Dr. Cynthia Thaik is the Medical Director for the Holistic Healing Heart Center in Burbank, Calif. The Harvard-trained cardiologist is also a Health & Wellness Speaker and the author of Your Vibrant Heart.
We recently asked Dr. Thaik about her experiences during the implementation of ICD-10 and got her thoughts on the benefits of the updated codes. Here’s what she had to say:
It’s been seven months since ICD-10. Has it been effective?
Yes, it’s been a very effective upgrade for us.
Has the transition to ICD-10 been more or less turbulent than you expected? Why?
We had a smooth transition – Much better than expected for all the hype around the transition. It was seamless for us. I still put in the ICD-9 codes that I was used to and the software automatically does the conversion.
Do you have any stories about your transition to ICD-10? (Billing issues, patient issues, etc.)
We haven’t had any issues. Initially, there might have been a slight lag in payment, especially among some plans, but overall it did not create any significant cash-flow issues.
Can you list one advantage and one disadvantage of ICD-10 so far?
I see only advantages. It is far easier to code and to code more accurately. I like how I can put a description in and there will be an ICD-10 code for it. That was not the case with ICD-9. There are no disadvantages from my perspective.
If you could say anything to Medicare, what would you say?
Stop cutting our reimbursement. We are doing much more and receiving much less compensation.
Are there any procedures you can bill under ICD-10 that you couldn’t bill under ICD-9?
We are doing more functional medicine and billing incident to care. It makes it easier to document services, but we have seen no additional procedures billed as result of ICD-10.
How has your medical practice trained staff for ICD-10? Do you have any lessons you can share with our readers?
I think it is very important that your backend practice management software and the RCM are up to date and that all the proper coding and database exists for the physician usage. If the infrastructure and backbone are in tact, then the transition is seamless.
Does ICD-10 ultimately benefit the patient? Why or why not?
Yes, it does benefit to the patient. We can better and more accurately describe their presentation and all for more symptom coding rather than disease coding.
In the end, do you think ICD-10 will be an improvement for your practice? Why or why not?
Yes, it has been an improvement. We can be much more specific on the coding and have greater clarity as to the coverage.
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Last Updated on June 18, 2016