Are orthopedic surgeons prepared for ICD-10?

Written by Carrie Pallardy | March 20, 2015 | Print  |

Barring any last minute delays, ICD-10 will be implemented on Oct. 1. Healthcare stakeholders have expressed varying levels of concern over whether or not the industry will be prepared. An orthopedic surgeon and leader from the health IT sector weigh in on whether or not the orthopedic field is ready for the switch to the new coding set.



Matthew Menendez, vice president of sales and marketing, White Plume Technologies (Birmingham, Ala.): The short answer is no. The longer answer is ICD-10 is difficult for orthopedic surgeons, but practices still have time to successfully prepare.

 

Orthopedic surgeons wish that ICD-10 would go away and that they did not have to do anything to comply with the change. Unfortunately, neither of those is a reality. Navicure recently released an annual survey on the state of physician readiness for ICD-10. Only 21 percent of respondents believe they are on track in their preparation for ICD-10.  However, 81 percent are optimistic that they will be ready when the transition occurs.  The study did not break down results by specialty, but there is no reason to believe that orthopedic practices are more prepared than the general population.

Much has been made over the expansion of the code set from ICD-9 to ICD-10.  Many marketers and writers have pointed out that there are over 69,000 codes in ICD-10.  Some codes in particular have received a lot of attention in the lead up to ICD-10.  There is a code for burns resulting from flaming water-skis (V91.70XD).  However, what most bloggers do not point out is that a very similar code already exists in ICD-9 (E837.4) and is rarely used. 

Eliminating infrequently used codes and focusing on the 200 most commonly used ICD-9 codes for orthopedics helps provide clarity in preparing for the transition to ICD-10.  The average orthopedic practice will see their most frequently used codes increase from 200 codes in ICD-9 to over 6,000 codes in ICD-10.

The transition to ICD-10 will directly impact the physician in two key areas: Capturing Charge Information and Clinical Documentation Training. Any training, process or technology solution must be fast for the physician, easy to use, easy to learn and deliver the right code to the billing team the first time to eliminate costly back and forth communication between coders and orthopedic surgeons.

Jason Weisstein, MD, MPH, FACS, EMA Orthopedics Team Lead, Modernizing Medicine: Orthopedic surgery will invariably face significant challenges with the transition to ICD-10. There are more codes – approximately 60,000 – that will be saddled upon the orthopedic community than any other surgical subspecialty. Common solutions such as crosswalks, General Equivalence Mappings (GEMs), conversion software and code books just aren't going to get the job done. Most orthopedic surgeons appear not be taking the time to study the complexities and implications of ICD-10.

There may be an additional two to three minutes per patient if a provider has to trudge through piles of data to identify the appropriate code. There have been warnings from expert consulting firms advising orthopedic groups to brace for two to three months of decreased cash flow. Moreover, most EMR system won't support the transition to ICD-10 in a seamless fashion. Unless orthopedic surgeons have an electronic medical records system with automated ICD-10 coding built right in – such as Modernizing Medicine's EMA Orthopedics – they probably aren't going to be prepared and may face severe inefficiencies and decreased revenues due to rejected claims.

More articles on orthopedics:
7 new members of the OMeGA Medical Grants Association review committee
AAOS urges Congress to pass SGR repeal & replace efforts
Advanced Orthopaedics, Tuckahoe Orthopaedics merge

 

Are orthopedic surgeons prepared for ICD-10?

 

Barring any last minute delays, ICD-10 will be implemented on Oct. 1. Healthcare stakeholders have expressed varying levels of concern over whether or not the industry will be prepared. An orthopedic surgeon and leader from the health IT sector weigh in on whether or not the orthopedic field is ready for the switch to the new coding set.

 

Matthew Mendez, vice president of sales and marketing, White Plume Technologies (Birmingham, Ala.): The short answer is no. The longer answer is ICD-10 is difficult for orthopedic surgeons, but practices still have time to successfully prepare.

 

Orthopedic surgeons wish that ICD-10 would go away and that they did not have to do anything to comply with the change. Unfortunately, neither of those is a reality. Navicure recently released an annual survey on the state of physician readiness for ICD-10. Only 21 percent of respondents believe they are on track in their preparation for ICD-10.  However, 81 percent are optimistic that they will be ready when the transition occurs.  The study did not break down results by specialty, but there is no reason to believe that orthopedic practices are more prepared than the general population.

 

Much has been made over the expansion of the code set from ICD-9 to ICD-10.  Many marketers and writers have pointed out that there are over 69,000 codes in ICD-10.  Some codes in particular have received a lot of attention in the lead up to ICD-10.  There is a code for burns resulting from flaming water-skis (V91.70XD).  However, what most bloggers do not point out is that a very similar code already exists in ICD-9 (E837.4) and is rarely used. 

 

Eliminating infrequently used codes and focusing on the 200 most commonly used ICD-9 codes for orthopedics helps provide clarity in preparing for the transition to ICD-10.  The average orthopedic practice will see their most frequently used codes increase from 200 codes in ICD-9 to over 6,000 codes in ICD-10.

 

The transition to ICD-10 will directly impact the physician in two key areas: Capturing Charge Information and Clinical Documentation Training. Any training, process or technology solution must be fast for the physician, easy to use, easy to learn and deliver the right code to the billing team the first time to eliminate costly back and forth communication between coders and orthopedic surgeons.

 

Jason Weisstein, MD, MPH, FACS, EMA Orthopedics Team Lead, Modernizing Medicine: Orthopedic surgery will invariably face significant challenges with the transition to ICD-10. There are more codes – approximately 60,000 – that will be saddled upon the orthopedic community than any other surgical subspecialty. Common solutions such as crosswalks, General Equivalence Mappings (GEMs), conversion software and code books just aren't going to get the job done. Most orthopedic surgeons appear not be taking the time to study the complexities and implications of ICD-10.

 

There may be an additional two to three minutes per patient if a provider has to trudge through piles of data to identify the appropriate code. There have been warnings from expert consulting firms advising orthopedic groups to brace for two to three months of decreased cash flow. Moreover, most EMR system won't support the transition to ICD-10 in a seamless fashion. Unless orthopedic surgeons have an electronic medical records system with automated ICD-10 coding built right in – such as Modernizing Medicine's EMA Orthopedics – they probably aren't going to be prepared and may face severe inefficiencies and decreased revenues due to rejected claims.

 

More articles on orthopedics:

7 new members of the OMeGA Medical Grants Association review committee

https://www.beckersspine.com/orthopedic/item/24759-7-new-members-of-the-omega-medical-grants-association-review-committee.html

AAOS urges Congress to pass SGR repeal & replace efforts

https://www.beckersspine.com/orthopedic/item/24793-aaos-urges-congress-to-pass-sgr-repeal-replace-efforts.html

Advanced Orthopaedics, Tuckahoe Orthopaedics merge

https://www.beckersspine.com/orthopedic/item/24779-advanced-orthopaedics-tuckahoe-orthopaedics-to-merge.html

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