks a different dialect of the same language. In this environment, you are trying to conduct very important business transactions, where crucial details and nuances might be misinterpreted.

That is exactly the predicament the healthcare industry has faced for years. Now, however, Version 5010 of the electronic transaction standards promises to become a universal dictionary that will allow everyone to speak the same language, in the same dialect— essentially enabling apples-to-apples “conversations” among all healthcare entities. And that, in turn, will help every practice reap the benefits of improved claims filing, payment posting, eligibility verification, and other vital revenue cycle management (RCM) functions.

But before any of these positive results can be realized, the entire industry must adopt the new standard. Payers and other healthcare entities must begin using 5010 on Jan. 1, 2012. Practices that have not ensured all of their affiliated organizations will be 5010 compliant will experience claim rejections and significant disruptions to their cash flow.

The primary benefit 5010 promises practices stems from the greater standardization it provides the industry. It will negate those different “dialects” various healthcare entities are now speaking. It is also a major building block to ensuring that practices are prepared for the ICD-10 transition that will take place in October 2013. Without a successful 5010 conversation, practices will not be able to move to ICD-10; software structures will not be able to support the new codes.

To avoid cash flow interruptions during implementation, practices must assess not only their own preparedness for 5010, but also the readiness of their business partners. Download the free white paper, How 5010 Will Enhance Practice Profitability: A Preparation Guide for Physician Practices, to learn more about what your practice must do to prepare for the 5010 transition and how this transition will ultimately help practices achieve higher productivity and lower administrative costs.