Ask Spine Surgeons is a weekly series of questions posed to spine surgeons around the country about clinical, business and policy issues affecting spine care. We invite all spine surgeon and specialist responses. Next week's question: What are the most challenging reimbursement issues for spine practices today?
Question: Is your practice ready for ICD-10, or will you be ready by 2015?
Richard A. Kube II, MD, CEO, Founder, Prairie Spine & Pain Institute, Peoria, Ill.: We are not ready yet, but we were in the process of preparing for the transition. We have taken the necessary steps to ensure proper training and staffing. Now that the implementation date has been pushed back at least a year, I am confident we will be ready. Sadly, it just represents a considerable amount of added resources we must spend without any real added value to our patients.
Ara Deukmedjian, MD, CEO, Medical Director, Deuk Spine Institute, Melbourne, Fla.: Deuk Spine Institute uses an electronic medical record and practice management system that is ICD-10 compatible. The physicians and staff are training now for the expanded codes expected. As long as our billing service is able to successfully navigate the change our group practice will transition well.
Brian R. Gantwerker, MD, Neurosurgeon, The Craniospinal Center of Los Angeles: Thankfully, this has been delayed. Our local medical association and hospitals have various classes for my office staff. I also have an iPhone app and have been looking up diagnoses concomitantly with my ICD-9 codes.