5 Components of a Hospital's ICD-10 Impact Assessment

Tentatively, the new go-live date for ICD-10 is Oct. 1, 2014, but CMS is still encouraging hospitals and other providers to prep for a full transition as soon as possible.

Hospitals should be undergoing ICD-10 impact assessments. CMS recommends the following five components be included in all impact assessments.

1. Documentation changes.
ICD-10 codes will bring greater specificity than ICD-9 codes, so hospitals must properly train staff, consider physician workflow, update forms and documents, and evaluate processes for ordering and reporting lab/diagnostic services to health plans.

2. Reimbursement structures. Hospitals should coordinate with payors on contract negotiations and new policies that reflect the expanded code sets.

3. Systems and vendor contracts. Vendors are just as essential in the ICD-10 transition process as any other party. CMS recommends hospitals ensure vendors can accommodate all ICD-10 needs and find out when the vendor will update its systems.

4. Business practices. After ICD-10 is finally integrated, hospitals must determine how the new codes will affect processes for referrals, authorizations, patient intake, physician orders and patient encounters.

5. Testing. Hospitals need to work with vendors and other third parties to determine how much time is needed for ICD-10 testing.

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