7 Steps for Implementing New ICD-10 Medical Practice Procedural Codes

ICD-9 procedural codes from the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems are a set of diagnostic and procedural codes utilized by the medical community for years. ICD-9 codes are being replaced with new and improved ICD-10 codes. The implementation compliance date for the new ICD-10 codes is October 1, 2015, per information published by the Department of Health and Human Services. According to the American Medical Association President-elect, Steven J. Stack, physicians have concerns about the implementation process for the new ICD-10 codes. The following seven steps for ICD-10 implementation will assure a smooth transition. 

  1. Set a Budget for Expenses: A budget will need to be set for technological changes and updates, training sessions and ordering new forms.
  2. Meet with Employees and Physician(s): Management should call a meeting with all employees. Inform employees of the change to ICD-10 procedural codes. Management should schedule periodic meetings to update employees of steps that have been taken concerning the implementation process.
  3. Gather Forms: Gather all forms containing ICD-9 codes. This should include contracts, encounter forms and superbill. Replacement forms should be ordered containing the new ICD-10 codes.
  4. System and Software Updates: Meet with current system and software companies concerning installation of updates to assure all updates will be effective on October 1, 2015. Quality and public health reporting processes will need to be addressed.
  5. Schedule Training Sessions for Employees and Physician(s): Training sessions should be scheduled for employees whose duties involve new systems or software. All coders will need to be trained on new ICD-10 codes. A training session should be scheduled for nurse(s) and physician(s) on the new ICD-10 codes and new systems or software.
  6. Check with Billing Service: Some medical practices contract with a billing service. Management should check with the billing service to assure proper steps are being taken to accommodate compliance with new codes by October 1, 2015. A meeting should be scheduled to discuss forms and processes.
  7. Stay Current with Payers: Most payers will forward memos to medical practices addressing concerns with the new ICD-10 codes. Management should stay current with all memos and forward to appropriate staff members. Payers may renegotiate contracts, change terms of reimbursement or alter payment schedules. Run a test claim with each payer to assure successful transmission before October 1, 2015.

*Photo courtesy of Physicians and Hospitals Billing and Coding by 3Gen Consulting at Flickr’s Creative Commons.

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