Last October, the entire U.S. medical community made a much debated shift to the 10th Edition of International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). The road to ICD-10 was marked with multiple delays primarily due to concerns that physician owned practices were not prepared for the transition. In addition to updating EHR software, physicians’ offices needed to invest significant amounts of time and resources training their staffs on the new diagnosis standard.
So how big of a challenge was this? One of the specialties expected to be hit hardest was radiology. So we recently surveyed 5,000 private practice radiologists to learn how they prepared for ICD-10, and to find out how their practices were impacted since. Here’s what the docs had to say:
One of the biggest hurdles approaching ICD-10 was making sure staffs were properly equipped to handle the transition. How did your medical practice trained staff for ICD-10? Do you have any lessons you can share with our readers?
“Our medical staff has had to integrate the new diagnostics into our clinical decision support software. Their training has been in getting the details and the nomenclature mapped correctly. Overall, our team is much more satisfied that we will have a more precise system that will better fit the patient.”
– Dr. Joel C. Robertson is the founder and CEO of Robertson Health, a multi-faceted organization dedicated to making a lasting impact on healthcare around the world through a network of for-profit and non-profit organizations.
“Much of the transition was handled by a software upgrade. Out biggest issue was getting the appropriate information from referring doctors.”
– Jay Sokolow MD FACR, is a Connecticut-based radiologist who received his medical degree from University of Vermont College of Medicine and has been in practice for more than three decades.
“Be thorough, be prepared, start early and engage your doctors.”
– Robert L. Falk, MD, is a staff radiologist with Radiology Specialists of Louisville in Louisville, Ky.
“Yes, our staff viewed webinars and training programs designed to prepare them for the transition. I think the best lesson is to work hard up front to map the most common ICD-9 codes to new ICD-10 codes, thereby minimizing the stress of the transition. Over time the ICD-10 codes will become the standard numbers we all memorize for common conditions.”
– Joshua Davidson, MD, MPH is a Lead Clinician and Allergy/Immunology Specialist with HealthCare Partners Medical Group in Redondo Beach, Calif.
“We didn’t have any training, as we outsource billing.”
– Dr. Ari Geselowitz is a State College, Penn.-based radiologist who’s been in practice for three decades since graduating from Penn State University College of Medicine.
Major changes within any organization in any field requires careful planning, training and a commitment to weathering the transition, and that’s been no different with ICD-10. Given that a grace period has been extended by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid allowing physicians some flexibility in the precise codes it requires, doctors have until Oct. 1, 2016 to fill in any gaps in training. Check back in four months.
Last Updated on May 1, 2016