ICD-10: Change is the One Thing No One Can Avoid

By Marsha Vaughn

Sr. Eyefinity Education Consultantpix

Change is the one no one can avoid. In fact, the only thing you can be sure won’t change is “that things will change”.

How you manage that change to benefit your practice is up to you. Let’s look at how you can handle up-coming ICD-10 code changes.

First order of action is to understand why the change is happening.

With ICD-9 we are running out of codes to effectively communicate patient diagnoses and care. ICD-9 was first implemented more than 30 years ago – I was carrying a bag phone then and the cost of gas was about a buck.

Today, many strides have been made to improve the care, reporting, and sharing of health data through technology. The transition to ICD-10 is the next step. Instead of general codes with lengthy explanations, there will be specific definition in the used code itself. You may be asking will this really simplify things or only make it more complicated as new technology being used for the first time often does? There’s good news, you won’t be the first one trying it. Other countries went to ICD-10 coding years ago, thus it’s an international standard that has been tried, tested, and is actively in use.

Still, change management is challenging.

It is a big change for everyone who diagnoses and bills from the large hospitals to the one doctor towns and specialized practices, such as eyecare. Some of these businesses will suffer if payments were delayed.  And it is a big change for all of the software developers and insurance companies. But, as a patient, as a parent, and as a child of aging parents, I don’t want anyone’s health care compromised, medical coding confused, or billing delayed. Which means I’m committed to making this change a success.

 Sure, ICD-10 is a government mandated change, but I prefer to look on the bright side.

As an employee of VSP Global, Software Division, I work hard with my team to develop the underpinnings of coding and billing. Luckily, we’ve already had a jump on ICD-10, when the year delay was announced. This additional year to prepare makes me certain that the entire medical and insurance communities are at high levels of development and readiness.

Furthermore and specific to our industry, an internal analyst told me that the top ten codes billed through VSP claims comprised 91% of all vision claims and nine out of ten of those ICD-9 codes have a one-to-one match with an ICD-10 code. This means the new codes we will have to learn might not be as difficult as some people make it out to be. How long did it take us to get the ICD-9 codes stuck in our heads? Once the change is made, we will do the same with ICD-10.

Check back with us weekly for more ICD-10 stories from the front line.

Eyefinity EHR and ICD-10

By Phernell Walker, II, BSB, ABOM IMG_3522

Sr. Eyefinity EHR Product Manager

Master in Ophthalmic Optics

 At this very moment I’m typing from an airplane at 35,000 feet above the ground, on my way to visit another client to discuss the monumental change headed our way in just a matter of months, ICD-10.

As the Sr. Product Manager for Eyefinity EHR, I believe the best way to know and understand the pulse of my clients is to work with them up close and personal.  Therefore, much of my time is spent on the road traveling to work with optometrists across the entire country. One thing I’ve recently found is that hundreds of optometrists are expressing their concern about ICD-10. Hearing this feedback led me to conclude that in order to meet my clients needs, Eyefinity EHR would not only have to include a feature that supported ICD-10, but that it also needed a feature that handled it seamlessly in effort to lessen complications for my clients.

So, you might be thinking what I have done to liberate optometrists concerns about ICD-10?

  • Eyefinity’s engineering team took all of the ICD-10 Codes and built them into Eyefinity EHR.
  • We use a complex algorithm that automatically takes the exam information doctors have documented in Eyefinity EHR and then correctly calculates the correct ICD-10 Code for them.
  • Not only does Eyefinity EHR render the correct ICD-10 Code, it also allows optometrists to view the corresponding cross-mapped ICD-9 code in real time next to the ICD-10 Code.

Optometrists can rest assured that Eyefinity EHR makes the transition to ICD-10 hassle and worry free. I know because I see the results in the practices I visit. I see Optometrists who have benefitted from Eyefinity EHR and now use their time and attention to meet their patient’s needs.

You can get a free one-on-one demo of Eyefinity EHR by visiting http://www.eyefinity.com/ehr-efficiency.

EHR: Your Prime Co-Management Tool

Untitled“Co-management is an important part of my practice–and technology from my electronic health records system is essential to making this happen efficiently and profitably. I can refer patients and send electronic scans with just a few keystrokes, and send to other healthcare providers with ease.” – Dr. F. Mason Smith, OD

Read the rest of this article here: EHR: Your Prime Co-management Tool

Reprinted with permission from Review of Optometric Business.

Request a FREE demo of Eyefintiy EHR today!

 

 

 

The Three Pillars of Security

The security risk analysis is one of the big pain points for providers participating in meaningful use, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, implementing a yearly security risk analysis is a good business practice, whether or not you are participating in meaningful use. While you will never be able to completely protect your practice from every security risk, you can take steps to minimize foreseeable risks.

