ICD-10 Made Easy

Physicians and others have searched online for the phrase “What is ICD-10?” over 110,000 times a month. This statistically confirms that there is a real concern about what may lie ahead.  As the EMR & Billing Analyst for Modernizing Medicine, I am entrusted with ensuring a smooth transition for countless providers in our EMA™ network.

As a medical coder my job is to take a physician’s dictation of a patient encounter and rewrite it as specifically as possible using various codes while complying with a thick book filled with rules. It truly is an art. The unspecific nature of ICD-9 has always made medical coding a challenge – taking under defined codes and attempting to tell a very descriptive encounter. The goal is to receive proper payment and not a letter stating there is a lack of information to process my claim thus delaying the cash flow. With EMA EMR, you can bill and code with confidence and precision.

In the world of ICD-10 the answer is efficiency rather than creativity. It’s no secret that the big idea here is that physicians will be required to provide much greater detail, which in my opinion, if done in compliance, will result in an increase in a practice’s revenue cycle.

The transition will affect the entire medical practice. Many practices preparing for ICD-10 will make the decision to implement it on their own, or absorb the cost of outsourcing professionals to train both administrative and clinical sides of the practice. Those who implement on their own will likely see disruption in their cash flow and possible compliance problems. Those who pay for training will face high fees in a market with high demand.

EMA providers, you are in a unique position. I am here to implement and code ICD-10 for you.  Modernizing Medicine is currently developing an intuitive coding system for ICD-10. EMA’s internal intelligence transfers the documentation into the most specific ICD-10 code utilizing a touch and select feature in the EMA Virtual Exam Room™. This dynamic coding function is unique in that it provides the most specific ICD-10 code rather than a range of possible codes.

With so many physicians counting on me, I see a common fear of the unknown amongst physicians.  Understandably so, considering all the planning that must take place, quickly, to adapt to many changes surrounding patient care. I follow all the news CMS provides and read countless newsletters and strategic management sites. It seems everyday there is a new proposal for a new rule, and all surrounding compliance, recovery, patient centered care and the sharing of information electronically.  Physicians – don’t worry about managing this on your own.

What is the solution? Select an EMR system that consistently implements tools to manage all the changes. If you have already chosen one that is not properly managing the new tasks and rules, my advice is to change now. If you fear losing your investment, you may pay back at least double during a 1-2 year audit, not to mention the stress. The alternative is to switch to efficient EMR software that can help you recover some of your loss through efficiency. Truthfully, if you bought an EMR system in the last 2 years there was no way to know you would face this many changes. So please don’t see it as a failure, just move on.

EMR systems do exist that can greatly increase efficiency and help manage all the unknowns for physicians today. Do your research. At Modernizing Medicine, subject matter experts create the products; people who are passionate about healthcare, care about your success as a practitioner and measure patient outcomes to improve the quality of healthcare. If you want to learn more or need help we are here to help you.

Aaron Stoklosa
Aaron Stoklosa

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