icd-10 ready ehr and practice management systemIn a recent blog post, Carl Natale of the popular ICD10 Watch blog outlined a fairly comprehensive list of ICD-10 questions he recommended practices should review with their vendors, gathered from excellent sources such as the AMA and CMS.

We think he raised some very good questions, and as an ICD-10 Ready EHR we’d like to take the opportunity to answer them right now.

From the American Medical Association (AMA), which has good advice on what to ask healthcare vendors as part of its free educational resources, he posed these questions:

  • Identify your vendors and contracts.
    HealthFusion provides the MediTouch® EHR software and practice management system; the first is 2014 Stage 2 Meaningful Use certified and both are ICD-10 ready. Both of these milestones were achieved in 2013.

  • Ask if vendors will support applications or discontinue some products in the wake of the ICD-10 transition?
    HealthFusion will provide full support for our products and will not be discontinuing any products after the ICD-10 transition.

  • Determine vendors’ timelines for updating products for ICD-10 compliance.
    MediTouch software is already ICD-10 compliant and has been since 2013.

  • Find out when upgrades will be available and schedule installation.
    There’s no need to schedule upgrades or installations with MediTouch since it’s completely cloud-based. The updates happen automatically without any additional efforts required from practices; the ICD-10 update has already been issued and is fully functional.

  • Find out if a mapping or crosswalk strategy will be used between ICD-9 and ICD-10 code sets?
    MediTouch provides side-by-side buttons for ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes, so that you can see the ICD-9 code you would normally use and the recommended corresponding ICD-10 codes for you to choose from. This will allow you to continue coding with ICD-9 as you normally would while simultaneously learning the ICD-10 codes you will need as of Oct. 1.

  • Estimate system downtime during the installation.
    None. Did we mention MediTouch is ICD-10 ready now?

  • Review your contracts to see if upgrades for mandates are free.
    No need to review your contract; your updates are always free with MediTouch, and that includes ICD-10.

  • Will customer support and training be provided? And how much will it cost?
    Our staff will be prepared to support users that want help on how our software creates ICD-10 compliant claims. We urge all coders and physicians to learn the new ICD-10 coding rules and practice with our system prior to October 1st. To assist with this, MediTouch will be hosting webinars on ICD-10 coding with industry experts.

  • How will your systems handle dates of service before Oct. 1 but submitted after?
    Will systems handle dual coding?

    You can continue to code with ICD-9 as long as you need to; both options will be provided as long as any of our users need them. You can select both ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes using the side-by-side buttons.

    Note that many payers will follow the Medicare rule:

    Professional and supplier claims containing ICD-9 codes for dates of services on or after October 1, 2014, will be returned as unprocessable. Providers will be required to re-submit these claims with the appropriate ICD-10 code. A claim cannot contain both ICD-9 codes and ICD-10 codes. Medicare will deny all claims that are billed with both ICD-9 and ICD-10 diagnosis codes on the same claim.

    This means that if a provider has a claim that spans over from September 30th to October 1st, they will have to bill the September charges on one claim and the October charges on another.

  • What new hardware is needed?

    None, unless you just really, really want the new iPad. Then tell your accountant that we said you deserved it.

We’ll conclude the Q&A in our next blog post, where we’ll answer questions for new and potential vendors, and more. For more information on ICD-10 and how to prepare your practice, visit the new ICD-10 section on our website.