With so much discussion around how to implement ICD-10 codes, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of why it’s important in the first place. Practice administrators tasked with the daunting mission of generating enthusiasm for the transition may want to explain the value of ICD-10 to providers and staff from two distinct perspectives.
On one hand is the issue of regulatory compliance and revenue. This perspective is plain and simple: Failure to use ICD-10 correctly will result in failure to be reimbursed properly once Oct. 1, 2014, is here.
On the other hand, however, is the significance of ICD-10 to clinical care. It’s essential that providers and staff alike understand that ICD-10 really isn’t just about compliance. It’s about improving patient outcomes, too. The clinical detail in ICD-10 gives providers more of the information they need to improve the care of individuals, as well as entire patient populations. The granularity of ICD-10 data can be used to enhance everything from utilization management review to disease management to public health.
Providers, and administrators alike, also may be interested in the fact that ICD-10 enhanced reporting capabilities could allow for more precise reimbursement, enhanced pay-for-performance opportunities and perhaps a reduced need for attachments – all of which improve operational efficiency and cash flow.
For practice administrators, explaining the benefits of ICD-10 may well come down to when and how you do it. The sooner you start educating providers and staff, the better. In addition, make sure you tailor both the content and the timing of your education to the distinct needs of those being taught.