Congress Passes Historic Medicare Reform

Bipartisan Bill Headed to President’s Desk for Signature

(The content of this post is from a letter received from McKesson on April 15, 2015 as a McKesson Public Affairs ALERT.)

congress passes historic medicare reform HR2

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed H.R. 2 which reforms the Medicare physician payment system, helps slow healthcare cost growth, and extends healthcare coverage for children. The measure also passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 392 to 37. The President plans to sign the bill.

The passage of these critical reforms is both substantively and politically important.  The measure avoids the threat of draconian cuts to Medicare providers. Politically, the bipartisan negotiating process and the overwhelmingly bipartisan vote show that in the newly controlled Republican Congress both parties can work together to get things done.

McKesson has advocated for these Medicare reforms in recent years and strongly supports this measure as it will have a positive impact on our physician customers and business partners.

What is the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR)?

Medicare payments to physicians are determined under a formula, commonly referred to as the “Sustainable Growth Rate” (SGR).  SGR was first passed into law in 1997 and intended to control physician spending by linking it to the nation’s economic growth.  The formula has called for reductions in physician payment rates since 2002, but Congress has spent nearly $150 billion in 17 short term patches to avoid the cuts.  The most recent patch was to expire on March 31st.  If Congress hadn’t acted, providers would have received a 21% reimbursement rate cut in April.

For several years, a bipartisan group of legislators had been working to permanently reform the SGR formula, but an agreement had proved politically elusive.  However, a few weeks ago, Speaker Boehner and Democratic Leader Pelosi announced they had reached a deal.

What Does the Bill Do?

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2) returns certainty to Medicare reimbursement, incentivizes quality and value, slows the growth of health care spending, and extends health coverage for children.  Specifically, the bill:

  • Reforms the Medicare physician payment system by providing a 0.5% annual increase for Medicare providers for the next four years;
  • Transitions to an incentive-based payment system in 2019 with potential for increased payment rates for providers participating in alternative payment models based on patient outcomes;
  • Requires Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to be interoperable by 2018 and prohibits providers from deliberately blocking information sharing with other EHR vendor products;
  • Extends funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Community Health Centers for an additional two years, and
  • Extends for six months a moratorium on enforcement of the “two-midnight” rule for short inpatient hospital stays.

What Does This Mean for McKesson Customers?

The guaranteed payment increase over the next four years will introduce mid-term stability and predictability for Medicare providers before they are transitioned to a new value-based system. The bill also supports providers as they navigate participation in alternative payment models, with the potential for increased reimbursement rates.

Though hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers will only see a base pay increase of 1% in 2018, about half of the increase without passage of the legislation, they largely backed the bill. In a letter, the American Hospital Association commended Congress for delaying cuts to the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital program an additional year, until 2018, and extending the partial enforcement delay on Medicare’s “two-midnight” policy for an additional 6 months.

This bill is also good news for hospitals, clinics, and providers who treat children enrolled in the CHIP program; without the two year extension, approximately two million children would lose access to healthcare, and more than eight million children could lose access to specialty care.

Finally, the bill requires EHRs to be interoperable by 2018 and prohibits providers from deliberately blocking information sharing with other EHR vendor products.  It also leverages EHRs for quality reporting and requires the exchange of healthcare information to manage patient care across care settings.

For More Information

To read more about this legislation, see the official House Energy and Commerce Committee detailed summary here.

Relay Health ICD-10 Testing Information

Learn Here How To Test Your ICD-10 Claims With Relay Health

icd-10

Relay Health is an electronic claims clearinghouse that is integrated with the Revenue Management feature of Medisoft and Lytec.  Relay Health’s seamless integration is awesome for you because it allows you to manage the entire claims process from within the program (Medisoft or Lytec), it provides you with real-time information about claim rejections or approvals, it speeds up the payment process, and reduces the time you spend on the claims process.

If you are not using the Relay Health clearinghouse, give AZCOMP a call to find out more about how Relay Health can save you time and get you paid quicker.

ICD-10 Testing

Earlier this year, AZCOMP produced and hosted 4 webinars designed to help small practices get ready for ICD-10.  In these webinars we discussed things like:

  • The ICD-10 billing challenges and the solutions that are available to you in Medisoft version 20 (or 19) and Lytec 2015 (or 2014)
  • How to put Medisoft or Lytec into “testing mode” so that you can test sending claims
  • How to set the date for the ICD-10 transition so that you can start using ICD-10 codes today and still be submitting your claims using ICD-9 codes
  • How to begin testing with your clearinghouse (including how to do this with Relay Health)
  • Problems your practice will face switching to ICD-10 outside of submitting claims and the solutions to these problems.

