All this week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is highlighting its Quick Start Guide for ICD-10 preparations, letting providers know they still have time—but must start getting ready now.

The five steps include: Make a Plan, Train Your Staff, Update Your Processes, Talk to Your Vendors and Health Plans, and Test Your Systems and Processes.  Each step walks through tasks and offers links to additional information.

Also See: ICD-10 Compliance by Oct. 1 Possible, Even for Procrastinators

The presentation on June 23 focused on training staff on ICD-10 fundamentals, and how to identify the top 25 ICD-9 diagnosis codes the organization most often uses. The presentation also gave a range of additional tips:

* Training for clinical staff—e.g., physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses—should focus on documentation, new coding concepts captured in ICD-10.

* Training for coding and administrative staff—e.g., coders, billers, practice managers—should focus on ICD-10 fundamentals.

* You can review your superbills, encounter forms, and practice management system reports to identify your most commonly used ICD-10 codes.

* If time permits, expand your ICD-10 coding of current cases to include 50 or more of your top codes, until 80% of your claims are covered.

* You don’t have to use 68,000 codes—as you do now, your practice will likely use a very small subset of ICD-10 codes.

* You will use a similar process to look up ICD-10 codes that you use with ICD-9.

* While crosswalks from ICD-9 to ICD-10 can be useful references, ICD-10 codes should be based on the clinical documentation rather than selected from a crosswalk.

* Practices that do not prepare for ICD-10 will not be able to submit claims for services performed on or after October 1, 2015.

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