ASC ICD-10 Preparation

Top 4 tips to quicken your ASC’s ICD-10 preparation

The implementation of ICD-10 is set for October 1, 2015, and though it’s been delayed previously, this new deadline is set to hold. This means that your ambulatory surgery center should be taking the necessary steps to prepare to use 10th addition of the International Classification of Diseases by the World Health Organization (WHO).

We recently debunked some common myths surrounding the updated coding system, and if you haven’t already, it’s now the time to turn your focus on ensuring that your ASC is completely ready for the transition. With less than 100 days until October 1, use these tips to optimize your time as you prepare for ICD-10 to ensure your center is ready. And remember, improper preparation can have negative impact on key performance indicator (KPI) metrics such as AR days and revenue.

Focus on small-scale successes

With the deadline fast approaching, gradual improvements are no longer an option. Instead your center should shift its focus to repeated small-scale successes in order to produce outcomes in a tangible process.

Change the perception

Many of your staff members may view ICD-10 as an unnecessary complication. Changing their perception of the coding system by hosting meetings regularly to review the new codes will make business office employees feel more comfortable and confident, making the system easier to adopt when the time comes. You can also have your staff use online tools to look up, verify and validate codes, which will reduce incorrect codes from being input.

Cut down meeting times

Instead of a more traditional approach to planning and preparation, you should now think outside the box with a different structure for project management. Instead of lengthy status meetings once a month, plan on shorter daily or weekly meetings to keep your revenue cycle specialists on track with their progress.

Assess your internal capabilities

Some centers may have a solid business office in house who can sufficiently handle the transition to ICD-10 without a negative impact on KPIs. It’s important to assess whether or not your internal revenue cycle specialists can manage the implementation. If the answer is no or you are not sure, you might want to consider transitioning to outsourced revenue cycle management services with an external provider that is fully prepared.

medical billing and collections team

The Benefits of Outsourcing RCM: Smart Staffing and Avoiding the Need for Succession Planning

Over the course of March, we are diving deep into four key benefits of outsourcing revenue cycle management (RCM) for ASCs. Last week, we looked at the ways in which RCM providers can bring workflow and process optimization using best-in-class technologies to ASCs. This week, we will examine how outsourcing RCM provides ASCs with smart staffing solutions, and helps them avoid the need for succession planning.

For ASCs, an experienced billing and coding staff with built in redundancies is not just a luxury, it is a necessity. Hiring inexperienced staff or becoming dependent on just one or two good people could end up costing your center hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It can be incredibly difficult to find someone who can be an immediate contributor, especially if your ASC is in a rural area. You are likely to be in a position where your only choices are to hire someone with no experience or someone with experience only in a hospital or physician’s office setting. This means they will need to work on a fairly steep training curve, during which time your ASC could be losing thousands of dollars. There are a number of reasons for this problem, not least of which is that getting together the pay and benefits necessary to attract experienced professionals in this department may not be a priority for your center.

RCM providers have the resources to pay well, provide good benefits, and situate themselves in desirable locations. They know how to find and hire the best of the best, and often have a pipeline of eligible applicants waiting for a spot to open up. And while ASCs don’t necessarily get to choose their location- rural Virginia needs healthcare too- they can still hire, through outsourcing, talented individuals that may not be up for a big move.

Another issue faced by ASC billing and collections departments is that of succession and contingency planning. Your ASC may have a talented professional working on your billing, but what if he/she goes on vacation? Will the entire department be put on hold for a week? It is also worth considering what will happen when that person inevitably retires. Not only will you be faced with staffing issues, but the outgoing staff member may pass any bad habits they have onto the new staff member during training. If they are inexperienced, it will be very difficult for them to spot mistakes, and practices that leave money on the table for your ASC will continue.

A good RCM provider will have dedicated professionals assigned to your ASC, with redundancies in place so billing isn’t halted- no matter what happens. This also means that you have someone dedicated to your center’s billing and collections, and that person has a whole team behind them, providing support and resources. Requirements are constantly changing in the field, especially with upcoming ICD-10 changes, and an RCM provider will be on top of that. They will keep staff updated as well, and provide them with all required employee development and training.

As ICD-10 and other regulatory changes make billing and coding a more difficult and exacting process, it is increasingly important to have the right team, both internal and external, in place to ensure money isn’t being left on the table.

8 steps to prepare for ICD-10

WHITEPAPER: 8 Steps your ASC Must Take to Prepare for ICD-10

ICD-10 is coming, and it won’t wait for your ambulatory surgery center (ASC) to get prepared. In fact, we’ve all had ample time to prepare. But due to frequent delays in implementation, and the massive amount of time and money it would take to implement on an individual level, most of the healthcare community has put it off.

In order to get your center prepared, we have compiled insights on the 8 critical steps your ASC should take to prepare for ICD-10.

Complete the form to download the white paper: