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HIM & Heard

Finding Opportunity in ICD-10 No Man’s Land

Published March 26, 2012 12:24 PM by Stephanie Cecchini

When it comes to the ICD-10 implementation deadline delay, there's no shortage of impassioned debate over the merits of staying the course in preparation, or using cash on hand for definite causes. What if you didn't have to pick sides? Clinical documentation assessments and improvement efforts can benefit you now, whether the ICD-10 change happens (quickly) or not.

Forget what you plan to do, what are you doing now? Are you under-documenting the patient's condition? RAC audits continue to find inappropriate payments. According to CMS, the Medicare Recovery Audit program has collected $1.27 billion in overpayments since October 2009. Does this mean that all of those services were not medically necessary? Were they all coding errors? Or ... was it a mix with simple under-documentation?

Whether or not you are a proponent of ICD-10, this delay in implementation allows for a valuable opportunity - a windfall in the void of a definitive deadline to establish your documentation weaknesses, shore them up, and code and bill properly in today's world of ICD-9 and be ready for whatever the future brings.



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