By the time you read this, the industry will be coding, processing and receiving reimbursement based on the ICD-10 coding methodology. After the years of preparation and planning, we’ll finally be able to evaluate our efforts and determine where additional work may be needed. It is anticipated that in the first several weeks and months, additional issues will be identified such as the need for focused coding and documentation education or that system remediation and software upgrades didn’t function as originally anticipated.

No matter what issues may be identified post-implementation, there are resources available to assist you. The AR ICD-10 website will remain accessible and will be updated through the end of 2015. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is staffing a dedicated ICD-10 Coordination Center located in Baltimore, Md., which is responsible for managing and triaging issues and ensuring timely communications with the industry regarding the progress of ICD-10. The center will be led by Dr. William Rogers, who is also the official CMS ICD-10 Ombudsman.

Likewise, DMS has a initiated a Command Center to  monitor operational metrics, give assistance to providers and work with external partners to ensure that issues are resolved. Many years of planning, both at the local and national level, have been dedicated to this transition. DMS began preparation in 2012 and late this summer completed meetings across the state to ensure that all providers had access to the most current ICD-10 information. That information continues to be updated and available to the provider community. Although the initial transition may be bumpy, there are always opportunities to improve processes and operations. By taking advantage of possible challenges, there may be an alternative solution to achieve the best long-term outcomes for patients and providers.

Originally published in HP Provider Wire