Security risk analysis is like a three-legged stool. If any of the legs is missing, the stool will fall over:

  • Confidentiality —Keeping health information secure, preventing unauthorized disclosure or access
  • Integrity—Ensuring information is complete, current, and accurate
  • Availability—Making sure information is available when it’s needed

Confidentiality is typically the primary factor considered when conducting a security risk analysis. You must take reasonable steps to protect your patients’ information from unauthorized access, either intentional (hackers/theft) or not (untrained staff). To protect confidentiality, be sure to use secure computer passwords, encrypt data, put locks on doors, and train staff on properly handling patient records.

Integrity is the second leg of the stool and is equally as important as confidentiality. You must ensure that your patients’ data is a true and accurate record of their health. If a patient’s record is tampered with, intentionally or not, that unreliable record undermines your ability, and other providers’ ability, to properly treat that patient. Consider, for example, how disastrous it would be if someone accidentally deleted a documented allergy from a patient’s record. How would it affect your ability to care for your patients if you could not be confident in the correctness of your patients’ records? To protect the integrity of your patients’ records, implement role-based security and audit logs in your software to help ensure only authorized and qualified personnel have access to update patients’ health information.

The third leg of the stool is availability. Your patients’ records, no matter how secure and accurate, are useless if they cannot be accessed by authorized individuals when needed. Consider what would happen if your office were damaged by a fire or a flood. How would you restore and access your patients’ records and how long would it take? And how is health information accessed, if needed, while you’re unavailable? You need to take steps to ensure health information is accessible in a timely manner to authorized users when needed. To ensure availability, maintain current offsite backups, replace and update computer hardware, and enable emergency access features in your practice management and EHR.

In our next article on security, we’ll discuss how to determine what steps you must take to protect patient data given limited time and resources. In the meantime, check out the Department of Health and Human Services’ tools and videos to help you complete your security risk analysis

Have questions about meaningful use? Contact us at meaningfuluse@eyefinity.com

Did you enjoy reading this blog article? Receive an update for each new post by clicking on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner.

Get Out of the Fog – Solution Models for Every Need

Andrew H. Lee, Senior Product Manager fogblog

Let’s consider the main solution model categories in practice management and how to best accommodate workflow needs.

It’s not one-size-fits-all, so you need the right information to make the right decision for YOUR practice.

  • Paper—Exactly as it sounds, all records are maintained in paper files. This can allow vulnerability to a number of risks, from theft or loss, to disasters such as flood or fire.
  • On-Premise—Software is installed on a server in your office. This provides more efficiency than a paper system, but can be very expensive and it limits access to your data. Plus, it can still leave you vulnerable to theft and disaster, as well as computer viruses, hardware failure, required software updates, and dedicated staff for IT needs.
  • Cloud-Hosted—3rd party hosting can alleviate many of the issues associated with paper-based operations or maintaining software in your office. Vulnerabilities are reduced, but this option can still be expensive depending on the solution.
  • Software-as-a-Service—Monthly subscription-based solutions can provide a highly economical and efficient means of practice management, and allow flexibility to access patient records anywhere, at any time, from any device.

In upcoming posts, we’ll take a more in-depth look at each of the models outlined above, so stay tuned.

Interested to see how easy and efficient practice management can be? Request a demo for Eyefinity Practice Management.

Did you enjoy reading this blog article? Receive an update for each new post by clicking on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner.

Meaningful Use Incentives and Penalties Made Simple

oct1It’s October 1, and meaningful use is a hot topic. Here are the scenarios that you can expect:

First time Medicare providers who did not attest on October 1, 2014 will be assessed a 1% penalty in Medicare reimbursements beginning January 1, 2015. That penalty will increase by 1% every year, up to a maximum of 5% reimbursement adjustment.

What are your options?

  • Providers can stop the penalty by using a meaningful use CEHRT.
  • Providers who exercised the hardship exemption, which was available earlier this year, will NOT be assessed the penalty in 2015.
    • Those providers can start their attestation in 2015 and still receive an incentive.
      • Up to $8,000 in 2015
      • Maximum of $12,000 for their last two years of meaningful use participation

 

For more information, visit www.eyefinity.com/mu2

Did you enjoy reading this blog article? Receive an update for each new post by clicking on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner.

 

 

 

EHR: Streamline Staff Work Flow, Improve Patient Care

cooper

Michelle Cooper, OD

Electronic health records systems can eliminate duplications and streamline the daily routines of your staff—letting you concentrate on improving patient care.

Read the entire article: EHR: Streamline Staff Work Flow, Improve Patient Care

Reprinted with permission from Review of Optometric Business.

Request a FREE demo of Eyefintiy EHR today!