There was a lot more discussed in the 4-part webinar series but those are the highlights.

Click Here To Get Access To The Webinar Recordings!

Relay Health’s ICD-10 Testing Update

AZCOMP is a partner with Relay Health and they recently sent us this information about conducting ICD-10 testing with them.  Everything that you read below here is the information that we received from them.

ICD-10 Testing – It’s Easier Than You Think!

By now you’ve heard the warnings. If you’re not already conducting ICD-10 testing, you’re late. So why are you waiting? It’s easier than you think!

There are three types of testing available to RelayHealth customers:  End-to-End Testing, Validation Testing, and Self-Supported Payer Testing. 

Here’s how to get started:

1. End-to-End Payer Testing (Available Through July 31, 2015)
RelayHealth customers can send ICD-10 test claims to the 300+ core payers that are part of the RelayHealth testing program. Test claims will be processed through RelayHealth and sent to payers following the same process as ICD-9 claims.

  • Determine if you have been selected by your payers to conduct ICD-10 testing. Most payers are indicating they will test with a limited number of providers. 
  • View the training course for the RelayHealth ICD-10 testing program. This training course should be viewed prior to attempting any ICD-10 testing with your payers.
  • Review the “RelayHealth Reports – Test” section of the RelayHealth Reference Guide for information on RelayHealth generated test reports returned for test claims.  
  • Access the Payer Testing Readiness Dashboard from ConnectCenter or Collaboration Compass to determine if your payers are ready to conduct end-to-end ICD-10 testing.

Hundreds of RelayHealth customers have used our end-to-end ICD-10 testing platform to submit thousands of ICD-10 test claims to their payers and receive test claim remittances back from their payers. 

This end-to-end testing platform is only available until July 31, 2015. This aligns with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) recommendation to complete all ICD-10 testing by July 31 – to focus on final go-live preparations and mitigations (if any) during the last 60 days before the compliance deadline.  

2. Validation Testing (Available throughout the ICD-10 transition)
Validation testing allows customers to verify that their ICD-10 test claims have been successfully transmitted to RelayHealth – but it does not include the transmission to the payer component of end-to-end testing. 

Customers can send ICD-10 test claims to RelayHealth for code set validation of ICD-10-CM (Clinical Modification) for diagnosis and ICD-10-PCS (Procedure Coding System) for inpatient hospital procedures.

3. Self-Supported Payer Testing (Available throughout the ICD-10 transition)
If you were not selected by your payers to participate in end-to-end testing, you should ask your payers if they will enable you to submit passive ICD-10 test transactions. RelayHealth provides the means to conduct passive testing by enabling you to deliver an 837 test file to providers. This allows you to test directly with any of your payers, whether you’ve been selected to test or not.

WHY IS TESTING CRITICAL?

If your organization is not ready for the ICD-10 transition, you may experience significant backlogs, claim denials, and negative impacts on revenue. 

Read One Customer’s ICD-10 Testing Success Story
From the start, Tampa General Hospital understood the importance of payer-provider collaboration in ICD-10 readiness – particularly when it came to testing. They knew that this testing would be different than anything the industry had done before and in order for it to be meaningful, there had to be open and transparent collaboration between providers and payers. Learn how Tampa General validated its ICD-10 readiness and also helped identify some potentially problematic claim issues.

Action Required: If you haven’t started ICD-10 testing yet, we recommend you choose one – or more – of the testing options offered through RelayHealth and get started as soon as possible.

If this information was useful to you, please share the information by clicking below!

Announcing ICD-10 Training Webinars

Are you a small, independent medical practice or billing company?  Do you need some help getting ready for the ICD-10 transition?

With the ICD-10 transition right around the corner, we want to make sure that everyone is ready.  This webinar series is designed to help everyone get ready!

From these webinars you will learn:

  • The basics and background of ICD-10.
  • What new challenges you will have with billing because of ICD-10 and what your software (either Medisoft v20 or Lytec2015) will do for you to overcome these challenges.
  • All about testing submitting your claims so that you will feel confident going into October.
  • What you can do to make the transition to ICD-10 as easy as possible.

