As the adage goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Although you may believe your IT vendors have their software ready for the impending ICD-10 transition, you don’t want to be caught off-guard by unanticipated snags. So now is the perfect time to rethink each and every one of your systems—from your practice management (PM) system to your electronic health record (EHR) system and even your clearinghouse.
If you begin right now, you have enough time to make sure all of your IT platforms are up to the task. You don’t want to be stuck trying to implement new systems or upgrades in the weeks just before the October 1, 2014, compliance date. Just imagine if your EHR isn’t ready—the effects of that would trickle down to everything including your clearinghouse, which ultimately puts your revenue cycle in jeopardy.
Sound a little early to be worrying about these updates? Think about how many times the first version of any software you’ve received has worked perfectly. Chances are, not many. With that thought in mind, ask your vendors some key questions about planned ICD-10 software updates, including:
- Which version of the update will I be receiving?
- How has the software been tested?
- Are any practices similar to mine already using this update?
Most software—even software that’s ICD-10 enabled—is likely to require some action on your part before it’s fully capable of being tested and actually processing ICD-10 codes. That action may involve loading lists of diagnosis codes. It may involve flipping the proverbial switch. Whatever it is, you need to know both how and when to do it.
Even if you ensure that each of your IT systems is capable of handling ICD-10 individually, you’ll still need to make sure they’re capable of working together. Keep in mind that experts advise you to start testing externally by October 1, 2013, so it is a good rule of thumb that you should be testing your systems’ internal compatibility beforehand, allowing you to start external testing early. The sooner you can start testing your ICD-10 capabilities externally, the more confident you can be that all of your technology is working smoothly.
For more information about working with your clearinghouse through the transition, download this free white paper Managing Your Revenue Cycle with a Clearinghouse: What You Should Expect from Your Solution.