Successful transition will be tied tightly to physicians’ preparation and rapid, accurate coding solutions
Boca Raton, FL – April 15, 2015 – Modernizing Medicine, Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based, specialty-specific electronic medical record (EMR) systems, responded today to Congress’ approval of the H.R.2 bill that effectively signals the October 1 start date for ICD-10. The company urges physicians to use the next five months wisely to prepare for ICD-10 by implementing the right tools to ease the transition.
“While many physicians fret the approaching ICD-10 changeover, those who are well prepared stand to benefit immensely from the approaching deluge of new codes,” said Modernizing Medicine’s CEO and Co-founder Dan Cane. “With ICD-10 imminent, health providers must use the small window of time left to educate themselves about the various options and work closely with their health IT vendors to make sure they have the right tools in place. While physicians and provider organizations are ultimately responsible for their own transitions to ICD-10, technology partners have an obligation to have their systems ready in a way that supports rapid and accurate coding. Added time and inaccurate coding could result in massive revenue loss for practices starting October 1.”
Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer Michael Sherling, M.D., who along with Cane developed the Electronic Medical Assistant® (EMA™), cautioned that physicians could suffer severe workflow disruption. Ill prepared practices will not transition smoothly, and in a world where every minute with a patient counts, there is no time to manually map ICD-9 codes to their new, and more complex, ICD-10 counterparts. Practices will run the risk of being denied reimbursement due to inaccurate coding and also jeopardize their ability to operate efficiently and cost-effectively.
“ICD-10 isn’t a compliance issue like Meaningful Use or PQRS by which you receive a penalty if you don’t comply; instead, it is a matter of business and revenue,” said Sherling. With ICD-10, there is a massive increase in medical and diagnostic codes from 13,000 to over 140,000. “If you don’t have the right billing codes, you simply won’t get paid.”
According to Modernizing Medicine, a well-planned transition to ICD-10 actually relies on finding and using the right technologies to automate the complexities of ICD-10. “Code books and web-based translation tools won’t cut it,” said Sherling. “Doctors will need coding done with the exam note at the point of care if they don’t want to experience slow downs and costly disruptions in their daily work. We were ready for ICD-10 more than a year ago. The structured data technology of our EHR system enabled us to create an automatic solution that doesn’t require the more commonly used General Equivalence Mappings (GEMs) or translation tools. ICD-10 in EMA just works the way it should, instantly.”
View a video of ICD-10 coding in Modernizing Medicine’s EHR for dermatology. The ICD-10 solution for each of the other specialties uses the same technology for automatic coding for ophthalmologists, orthopedic surgeons, plastic surgeons, otolaryngologists, rheumatologists, gastroenterologists and urologists.
“EMA is on top of ICD-10. The coding is well-built into the system and I feel very comfortable knowing I will be covered by EMA. I remember starting an orthopedic practice 25 years ago and going through an ICD-8 book to list out all the codes for the procedures,” said Audley Mackel, M.D., Associates in Orthopaedics, Inc. “EMA allows the coding information to be derived from the structured data that I input into the system. I look forward to ICD-10 being very easy and not having to look at a book to figure out what code I need to use.”
Sherling recommends that providers immediately vet the ICD-10 readiness of their technology vendors. “We have a list of questions that we recommend providers use in their evaluation,” said Sherling, “including asking if an EMR system uses look-up tables or GEMs.” Sherling explained that many EMR system providers have used these largely inadequate approaches in the scramble to have an ICD-10-ready solution.
According to Sherling, the problem with these workarounds is that they are tedious and may require extra steps and time, adding minutes per patient. “Doctors should ask to see a demonstration of how long a system takes to generate the code and the superbill,” said Sherling. “Ideally, it should be generated instantly with the clinical note.”
With ICD-10 just around the corner, physicians should resist the temptation to employ quick-fix technologies. “Getting proof of performance is the best preparation measure you can take,” said Sherling. “Doctors should be demanding that proof now before it’s too late.”
About Modernizing Medicine
Modernizing Medicine® is transforming how healthcare information is created, consumed and utilized in order to increase efficiency and improve outcomes. Our flagship product, Electronic Medical Assistant® (EMA™), is a cloud-based, specialty-specific electronic medical records (EMR) system built by practicing physicians. Available as a native iPad application and from almost any web-enabled Mac or PC, EMA adapts to each provider’s unique style of practice. This ICD-10 ready EMR system is available for the dermatology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, gastroenterology, rheumatology, urology and plastic surgery markets and used by over 5,000 physicians in the United States and its territories. The Modernizing Medicine family of companies also provides specialty-specific billing, inventory management and group purchasing services. Follow Modernizing Medicine on Twitter at www.modmed.com/twitter and on Facebook at www.modmed.com/facebook.
For more information, contact:
Tara Auclair Ryan