If you need practical and easy-to-understand information specific for your software (Medisoft or Lytec) to help you prepare for the October 1 deadline, then this is exactly what you are looking for.

Take a moment now to learn more about the webinars and to register.

Click Here for ICD-10 Webinar Information and Registration

As part of your ICD-10 implementation plan, you will need ICD-10 ready software for your practice.  Give AZCOMP a call at (888) 799-4777 to talk with a Software Specialist when you are ready to buy Medisoft v20, or Lytec 2015 or integrated EMR systems.

AZCOMP has been a Leading Software Partner for 15 years!  Coincidence… We Don’t Think so!

Here’s why Small Practices Partner With AZCOMP:

Small Independend Medical Practice Technology Partner

We Are Technology Partners

We don’t just sell software.  We understand the challenges Small Practices face & we find powerful solutions to help!  We’ve helped thousands of practices become more efficient, increase revenue, and most importantly – improve patient care.

Medical Billing Software Guru's

Lots of Medical Billing Software Guru’s

We are NOT a one man show.  We have specialized teams who know the software inside and out.  Each team is highly qualified in their area- like Software Support, Training, Installation, IT…  Let’s just say that the software companies are coming to us when they need help!

Medisoft Training; Lytec Training

Expert Training – For FREE!

It’s no secret that the happiest and most efficient Software users are those properly trained.  So we make sure that our customers get the expert training they need & won’t find anywhere else- like Free Tips and Tricks videos on our blog, webinars, and our popular Training DVD’s.

Want To Participate in ICD-10 End-To-End Testing?

Volunteer to participate in ICD-10 end-to-end testing – Forms due January 9th

During the week of April 26 through May 1, 2015, you may have the opportunity to participate in ICD-10 end-to-end testing.  Medicare Administrative Contractors (MAC) and the Common Electonic Data Interchange (CEDI) contractors will be conducting testing with a second sample group of providers.

Approximately 850 volunteer submitters will be selected to participate in the April end-to-end testing.  This nationwide sample will  yield meaningful results, since CMS intends to select volunteers representing a broad cross-section of provider, claim, and submitter types, including claims clearinghouses that submit claims for large numbers of providers.  Note: testers who are participating in the January testing are able to test again in April and July without re-applying.

You Must Apply To Volunteer as a Testing Submitter

  • Volunteer forms are available on your Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) website.
  • Completed volunteer forms are due January 9th, 2015.
  • CMS will review applications and select the group of testing submitters.
  • By January 30, 2015 the MACs and CEDI will notify the volunteers selected to test and provide them with the information needed for testing.

If Selected, Testers Must Be Able To Do The Following:

  • Submit future-dated claims.
  • Provide valid National Provider Identifiers (NPIs), Provider Transaction Access Numbers (PTANs), and beneficiary Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICNs) that will be used for test claims.  This information will be needed by your MAC by February 20, 2015, for set-up purposes; testers will be dropped if information is not provided by the deadline.

An additional opportunity for end-to-end testing will be available during the week of July 20 through 24, 2015.  Any issues identified during testing will be addressed prior to ICD-10 implementation.  Educational materials will be developed for providers and submitters based on the testing results.

Testing Goal

The goal of end-to-end testing is to demonstrate that providers and submitters are able to successfully submit claims containing ICD-10 codes to the Medicare Fee-For Service (FFS) claims systems.  It is also to demonstrate that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) software changes made to support ICD-10 result in appropriately adjudicated claims.  And lastly it is to demonstrate accurate remittance advices are produced.

Are You Ready For ICD-10?

Have You Created A Plan To Transition To ICD-10 Yet?

icd-10If you haven’t started preparing for ICD10 , then today is the time to start preparations.  October 2015 may seem like a long time from now, but it will sneak up on you if you aren’t being proactive.  The transition to ICD-10 will require significant changes of everyone in your practice.  If you look on the internet you will find a lot of different advice on what to do to get prepared.  You will probably find so much that it will become confusing on what you really need to do to get ready for the transition.

We have created two simple documents designed to cut through all the boring details and get you the basic information that you need in a simple format.

How Will ICD-10 Effect Those Working At Your Practice?

Take a look at this quick overview of how Icd10 will impact different staff members and the Physician at your small practice.  This will give you a brief explanation of what you will need to do differently in your workflow. Go Ahead and print a copy for each member of your staff so everyone is on the same boat- because lets face it- most people think that this is a “biller’s problem” but that is not true.

Where Does Your Plan Begin?

