The day-long ICD-10 Symposium on February 23, a day before the formal start of HIMSS14, will focus on a wide range of issues that providers, payers and vendors will confront as they transition to the new code sets.

Session 4 at the Symposium will consider how to drive a successful conversion in an ambulatory setting. Robert Tennant, senior policy advisor at the Medical Group Management Association, hopes practice administrators understand what’s on the horizon. “ICD-10, more than any other I.T. transition in the past two decades, really presents the opportunity for cash flow disruptions,” he warns. “You have to almost assume it will happen.”

Tennant will co-present at the session and talk about working with external trading partners, training best practices, results from MGMA’s recent survey of practices that show many are far behind in readiness, and preparing for contingencies. For instance, he notes, a practice’s major vendor or insurer may not be ready to test in a timely manner, or your best coder might leave for greener pastures a month before the compliance date. He’ll also identify tools and resources--many free or low-cost--to help practices prepare for ICD-10.

After Tennant lays out the landscape, James Wilder, former CIO at physician organization Sheridan Healthcare and now a partner at the S2E Healthcare Solutions consultancy, will talk about action items that practices must take to better engage physicians in ICD-10 adoption.

“Physicians tend to be data-driven, so show them the limits of their current data documentation and how it affects reimbursement,” he says. It’s important to explain the consequences of inadequate documentation under ICD-10 because if it isn’t done right the first time a cascading process will set in that jeopardizes the profitability of the practice because of higher denials and more rework, he adds. “The more you do up-front, the less financial impact you’ll have on the back end.”

The one-hour session, “How to Drive a Successful ICD-10 Conversion in Ambulatory/Outpatient Settings, is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

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