CMS: 9 Essential Things to Do in Preparation of ICD-10

ICD-10 doomsday is Oct. 1, 2014, for physicians, hospitals and all other providers, and CMS is ramping up its guidance on how providers should prepare for the transition.

CMS released two articles in its Medicare Learning Network Matters newsletter on what providers need to do to prepare for ICD-10. Here are nine highlights from the articles:


1. There are roughly 140,000 codes within ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS compared with 18,000 codes within the ICD-9-CM code sets. Because there is a significant increase in codes, providers should dedicate time to learn about the structure, organization and unique features of ICD-10-CM (all provider claims) and ICD-10-PCS (inpatient hospital claims).

2. Learn about how ICD-10 will impact your systems and how Version 5010 was the precursor.

3. Use assessment tools to identify areas of strength/weakness in medical terminology and medical record documentation.

4. Review and refresh knowledge of medical terminology as needed based on the assessment results.

5. Provide additional training to refresh or expand knowledge in the biomedical sciences — anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology and medical terminology.

6. Plan to provide intensive coder training roughly six to nine months prior to ICD-10 implementation.

7. Allocate roughly 16 hours of ICD-10-CM training for most coders. Coders who are proficient in ICD-9-CM may not need as much.

8. Set time aside to train physicians, and explain to physicians the importance of more thorough coding.

9. Be aware of the following partial coding freezes: This Oct. 1 and Oct. 1, 2013, there will be only limited code updates to both ICD-9-CM and ICD-10 code sets. On Oct. 1, 2014, when ICD-10 goes live, there will only be limited code updates to ICD-10. Starting Oct. 1, 2015, regular updates to ICD-10 will begin.

The full articles can be here (pdf) and here (pdf).

More Articles on ICD-10:

ICD-10 is Coming: 10 Steps for Full Implementation

5 Things Hospital CFOs Should Know About Accounting for ICD-10 Related Costs

5 Ways ICD-10 Will Dig Into Your Hospital's Budget

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