New Year’s Resolution: Understand the Impact ICD-10 has on Your Practice Financials

Cristin_Hollis_webBy Cristin Hollis, Revenue Cycle Management Supervisor

With the New Year comes the realization that ICD-10 is only 10 months away. AHH! Did anyone else’s anxiety just spike? Have no fear! There is still time to plan and prepare for the change. My particular interest is on how ICD-10 may impact your practice financials.

Most change brings associated costs and ICD-10 is no different. You may have already factored in software conversions, training, coding education, and clearinghouse fees, but ICD-10 also has the potential to impact areas you may not have considered.

Here are some questions to think about:

  • How will ICD-10 impact your practice revenue?
  • How will ICD-10 affect your cash flow?
  • Will you need more staff to maintain your current day-to-day operations?

These are difficult questions and even more difficult to answer if you’re dependent on third parties during the transition. Still, you can take steps to prepare yourself for October 1.

Where to Begin
Your first step should be to leverage your current ICD-9 workflow and analyze your historical practice data. Knowing your historical claim volumes, reimbursements, and payer mix will give you a good indication of the impact to expect as a result of the transition to ICD-10.

What areas may be potentially affected?

  • Accounts receivable cycle
  • Cash flow
  • Provider reimbursements
  • Claims submissions
  • Payer processing turnaround

Prepare for delays or adjusted cash flow now to avoid hardships in October. And finally, make sure all doctors and staff are prepared. With proper preparation, additional staff and resources may not be necessary at all.

Do you have an ICD-10 question or topic on your mind? Let us know.

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