Now properly equipped with a brief overview, check out this 2 page ICD-10 guide to help you create your plan.  It’s more like a checklist to help you identify key items that need to be addressed in order to get you ready for the transition. Print it off and start checking- the list is short and sweet but that doesn’t mean that it won’t require time and effort to get the things done- so don’t be fooled into thinking you can wait until the last minute.

Use both of these documents to help you get focused and un-lost from all of the 1000’s of pages of information out there about ICD-10. Seriously- print these off and hang them up in your office to remind yourself and those in the practice of what has to happen.

Won’t My Software Handle The ICD-10 Update For Me?

It is true that you will need a new version of software that is ICD-10 ready, but that is only one piece of the puzzle.  You MUST be personally involved in the planning and preparations.  The ICD-10 change will require far more planning and effort than previous updates.

Physician documentation is the first point of impact for this new code set.  If the physician doesn’t capture the new level of detail required to support an ICD-10 claim in his patient visit notes, there is little that can be done down the line to get the claim coded correctly.  Without proper supporting detail, the claim is likely to be rejected.

For example: Under ICD-9, code 729.5 covers “pain in the limb.”  Under ICD-10, it explodes into 31 possible selections based on which limb and which side of the body.  In ICD-9, there are 17,000 codes.  In ICD-10-CM there are 140,000 codes.  This explosion of “specificity” will have a profound impact on the physician’s practice.

This transition is unlike every other change you have gone through before.  ICD-10 will change everything!  Make sure your practice is making preparations now so that you aren’t panicking next fall.

In some articles we’ll post soon we’ll go over some other resources that are available that can help your practice get ready for the transition.

If your practice has a plan already, or if you are working on it, let us know what you’ve been doing to get ready.  Share with us in the comments section below what you’ve been doing that is working or what you’ve done that isn’t working to get ready.  We can all learn together.

Looking For More Information?

If you are looking for one central spot to serve as your resource of all resources to help you along the way then the website www.roadto10.org is your best bet.  It is a nice one stop shop for all things ICD-10 and could be very helpful to you.  It is there and ready for you to check it out.

Does the thought of the ICD-10 transition make you feel a little uneasy?

If you want want that uneasy feeling to go away, the best place to start is right here.

icd-10

Are you looking for useful tools and documentation that will help you and your practice be ready for ICD10?  I’m sure you are all aware that the deadline for implementing and transitioning to ICD-10 has been pushed off another year to October 1, 2015.  Even though it is still over a year away, getting yourself prepared starting right now might be one of the best favors you can do for yourself.  So if you are looking for information about how to get prepared for the transition – then here we go.

If you haven’t visited the CMS website www.roadto10.org, it would be a good idea to go there soon to see what they have to offer.  Let’s take a look at two different tools that they have.

Webcast Series

So far there are 4 different webcasts that have been published with topics like “Training and Preparation on the “Road to 10”, and Clinical Documentation and Coding on the “Road to 10”.  There is another one scheduled for next week on August 26th called Transitioning onto the ICD-10 On-Ramp.  One more webcast beyond that is also in planning called Testing on the “Road to 10”.

In your preparations for the transition to ICD-10, these tools could prove to be valuable for you so we recommend that you give them a look.

Build Your Action Plan

example of an ICD-10 action plan to get your practice ready for transition to icd-10

On this road to 10 site, there is also a section that will help you build an action plan for your practice.  After you enter in your own information about the size of your practice and what sort of technology you are using, you tell the tool what stage of ICD-10 readiness you are in.  So if you are just in the planning stages, after you enter that in, a downloadable action plan will be generated for your use.

Here is a screen shot of what the plan overview looks like.

In that overview there are 5 different sections you need to focus on to getting ready for the transition.  Section 1: Plan Your Journey.   Section 2: Train Your Team.  Section 3: Update Your Processes.  Section 4: Engage Your Vendors & Payers.  Section 5: Test Your Systems and Processes.  In the action plan from the CMS website, each one of these sections has detailed information for you to review, tools provided and action steps defined for you to take to get ready.

If you are looking for resources to help you get ready then by all means, utilize these tools in your practice so that you will be ready when the time comes.  If you haven’t even thought about what it is going to take to get ready, then it is time to start thinking about it and this is where you can start.

Best Laid Plans

Sometimes the best laid plans quickly end up in shambles and that can be frustrating.  If you find yourself trying to get prepared for the ICD-10 transition and you keep getting stuck…we can help!

