Category Archives: ICD-10

Accurate ICD-10 Coding Is Critical To The Clinic’s Bottom Line

GE Healthcare’s Centricity Practice Solution, like all business-essential software, helps remove complexity from tasks that would otherwise be unmanageable. For one, the clinic’s EHR software must assist physicians and medical coders in the clinic with the correct choice of ICD-10 codes. With more than 68,000 options in the International Classification of Diseases database today—up from just 13,000 in the ICD-9 standard—the likelihood of human error is too high to proceed without automated assistance.

To provide just one example, “degenerative myopia with retinal detachment” has five ICD-10 codes assigned to it, not one. This granular level of detail helps describe the precise diagnosis. The good news here is we have Clearinghouse tools available in Centricity to help you manage the complexity of ICD-10 coding and maximize revenue.

Improving clinic workflows is another critical aspect in getting ICD-10 right the first time. Data is only as good as the inputs received, which squarely places the responsibility on the clinic’s physicians to make the accurate call at the point of care. You never want the clinic’s coder(s) to guess which code is correct after the fact and input the wrong code or series of codes. That will quickly make for an unnecessary billing logjam. The chain of communications from physician to coder to payer needs to be flawless, or payments will be denied or lost in the system.

“The idea is to minimize billing time, reimbursement time, get a clean claim and get money get faster and improve cash flow,” Denver Wade Harless, who works for the Sacred Heart Health System, told Healthcare Finance News. Harless believes “a lot of clinical legwork needs to be done to get more specific information from physicians.” Our take is, workflow improvements are always highly beneficial, but workflow realignments, in combination with added functionality in the EHR, produce the biggest wins for the clinic.

Four Keys To ICD-10 Coding Success

1) An awareness of the issue and a commitment to solve it
2) Physician training to help identify the right codes at the point of care
3) Customization and optimization of Centricity
4) Select clinic workflow improvements (determined on a case by case basis)

There’s no question that the challenges in value-based care, including keeping up on the latest developments in ICD-10, puts an extra onus on practice administrators and physicians. The complete solution includes hiring talented coders, internal training, process improvement, and software upgrades.

Our implementation team at HealthCo is available to discuss your ICD-10 questions on a call that I am happy to set up fro you. Send me a note at

ICD-10; What You Can Do Now To Prepare

Will they or won’t they? No, I’m not talking about the latest plot line from Walking Dead or House of Cards. It’s all about the Federal Government and the decision to roll out ICD-10 in October. All signs are that there will not be a delay this year and we are headed for an explosion of new codes to deal with (69,823 and counting to be exact).

So, what should you be doing now to prepare? October will be here before you know it, and there are key actions your clinic can take now to make sure you are ready. Here are some of the recommendations to get your team started now:

  • Establish a transition team and prepare an action plan.
  • Communicate the action plan to your organization…everyone needs to understand the far reaching impact for the clinic to be successful navigating it.
  • Communicate with your EMR vendor on any required upgrades to move your system to ICD-10 compliance. Do not wait on this, you will be in a line with other procrastinators, so get it scheduled now.
  • Ask your staff to keep a log of every place in your systems and documentation that they see a diagnosis code today.
  • Conduct an insurance carrier audit to determine which may be exempt and when those that are not will be ready to begin accepting ICD-10 codes

If you would like to access a full list of the recommended steps for ICD-10 compliance, please click here to download the full list.

And remember, the silver lining in all of this is that you will FINALLY have a code for “Burn due to water-skis on fire;” V9107XA if you are wondering.