AZCOMP has some of the best trainers, educators and implementer’s in the country when it comes to helping small practices achieve success with transition and change and getting plans executed.  If you are feeling stuck and like you are not making any progress then give us a call at 888.799.4777.  We can help you get un-stuck and headed in the right direction.

What are you doing that is working?  What have you tried that others might want to avoid because it didn’t help you?  Share your successes and failures in the comments below so that we can all learn together. 

News From CMS Regarding ICD-10 Testing Week

This Past March, CMS Conducted A Successful Test Submitting Claims Using ICD-10 Codes

In an article published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on May 30, 2014, CMS states that with the use of 2,600 different participating providers, supplier, billing companies and clearinghouses, over 127,000 claims were submitted using ICD-10 codes to the Medicare Fee-for-service (FFS) claims system.

CMS states that the test week was successful because nationally, CMS accepted 89% of the test claims, with some regions reporting acceptance rates as high as 99%.  “This testing week allowed an opportunity for testers and CMS alike to learn valuable lessons about ICD-10 claims processing.  In many cases, testers intentionally included such errors in their claims to make sure that the claim would be rejected, a process often referred to as negative testing.”

Make sure you are keeping up to date with all of the latest news from CMS regarding ICD-10 by subscribing to their email notifications.  Or just visit their website regularly to get all sorts of good information on transition planning, timelines and all manner of good resources that should help your practice prepare for ICD-10 implementation in 2015.

It Is Time To Embrace ICD-10

CMS recently released this information about the ICD-10 delay.

healthcare software industry updatesWhen the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA) was passed on April 1, 2014, a lot of people read the part about the ICD-10 delay thinking it meant that it was a fixed one year delay.  In actuality, the law stated that “the Secretary may not adopt ICD-10 prior to October 1, 2015.”  So October 1, 2015 was the soonest it would be allowed.

This recent release of information about the ICD-10 delay by CMS states that “the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services expects to release an interim final rule in the near future that will include a new compliance date that would require the use of ICD-10 beginning October 1, 2015.  The rule will also require HIPPA covered entities to continue to use ICD-9-CM through September 30, 2015.”

44% of Physicians Were Unprepared for ICD-10 Prior To The Delay

In a report called the Practice Profitability Index, 2014 Edition, of the 5,064 physicians that contributed insights to the report, 44% of them reported that they didn’t know whether they would be ready for the ICD-10 transition.  Another 25% stated that they were certain they would not be prepared.

Luckily for the nearly 70% who were either not prepared or weren’t sure they were prepared that the date for implementation of ICD-10 has been delayed.  Not being prepared for the adoption of the new code set would have caused major disruptions to a practices billing and collections processes.

So, don’t you think it is time to get prepared for ICD-10 in 2015?  There is no time like right now to start preparing.  Don’t leave your practice in a position where your billing and collections processes are majorly disrupted.

How To Prepare For ICD-10

The first and best thing to do right now if you are not already prepared is to create a plan to become prepared.  Several months back AZCOMP put together The Small Practice Guide To ICD-10 Deadlines to help small practices prepare for the adoption of ICD-10 Codes.  The guide still references 2014 as the time to switch, but the information is all still relevant and useful to your practice in making preparations.  Use the guide and make preparations.  If you need to consult with someone on the best way to make your preparations, please give us a call at AZCOMP.

We understand that there is definitely a cost associated with adopting and implementing ICD-10, and also associated with many of the other regulations bearing down on the health care industry.  This is a stressful situation for everyone involved, including us at AZCOMP.  We spend a lot of time trying to understand the impact of each regulation, and of each change to the regulations.  We try to take this information and provide solutions that are helpful and useful.

Getting More Efficient Has To Be Part Of The Long Term Plan

While the cost of running your practice increases due to trying to comply with regulations, your practice must look for ways to become more productive and efficient.  Do more with less.  That is the challenge in every industry and with every business.  How do you do it?  It is a difficult task to say the least.

We advise you to take a look at some solutions we have to offer that should truly help your small practice become more efficient allowing you to get more done (see more patients) with fewer resources (the same amount of staff you currently have).  The patient statements tool built into Medisoft and Lytec is an easy thing you can implement right now to help your practice get more done with less.  The appointment reminder system that we have to offer may also be a useful tool for you in that it automatically reminds patients of their appointment without your staff having to do anything (they can be working on other things instead of making time consuming phone calls).

If you haven’t already, switching to an EMR is also a way to increase productivity, increase efficiency, allow your practice to get more done with fewer resources, and most importantly provide better patient care.  There are a lot of benefits to EMR that totally overshadow any meaningful use credits or trying to avoid penalties.  Your practice should take a look at how using an EMR system can improve your practice for the long run.  AZCOMP offers a very affordable solution to get into EMR and start reaping the benefits of the system.

 

CMS Statement on ICD-10

ICD-10

 

 

CMS posted the following statement on their website today regarding ICD-10:

With enactment of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, CMS is examining the implications of the ICD-10 provision and will provide guidance to providers and stakeholders soon.  This provision in the statute reads as follows:  “The Secretary of Health and Human Services may not, prior to October 1, 2015, adopt ICD-10 code sets as the standard for codes sets under section 1173 (c) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320d-2 (c)) and section 162.1002 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations.”

This statement was posted at http://cms.gov/Medicare/Coding/ICD10/index.html

AZCOMP will continue to monitor the news posts updates on ICD-10 as new information is made available.

ICD-10 Delayed….Perfect Time To Get Prepared

Implementation of ICD-10 Delayed One Full Year

azcomp tech sells medisoft and lytec

It seems like old news already, but on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, President Obama signed the “doc fix” bill (HR 4302) into law.  In our specific industry, this means that the implementation of the use of the ICD-10 codes has been delayed now until October 1, 2015.

What does this mean for the healthcare industry?  Do you think this is a good thing or a bad thing?  We don’t have all of the answers, and probably don’t know all of the right questions to ask, but we do know a few things….

  1. All paper claims including Rebills must be on the new CMS form as of April 1.  There were no changes to this deadline.  If you are looking for more information on this, we have several blog posts about this.  You can go to a summary here: New CMS Form FAQ
  2. Nothing has changed for Meaningful Use Stage 2.  There has been some confusion in recent months about dates related to Stage 2 because of an announcement made by CMS in December 2013.  There was an extension of time rather than a delay.  So everyone needs to continue with Stage 2 preparations as previously planned.
  3. This is an amazing opportunity to better prepare for the implementation of ICD-10.

Initially, we were disappointed and upset when we heard the news that there was a bill that would delay the implementation of ICD-10.  That disappointment came mainly because we have invested a lot of time and energy and effort and resources into preparing for it to happen this year.  We have gone through great effort trying to get our clients prepared for the changes.  And so it felt like all of that effort went out the window.  I’m sure that many of the practices out there that were getting ready for ICD-10 felt the same way.  But that isn’t necessarily true that it all went out the window.

Moving Forward with ICD-10

In the glass is half full world, this is a great opportunity to be better prepared.  I think all of us in the industry agree that even though ICD-10 will cause us to spend extra time and money to implement, it does have a great purpose…and it is sorely needed.  The purpose of using the expanded and updated code set is so that we can capture better data about illnesses, diseases, symptoms, complaints, and causes of injury and diseases.   The better the data we have about these things, then we have an increased chance of developing better treatments and cures.  And the sooner we adopt the new code set, the sooner it will make a positive impact.  Obviously, that is a really good thing.

So, here at AZCOMP Technologies, we are planning to use the extended time that we have to better understand ICD-10 and to become better trained and more informed.  With this we can prepare better training for you, and help you be better prepared for the transition.

We all need to use this time wisely so that the transition is smooth.  ICD-10 is not an ‘if’, it is a ‘when’, and we know that right now the ‘when’ will catch you off guard if you don’t start preparing right now.  Do what is necessary for your practice to be on-board with implementation well in advance of the deadline.  In the past few weeks we have been absolutely flooded with practices calling to purchase a software that would help them implement the new CMS form in time for the April 1 deadline.  The sad thing is that this software has been available for purchase since this past November!  So many waited until the last minute calling in a panic, needing to upgrade so that they could submit their claims correctly using the 02/12 CMS 1500 form.  The lesson learned is that being prepared early will make your practice better, and will allow your patients to have a better experience at your office.

As more information becomes available about ICD-10, we will certainly keep you all updated with the information that is available.  We will be busy in the meantime preparing training and other information that will be helpful in preparing your practice for the ICD-10 transition.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Website

While AZCOMP will do our best to provide you with timely and accurate information, there may be times when you will need to find out directly from the source what is going on.  We advise you to get your information from CMS.gov when it comes to ICD-10 and Meaningful Use.